A roof is one of the most expensive investments for a home. If you’re looking to purchase a home — or thinking about your home renovations — you might be concerned about how long your roof will last.
Your home’s roof will generally last anywhere from 20-70 years, depending on a few different factors. The most important is the material used, but regular inspections/maintenance and extreme weather events can extend or shorten its lifespan significantly. Below, we’ll explore exactly how long you can expect your home’s roofing to last, along with the specific factors that may affect that expectation.
The roofing material used significantly influences lifespan. The default option for residential roofing is generally asphalt shingles. However, if you have a specific aesthetic in mind, you might opt for an alternative roofing material. You may also be interested in other benefits of alternative roofing materials, such as longevity. In general, the more expensive the material is, the longer it will last.
Most residential roofs are made of asphalt shingles, and they will generally last around 25 years. The more maintenance a homeowner does, the longer their roof will last. If a homeowner regularly checks their roof for leaks, identifies any broken shingles, and keeps their gutters clear, they’re far less likely to have to replace their roof before the 25-year mark.
A ceramic tile roof can last around 50 years (or more, depending on how well it’s cared for). Ceramic roofs are often chosen for their elegance and durability, though they are very heavy and demand more substantial roof structures.
A metal roof will usually last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Of course, metal roofing comes in many different types (such as stone coated steel, copper, and standing seam metal roofing), and the specific type of materials used may affect the roof’s longevity. Metal roofs have become more popular recently because the metal can be made in various designs to mimic different styles. Metal roofs are generally easy to maintain and fast to install.
Wood shingle roofs are built much like asphalt roofs, but they use wood (such as cedar) for their shingles. They generally last 30 to 40 years. Wood shingle roofs are naturally resistant to many pests, but they do need regular maintenance.
Bad Weather Events
It’s important to be knowledgeable about the weather in your area and how it can affect your roofing. Hail can rip off shingles and dent metal roofing. Tornadoes and hurricanes can obviously rip off roofing materials, but even being located near areas where tornadoes and hurricanes tend to hit can be bad. High winds can do a lot more damage to a roof than many homeowners realize. And if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, the weight and moisture can cause damage to your roofing. Regular inspections after bad weather events can help prevent lasting roof damage.
Just because a roof has a lifespan of 20 years doesn’t mean that it will need replacing at 20 years. It depends a lot on how the roof is maintained. For instance, if gutters are left filled with debris, they will overflow. The water will sit. Once the water sits, it will eventually leak through. The roof will need a serious repair (and there may be damage inside of it). Making sure gutters are clear is one of the many roof maintenance tasks.
Apart from that, homeowners should regularly inspect their roofs for damage, especially after high winds and hail. The faster issues with the roof are corrected, the less likely these issues will become severe. Homeowners will want to get rid of tree branches close to their property, especially if they live in high-wind areas.
Determining Your Roof’s Age
Knowing how long your roofing type may last doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how long ago it was installed. If you purchased your home recently, you could still find out how old the roof is. Usually, this is public knowledge and will show up on documents about your home. Your roof’s age should be disclosed on records, as it’s usually one of the critical questions asked.
It is, however, possible for someone to replace a roof and not record it. It’s essential to know from the previous homeowner exactly how old your roof is, as it will factor into your insurance costs. Insurance companies prefer you have a younger roof when insuring a home.
Otherwise, a home inspection can at least tell you whether there’s any damage to the roof you need to resolve and whether the roof appears to be aged. Wondering how many years before your roof needs replacing? Wanting your new roof to last as long as possible? Whatever the case may be, Alpine Roofing Construction can help. We can inspect your roof for damage, perform any necessary repairs, and advise you on the best materials to use if your roof needs replacing. We can even help to get your insurance company to pay for any major repairs or the replacement. Contact us today to get started.