How long a roof lasts is one thing every homeowner should keep track of. After all, you have to have one of the essential parts of your house in good shape for it to protect your home from storms and other weather-related events.
Your roof’s longevity is affected by many variables, such as the type of roofing material used and maintenance. It may last longer than expected but may also prematurely fall apart.
If you are unsure about how long your roof should last, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you to the basics of ROOFING – from the types of roofs to the costs of replacing one. By the end of this article, you’ll know if your roof is still in the safe zone or if it needs replacing right away!
Different Roof Types and Life Expectancy of Each
Whether you’re looking for a new roof to install or not, knowing what material best suits your needs are of utmost importance. That’s because a roof’s lifespan largely depends on what kind of roofing you have or planning to get.
Asphalt shingles are a type of roofing material made from a black rock called asphalt. The stones are heated to a melting point which makes them turn into hot liquid. They can then be moulded to suit the needs of the installation.
To help protect the shingles from moisture, a coating is added to the top. All in all, they’re composed of various organic materials and cement fibres that offer protection against the forces.
The great thing about asphalt shingles is the fact that they’re easy to install and relatively long-lasting. Your typical asphalt shingle roof has a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
A 20-year lifespan is about the average for an asphalt roof, but it may be much less if you live in an area with stable environmental conditions. Hail storms or powerful winds can cause mild-to-severe damage to asphalt. Some roof shingles show signs of significant deterioration in as few as seven years in hot and humid climates.
How long the asphalt roof last also depends on the type of shingle you have installed:
- Three-tab shingles: The three-tab roof is a typical type of material for homes and buildings in America. The typical lifespan of this type of roof is about 20 years. One problem with these roofs is that they can trap moisture, leading to rotting in the beams, sheathing, and plywood underneath.
- Dimensional or architectural shingles: The typical lifespan of an architectural roof varies on the type you buy – but they all tend to last longer than the 3-tab. Dimensional shingles can stay put for nearly 30 years if maintained well. They’re more attractive and modern-looking than your typical roof, but they also come at a heftier price tag.
Roofing companies recommend that you check your shingles at least twice a year to ensure they are secure on top of the roof. If there is a problem with a few nails or any appear loose, it’s time to call in an expert for repairs.
Asphalt shingle roofs are popular throughout America. It’s the number one choice in Oklahoma City and many other cities throughout the U.S. So, if you think about installing a new roof on your house, asphalt shingles may be the option for you!
Asphalt Shingle Roof Life Expectancy: 15-20 years
- Nails popping out and coming loose
- Curling shingles
- Cracked shingles
- Mould or rot on the roof, beams, sheathing, and plywood underneath the roof (from trapped moisture)
- Shingle granules that are falling off your house onto other buildings or homes below you
- Deteriorating coating that leads to leaks in your home.
- Peeling layers around vents and chimneys
Metal roofs are becoming increasingly prevalent due to their energy efficiency, durability, and stylish looks. Most metal roofing can last longer than 50+ years. They work well in areas with high humidity levels or an abundance of snowfall due to their ability to resist corrosion.
Metal roofs are a good choice for those who live in areas with a lot of rain and want to avoid roof leaks. They’re also great if you have heavy snowfall as they can handle the weight much better than other types of roofs!
The metal roof comes in a variety of styles and colours, so you don’t have to settle for just one look:
- Standing seam lasts for about 50 years: This type of metal roof is an excellent choice for those who want the smooth, sleek look that metal roofs provide. It’s also good because it can be installed without having to remove any exterior components on your home – so you won’t have to worry about being left exposed if there are problems with leaks or other issues!
- Ribbed metal panels last for 25-50 years: Corrugated metal roofing is an option if you want to add a unique touch to your home. It’s also great if you live in areas where severe weather conditions can cause problems with leaks or other issues! When it comes to installing, they cost way less compared to standing seam roofing.
- Stone-coated steel tiles last anywhere between 30-50 years: If you want the look of a stone roof without having to pay as much or put on another layer, then this is an option for you! It’s an excellent option for hurricane-prone locations, capable of withstanding winds up to 155mph.
