How Often Does a Roof Need to be Replaced?Published on Tuesday February 16, 2021
Many homeowners pay too little attention to the condition of their roof unless it’s visibly broken, leaking, sagging, or showing other easily identifiable signs of wear and tear.
But the roof can suffer damage in ways we can’t always spot with the naked eye without thorough examination.
In fact, a roof’s time for replacement often comes well before visible signs of damage appear, which begs the question: how often should you replace your roof?
Understanding how often a roof needs to be replaced can help many homeowners keep their families and belongings protected, and maintain—or even increase—their home’s value.
How Often Should Different Types of Roofs be Replaced?
The expected lifespan of a roof depends entirely on the type of roofing material used and how well it’s been maintained. The underlying structure of your roof should last the entire lifespan of your house, but the materials covering the roof have varying lifespans, some considerably shorter than others.
Generally speaking, quality, durable materials coupled with regular maintenance can greatly extend the lifespan of your roof. Here are general guidelines as to how long you can expect certain materials to last:
- Composition shingles: 12 to 20 years
- Asphalt shingles: 15 to 30 years
- Tile roofing: 15 to 30 years
- Wood shingles: 20 to 25 years
- Rubber roofing: 30 to 50 years
- Concrete roofing: 30 to 50 years
- Metal roofing: 50 to 75 years
In addition to proper maintenance for the roofing material, climate also plays a significant role in the longevity of your roof.
Heavy snowfall, high winds, humid summers, etc. can all lead roofing to age prematurely, warranting more frequent roof replacements. If you live in an environment with a severe climate, it’s important to get regular roof inspections, especially after periods of extended weather activity.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Roof
While the above estimations indicate about how often to replace a roof on average, there are steps homeowners can take to get the most mileage out of their roofing prior to replacement.
Regular Roof Inspections
It’s recommended to schedule roof inspections at least twice per year to proactively diagnose and correct issues as they arise. Beyond professional inspections, homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of decay like cracked or missing shingles, a sagging roofline, mold or dark spots, etc.
This can be achieved by visually inspecting the surface of your roof from the ground (or by ladder if you’re comfortable) and by checking inside the attic for water damage like wood rot, moldy insulation, or active leaks.
Many homeowners aren’t fully aware of the role gutters play in the health of your roof and home’s foundation. Clean, functional gutters largely reduce the risk of roof leaks and other damage that can affect the structural integrity of your home.
Keeping all landscaping surrounding your home trimmed is an important element of roof maintenance you shouldn’t ignore. Trees with branches that hang over your roof can present a number of hazards.
Not only do they shed leaves, sticks, and other debris that can quickly clog your gutters, they also pose a threat in the event of storms. Large branches can scratch and dent your roof, and even rip shingles off the surface of your roof if the winds are strong enough.
Replace Your Roof Today
One way to know how often to replace a roof is by tracking its age, but we now know that other factors contribute to the longevity of a roof. So how do you know if you need a new roof?
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