How Long Does a Roof Last

By December 3, 2020 No Comments
aerial view of roofs, How Long Does a Roof Last

aerial view of roofs, How Long Does a Roof LastWhether you are about to purchase a new house or stay put in your current home, it’s important to know the condition of the roof. Knowing the life expectancy of your roof will help you determine if it’s time for a replacement.

Let’s look at some different types of roofs and explore their average lifespan. To ensure that you make the best decision for your home, we will also discuss some signs you need a new roof.

How long does a 30-year roof really last?

Realistically, a 30-year roof will typically last 20 to 25 years. And that’s if the roof is properly maintained. Roofs that are poorly cared for won’t last nearly as long, often ranging in the span of 14 to 20 years. With that being said, there are other factors that can affect the lifespan of your roof.

Poor workmanship and shoddy installation can quickly lead to issues in your roof that warrant restoration or replacement. As such, it is crucial that you hire a trusted and experienced roofing contractor to install your roofing system.

Extreme weather conditions can also decrease the lifespan of a roof. If exposed to falling tree limbs and other debris, high winds, or extreme heat or cold, it can affect how long your roof lasts.

Furthermore, it’s important for roofing contractors to use high-quality roofing materials. Your roof will last longer when cheap materials are avoided and only the best are used.

How long a roof lasts also depends on the type of materials used, not just the quality. Let’s take a moment to discuss the average lifespan of these different types.

Asphalt Shingles

As the most commonly used roofing material here in the United States, asphalt shingles are both durable and affordable. Depending on where you live and the kind of climate associated with it, asphalt shingles last anywhere from 15 to 25 years.

There are also contributing factors, such as the type of asphalt shingle used, that can play a role in how long most roofs last.

3-tab shingles last as long as 15 to 20 years. If you’re looking for the most affordable option in asphalt shingles, 3-tab shingles are a reasonable choice.

Architectural shingles can last a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Although they will cost you more, these are the second-best choice in asphalt shingles.

Premium shingles are perhaps your best bet when investing in asphalt roofing. They are pricey, but you can look forward to your roof lasting as long as 25 to 40 years with premium shingles.

Metal Roofing

Looking for even longer-lasting roofing? Metal roofs may be for you. With a typical lifespan of 40 to 75 years, a metal roof will deliver exceptional protection from the outside elements while providing your home with an attractive appearance.

Moreover, metal roofs that are made with copper or zinc may last 100 years – or even longer! Like asphalt shingles, metal roofing comes in different flavors that are designed for all kinds of environments and weather climates.

Ribbed metal panels are the cheapest to install and can provide protection for 25 to 50 years. If you live in an area that experiences frequent high winds, however, you may want to consider the next option.

Standing seam may be the most common type of metal roofing. A little more pricey to install compared to ribbed metal, standing seam is built to withstand high winds of more than 100 miles an hour! Furthermore, you can typically look forward to standing seam roofing lasting as long as 50 years.

Stone-coated steel tiles are the most durable type of metal roofing. You usually see this type in areas like Florida where hurricanes are known to hit. As such, stone-coated roofing is designed to stand up to winds as high as 155 miles an hour and can last 50 years or longer.

By investing in metal, your roof isn’t likely to need to be replaced for many years following installation.

Wood Shingles

With regular maintenance, wood shingle roofs can last around 30 years. This includes cleaning them every year and repainting/staining them every 5 years. Depending on where you live, it is important to invest in the right kind of wood shingles.

Cedar shingles, for example, are incredibly durable and long-lasting and are designed to withstand high coastal winds of up to 245 miles an hour. Thanks to its resistance toward insects and rotting, cedar shakes can provide you with protection for many years.

Clay Tiles

Clay tile roofs can last 50 to 100 years thanks to their amazing resiliency. However, you will need to provide the proper care to ensure that your tile roofing doesn’t develop mold, moss, or algae. Moss is perhaps the most problematic for clay roofs, as its growth can lead to roof leaks and internal damage to your home.

Clay tiles are excellent investments thanks to their resistance against fire, rain, and rot. Although better suited for warmer environments, a clay tile roof can be sealed, helping prevent freezing and cracking in cold-weather climates.

Slate Tile Roof

If you want the best, a slate roof can last between 75 and 200 years. Designed to withstand all kinds of extreme weather conditions, slate is an excellent option that doesn’t need a whole lot of maintenance and upkeep.

This roofing material is very heavy, though, so your home needs to be able to support its weight. You will need to have your home and roof structure inspected to ensure that it is sufficient for this type of material.

How do you know when to replace your roof?

If your roof is more than 30 years old, it may be time to think about a roof replacement. Another clue to look for is if you are part of a development and start noticing your neighbors replacing their roofs.

Of course, there are many other signs to watch for. An asphalt shingle roof that is starting to crack or curl may not last much longer. Keep a close eye on your shingles and contact a contractor the moment you notice irregularities in your roof.

A metal roof that has developed rust or leaks needs to be addressed immediately to prevent damage to your home.

Wood shingles that have begun to split, rot or form mold should be examined by a professional.

And clay or slate roofs that missing pieces and chipping may be clues that your roofing materials need to be replaced. How long does a roof last that has become damaged? You may just 5 or 10 years of life left, so it’s crucial to speak with a contractor right away.

What are the signs of a bad roof?

Thankfully, there are many ways to tell if you need a new roof. Below are some of the most common signs that it’s time for a roof replacement.

Streaks, Stains, and Sagging

If your attic or walls are displaying streaks or staining, there’s a pretty good chance that water is penetrating your roof and entering your home. And if you notice sagging in any area, it’s time to start thinking about a roof replacement.


A wood or asphalt roof is most likely to experience rotting. If there is mold, missing shingles, or other visible damage, it’s time to consider getting a new roof.

Moss and Algae

This is usually a sign that you just need to clean your roof, not replace it. As long as you make sure that you are providing regular care and maintenance, moss and algae shouldn’t pose too much of a threat.

Decayed Shingles

Does your shingle roof have misshapen or missing shingles? Your roof may be decaying. This is common in a shingle roof and usually happens toward the end of its lifespan.

Who Should You Call?

If your roof is older than 30 years or you are noticing signs of concern, call us at Cap City Restoration today. We proudly serve Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas and will happily come out to estimate your roof. Whether you need minor restoration or a total replacement, no job is too small or too big.

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