- Aluminum roofing can last up to 50 years: One of the best options for coastal climates. This type of material is resistant to saltwater corrosion, though it’s pricier than the alternatives.
- Zinc roofing can last for more than 50 years with proper maintenance: Like other roofing made with premium metals, zinc roofs can stay put for nearly a century if properly maintained. The major downside to this type is that they’re much costlier than the other options.
Metal roofs can be costly if you go with one of the more premium options. They are best suited for homeowners who live in areas that see a lot of rain or snow or have specific environmental concerns.
If your home is going on 50 years old or more, the structure may need some work done before installation since it can be challenging to manage when it comes time to perform roof repairs. Be sure to check with a roofing contractor to ensure the metal will work well for your home before installing it.
Metal Roof Life Expectancy: 40-60 years, depending on which metal you choose
Warning signs: Severe rust, ageing metal flashing or fasteners, leaks in your (caused by loose screws or fasteners, rust, and corrosion due to high humidity levels, etc.)
Wood Shakes and Shingles
Wood shingles are a great choice if you’re looking for something that’s both earth-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They’re durable and easy to install. What’s more, they can offer various looks depending on the design and type of wood used!
A wood roof typically comes in three options: solid oak, pine, or cedar. Each offers unique and different benefits adding to the structure’s flexibility.
- Oak shingles last up to 50 years: Oak is a hearty tree and one of the most popular types of wood used in roofing because it’s resistant to insects, rot, and wear over time. Cedar ROOFING also offers a classic look that comes with durability!
- Pine shingles last up to 30 years: Pine trees are known for their longevity, which means that the wood they grow into is long-lasting. These shingles are great for colder climates because pine trees can stand up to harsh weather conditions. They’re not recommended if you live in an area with a lot of humidity or rainfall since water is likely to get under them and cause problems!
- Cedar shingles last about 20-30 years: Cedar trees are another popular choice for roofing because they’re resistant to fungi, insects and rot when adequately treated. They last long but also come with a hefty price tag!
The biggest issue that homeowners have had is the look and colour of the wooden shingles. Over time, they tend to fade in the sunlight and can even start to look warped or misshapen after a while.
A wood shingle roof requires constant upkeep to maintain the appearance as well as durability. Professionals recommend annual cleanings, as well as staining or repainting every five years or so.
Wood Shingle Roof Life Expectancy: ~30 years (if properly maintained)
- Ageing flashing
- Condensation on windows (indicates poor ventilation),
- Discoloration of wood due to moisture damage (may need repairs before installation),
- Severe algae or mould growth
- Pest issues (i.e., termites, powderpost beetles, rats, and mice)
Composite shingles, also known as synthetic shingles, are a relatively new type of roofing. They’re made of recycled materials, including fibreglass, recycled plastic, and rubber. Composites mimic the appearance of their premium shingles minus the cost of actually making them.
They combine the best properties of metal and wood to create a roof that’s resistant to the elements and long-lasting. They feature a protective layer made of asphalt or rubber and then topped off with colour-treated wood fibre (similar to the design used in cedar shingles).
A composite roofing system is an affordable choice for many new homeowners. Since they’re still so unique on the market, there’s not as much information about how long they last.
In general, composite roofs are durable and long-lasting. They serve their purpose well for the price they offer. However, homeowners still need to clean them regularly and perform regular roof maintenance to prolong their lifespan.
Composite Roof Life Expectancy: 40-50 years, subject to change
Warning signs: Cracked tiles, deteriorating coating, temperature fluctuations
Clay tiles are a good investment for homeowners who want the classic look of a traditional roof. They are pretty popular in the Southwest regions, where bold terracotta colours dominate. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they’re resistant to weathering, rot, and fire.
The best thing about clay tile roofs, though, is how hardy they can be. They can last up to 100 years if well maintained.
Two things to keep in mind before investing in a clay roof:
- They’re heavy. Clay tiles can weigh up to 80 lbs each. Choose the correct installation professionals who know how much weight your house can take.
