How long does a roof last?
Well, it depends.
While the average lifespan of a roof ranges from 25-50 years, the actual amount of time your roof lasts depends on a few factors:
- The roofing material installed
- How well it’s maintained
- The local climate and weather
When you invest in a roof, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible value, and a long-lasting roof is one way to ensure that. This guide will go through roof lifespan based on material and other factors so you can make the absolute best choice when you need a new roof.
How Long Does a Roof Last on Average (Based on Material)?
There is a wide array of roofing materials, all with drastically different lifespans depending on the material’s strength and durability. Some are truly meant to last forever, like slate, while others need to be replaced a few times throughout your lifetime. In addition to the type of roof you have, price, convenience, and maintenance all play a factor in which one is best for your home.
Asphalt Shingles 15-30 Years
The most popular roofing material installed on homes today is standard three-tab asphalt shingles. They last the least amount of years, but they’re a popular choice thanks to their affordable cost, easy maintenance, and vast color options. With proper maintenance and installation, asphalt shingle roofs should last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.
Architectural Shingles: 25-30+ Years
Architectural shingles are a premium variety of asphalt shingles and are a little more durable, allowing them to last longer on average. These premium shingles have a slightly higher upfront cost but have the same look as standard asphalt shingles with more durability. A fantastic choice for homeowners.
Wood Shakes: 30 Years
Wood shakes come in several varieties, including cedar and redwood. These woods are naturally resistant to moisture and decay, making them an excellent choice for roofs. While these last up to 30 or more years with minimal maintenance, the downside is that they’re not as fire-resistant as other materials.
Metal Roofing: 40-70 Years
Metal roofs have been growing in popularity in recent years thanks to manufacturers making them a bit more appealing to homeowners and installing metal shingles vs. standing seam metal. However, both types of metal roofing can look stunning on a home and last for a much longer time than standard asphalt shingles. In addition, metal roofs are virtually no-maintenance roofs making it a completely hands-off roofing solution. A metal roof is a bit more expensive, however, averaging between $7 to $20 per square foot or more.
Clay Tile: 50 Years
A clay roof is highly durable and can last up to 50 years and even longer with proper maintenance. It’s fire-resistant, moisture-resistant, and very aesthetically pleasing. However, they are heavier than other materials, so you must have a sturdy truss system in place to support the weight of the tiles.
Concrete Tile: 50 Years
Concrete tiles have the same lifespan as clay tiles, but they are lighter in weight and a bit more affordable per square foot. They come in many different colors and styles, making them an excellent option for homeowners who want to stand out from the crowd.
Slate: 50-100+ Years
Often referred to as “the forever roof,” slate tiles are made of natural stone and can last well over 100 years. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to make an investment in their home that they won’t have to worry about replacing anytime soon. The downside, of course, is the price tag. Slate is expensive and heavy, which means it doesn’t work on just any structure and may require reinforcement before installation.
8 Factors That Affect a Roof’s Lifespan
While the durability of your roofing material is one of the biggest factors that determine how long your roof lasts, there are many other outside forces people don’t think about. Your roofing system relies on many things to stay in good condition. From the weather to regular maintenance to the insulation in your attic— these things, whether controllable or not, are major players in your roof’s lifespan.
1) The Quality of the Installation
The quality of the installation is one of the most important factors for a lasting roof. To ensure you get a well-installed and durable roof, pay attention to these three things:
- Hire reputable professionals who have experience installing similar roofs in your area.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around or check online reviews to make sure they’re up to your standards before hiring them.
- Always look for a contractor who offers good workmanship warranties. This shows they stand behind their work, and if something were to happen due to poor installation, they’ll fix it for free!
2) The Roof’s Underlayment
A roof without a proper underlayment or waterproofing layer is one that you can expect to have problems at some point during its life. The underlayment helps to keep water out of your roof and prevents wind-driven rain from seeping in through any gaps or cracks in the roofing material. Make sure your contractor chooses a high-quality underlayment for your roof that is durable and built to last.
3) Local Weather and Climate
While we can’t control the weather, it’s important to consider your local climate before installing a new roof. Some materials are much more well-insulated (like metal or concrete), and others have great impact resistance for areas with hail or big storms.
4) How Often You Inspect or Repair Your Roof
Having regular inspections and maintenance done on your roof is essential to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Schedule a professional roofer to come in and check for any signs of damage, missing shingles, or other issues that need to be repaired. This will help you catch any problems before they become expensive and time-consuming replacements.
5) Performing Regular Roof Maintenance
Roof maintenance, depending on the material you have, might include things like;
- soft washing
- roof rejuvenation
- cleaning out the gutters
- re-insulating the attic
- removing ice dams and snow
If you just leave your roof alone and never inspect or clean or maintain it, it will age faster and fail more frequently. So maintenance and performing roof repairs when needed is vital to the health and longevity of your roof.
6) The Roof’s Slope
Flatter slopes may experience more issues than steeper sloped roofs. This is because of a few reasons.
- A steeper slope can help with rain and snow runoff.
- Shallow slopes are at a higher risk of pooling water.
- Lower slopes or flat roofs might have more foot traffic or experience more damage from debris.
7) Proper Drainage
Installing proper drainage is also essential for maintaining a good roof. Make sure your contractor designs your gutter system correctly and that there are no clogs or blockages in the downspouts or gutters. This will ensure water flows away from your home, preventing any damage that could be caused by standing water.
8) Insulation and Ventilation
Having proper insulation and ventilation in your attic is another important factor to consider when installing a new roof. Make sure there is adequate insulation covering the entire space, including the underside of the roof deck. This helps regulate indoor temperatures and prevent ice dams from forming in cold weather.
Additionally, make sure you have enough ventilation for air circulation and prevent moisture from building up in the attic. This will help keep your roof healthy and keep it from being damaged by excess heat or cold temperatures.
How to Get a Long-Lasting Roof Installed
When you want to invest in a roof that lasts, you need to work with a professional roofing team like Monarch Roofing. We provide the longest lasting roofing materials and the proper maintenance and installation to support a long lifespan. We will help you protect your investment in your beautiful new roof and ensure you get an end result you love. Reach out to get started!