- They don’t do well in cold weather. Constant freezing and thawing can damage the tiles unless they’re sealed.
Clay Tile Roof Life Expectancy: 50-100+ years
Warning signs: Cracked tiles, tiles that have been pushed up or down, broken ridge caps.
Concrete tiles are a good choice if you’re looking for something that will last. They’re made of high-density concrete, which means they’re not only durable but also eco-friendly.
Concrete tiles are incredibly long-lasting and require very little maintenance. They’re resistant to rot, insects, fungi, cracking or chipping, and fading due to UV exposure. Also, concrete roofs can withstand a house fire for up to three hours because of the material!
However, there is one thing homeowners should know about concrete roofs. They don’t do well in areas that receive constant rainfall or high humidity levels because they absorb water quickly and can even crack due to the weight of standing water on top.
Concrete Tile Roof Life Expectancy: 100+ years
Warning signs: Cracks, damage around roof penetrations (skylights, vents, etc.), stains on the roof.
Slate Tile Roofs
Slate ROOFING can last up to a hundred years, making it one of the most durable of all roof types. They’re also known for their appealing looks that are timeless and elegant.
Made from volcanic ash and clay, slate roof tiles offer resistance to just about any kind of interference. It’s sturdy, but its natural structure makes it quite brittle. Many slate tile manufacturers offer warranties if they break.
Slate roofs are one of the most limiting roof types. Only a limited number of contractors offer slate roof installations primarily because slate tiles are hefty. Because they’re made of natural materials, slate roofs also come with a hefty price tag.
Slate Tile Roof Life Expectancy: up to 200+ years
Warning signs: Cracking, curling, or flaking tiles
Factors that impact the average lifespan of your roof
Not all roofs will stay put for the lifespan they’re expected to. Several factors affect how long a roof lasts — and the key to increasing roof lifespan is to keep track of each one of them.
Type of roofing material
The type of roofing material that homeowners install in their homes is the most critical factor affecting how long a roof lasts. This is because all different types of roofs have different average life expectancies. For example, asphalt shingles, the most popular roof choice in America, last about 20 years. Other roofs such as metal and slate can last as long as a century (100+ years) or even longer.
Quality of roofing materials used.
The quality material you use can make or break your investment. If you want something that’s both cost-efficient and effective, then your best bet is to invest in high-quality materials. Quality materials make for a long-lasting roof.
Installation workmanship is another factor that can determine your roof’s lifespan as well. Poor installation can cause leaks and other problems, so hiring someone with good installation practices is recommended.
Climate and weather conditions
Continual changes in climate can have a significant impact on how long your roof lasts. For example, clay shingles can withstand hot environments but break down more quickly in the cold. Metal roofs, in contrast, function optimally in snowy regions.
The weather has an impact as well. For instance, extreme winds can cause roof damage that would not have happened otherwise had the weather been calm. Keep an eye out for stormy weather to protect your investment!
Slope of the roof
A slope is a roof’s angle from horizontal. The slope of a roof can range from 0 to 90 degrees. In general, the steeper the slope, the shorter the lifespan for any material.
A slanted roof with a pitch of fewer than 30 degrees will typically have no problems. If the pitch is over 30 degrees, then there’s a chance that your shingles or tiles could blow off during high winds. You may need sturdier materials (i.e., metal roofs) to prevent this from happening.
The direction of the slope also impacts life expectancy. For example, a roof with an East-to-West facing will have more exposure to sun and rain than one that is North-facing, which means it can last less time in some cases.
Degree of maintenance and care
Even if you have a long-lasting roofing material, it won’t last forever. You’ll need to take good care of your roof and do the necessary maintenance work so that it remains in tip-top shape for as long as possible.
How can I make my roof last longer?
If you want your roof to last a long time, you should be proactive with your measures. This means checking for leaks and other damages, repairing any problems that arise, and cleaning the roof regularly. Don’t neglect your roof, or it may not be able to perform its job as well!
Keep the elements at bay.
The first way you can make your roof last longer is to ensure that it isn’t exposed to the elements. If your roof is exposed, here are some things you can do to prevent damage:
- Seal leaks and other problems.
- Repair damaged areas before they worsen.
- Install flashing or flashing around roof penetrations.
- Patch holes on flat roofs.
- Paint metal roofs with rust prevention paint.
Perform regular maintenance
Maintenance is crucial in improving the lifespan of your roof. This includes ensuring that you have all the necessary tools and equipment needed for roof maintenance so that no one gets hurt while on it. Make sure everyone in your household knows how to use these items, too!
Keeping your roof well-ventilated is one of the most effective methods to increase the life of your roof. Ridge vents and eave vents are two types of affordable ventilation systems used on the roof. Poor ventilation can cause mould to form on the inside of your roof, which weakens its structure and will eventually lead to leaks.
Watch out for temperature changes.
Keep an eye on temperature fluctuations as well because this can cause problems with protected areas. If there’s a small leak, then you’ll want to seal it up as soon as possible before more problems develop.
Schedule a roof inspection
Schedule a roof inspection. If you’ve noticed any problems with water droplets or leaks, then it’s time to schedule an inspection. This will help to identify where the issues are and what can be done to fix them. There may also be other issues such as damaged shingles, so this is important to know too.
How do I tell if I need a new roof?
There are many tell-tale signs that it’s time to have some form of replacement. These problems can signal that your roof is starting to go wrong or needs some serious repair:
- Curled, wrapped, broken, or missing shingles
- Discoloration, especially for wood roofs
- Signs of corrosion like water stains and rust
- Dew and lichen on the roof surface
- Rusted or loose nails in the roof surface
- Warm areas on your ceiling that indicate heat loss
- Leaks or other damage that can’t be repaired
Aside from these signs, you should also take into consideration how long your roof’s been up. Shingles that have been in place for 15 years or more should be inspected.
It’s critical to have your roof inspected regularly and take action as soon as you notice any indications of deterioration. If you don’t, it could become too late to make repairs, and you’ll end up having to replace it instead.
What about premature roof failure?
Premature failure occurs when your roofing materials falter way earlier than expected. The following are some of the reasons for premature roof failure:
- old wood underlayment
- improper rooftop ventilation systems without baffles, filters, or covers
- ponding water, ice damming, and other forms of stop leak
- roof structure deterioration due to lack of maintenance
- lack of flashing
- the insufficient slope on roofs with a long history of low slope
- split seams in tar and coating
- poorly done roof installation
If you suspect your roof is falling apart, call a roofing contractor right away. They will help you assess the situation and take the proper steps forward.
How much does a roof replacement cost?
Depending on the type of roof, it can be costly to replace one. However, replacing an entire roof is not always necessary. The best course of action may be replacing shingles and metal panels instead of the whole roof.
Replacing a roof can cost $12,000 to $50,000, depending on the materials and labour costs where you live. The good news is that replacing one type with the same type costs less. For example, replacing an asphalt shingle with another asphalt shingle will be less expensive than adding a metal roof to your home.
HIRE OUR PROFESSIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTORS + FREE INSPECTION
If you’re looking for a roofing company that can handle any job, no matter how big or small, then Elysian Construction is the right choice.
We’ve worked on hundreds of homes just like yours, and we treat them like ours each time.
Our specialists will provide you with an honest assessment of your property’s requirements. Elysian roofing contractors will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your roof replacement project.
We at Elysian Construction believe it’s important to give excellent customer service every step of the way. When it comes time for your new roof installation project, you’ll be confident knowing that we’ve got everything under control.
Our professional ROOFING contractors are here to offer you all kinds of services, including:
- Asphalt roof replacement
- Cedar shake installation
- Premium slate installation
- Metal roofing (aluminum, copper, zinc, and galvanized steel)
Call Elysian Construction today at 952-467-6874 for a free inspection on your next residential or commercial roofing project!
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It can be tough to identify this type of dangerous damage on your own – but our team at Elysian is experienced in identifying storm damage fast. We offer the most trusted Storm Damage Restoration Service in Minnesota!
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