Knowing when to replace your roof depends on a variety of factors, including the kind of roof you have, how well it’s maintained, your climate and whether there is unfixed damage. In this guide, we’ll cover the average roof replacement time for different roofing materials and help you decide whether it’s time to replace your own.
How Often Should I Replace My Roof?
How long your roof will last is highly dependent on its composition. Here are some averages of how long typical roofing materials should last and some factors that can affect their life spans.
- Asphalt shingles: In typical circumstances, a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof should last between 15 and 20 years before it needs to be replaced. However, architectural asphalt shingle roofs are designed to better withstand the elements and can last up to 10 years longer than their 3-tab counterparts.
- Clay/cement tile roofing: One of the toughest roofing materials in existence, clay or concrete tile roofs are extremely resilient and heavy. Due to their weight, they must be installed over extra-strong roofing reinforcement, meaning your home will benefit from extra protection. For the above reasons, tile tends to last between 50 and 100 years.
- Slate roofing: Slate is easily the most durable roofing material, and it can often last 100 years or more.
- Wood shingle: A wood shingle roof generally lasts between 25 and 30 years, although this is only possible with regular maintenance. For instance, if you don’t keep your wood shingle roof clear of moss growth and leaves, it can trap moisture and suffer decay. However, if you stay on top of the required maintenance, your wood shingle roof could last 50 years. It’s also important to note that wood roofing is particularly susceptible to fire damage, making the material hazardous in certain environments.
- Wood shakes: As wood shakes are thicker than wood shingles, they have a higher resistance to UV rays, harsh weather and other factors. Wood shakes generally last between 35 and 40 years, but once again, maintenance is an important consideration. The better you maintain your wood shake roof, the longer it will last.
- Metal roofing:Popular metal roofing materials like aluminum and steel should last at least 50 years before they need to be replaced. Other metal roofing materials, like copper and zinc, can last a century or more.
Additional Factors That Influence Life Span
In addition to the actual material it’s made of, there are a number of other factors that influence the life span of your roof, including climate and maintenance. For instance, certain climates may crack wood shingles or allow mold to grow more readily. Even an exceptionally resilient metal roof may become less durable over time due to erosion of the sealant.
If you live in an area with frequent high winds, you may find that asphalt shingle roofs don’t last as long, as these shingles are very light and may come loose more quickly than they would in other environments. Similarly, if your area is windy and you have lots of foliage around your home, many leaves and branches can end up on your roof and wear down your shingles more quickly.
Regardless of your roof’s composition, its condition can rapidly worsen if you don’t address any damage you see quickly. Even a tiny crack will let moisture seep in under your roofing material — when that moisture expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, the crack will widen and rapidly become more serious.
Since it’s so important to address damage early, yearly roof inspections are highly recommended for extending the life span of your installation.
Factors That Can Shorten Your Roof’s Life Span
There are several common types of damage that will decrease the life span of your roof if not handled promptly, including:
- Leaks and holes: If you have a hole in your roof that’s big enough for sunlight to shine through or water to come in when it rains, you have advanced roof damage, which means your roof will need to be replaced quickly. Even if the holes or cracks are smaller, moisture will still be able to enter, and the situation could rapidly become more serious.
- Water stains and moisture: Water stains and excess moisture on the decking of your roof or in the attic are also signs that your roof may need to be replaced. In this situation, the intruding moisture can seep into the attic’s insulation, so it’s a good idea to check there as well. You may also notice puddles forming in the attic. Circular yellow or brown stains on your ceiling or walls are also signs of leaks — the color appears due to rainwater picking up dirt and debris as it travels through your roof.
- Sagging ceiling: This is one of the most obvious signs of an advanced roof leak, and it indicates that your roof should be replaced as soon as possible.
- Damage to roof exterior: Roof damage can also be visible from the outside, with the most obvious signs being missing, cracked or rotting shingles. You should also keep an eye out for any place on your roof that looks unusual — well-built roofs have a uniform appearance, so if an area looks a little strange, this may be a sign of a poor patch job. As bad patch jobs will lead to problems, this should be repaired soon.
If you’re unable to view your roof’s exterior safely, inspect the ground and gutters surrounding your home. If your shingles have damage, you will usually find little pieces of them lying around on the ground and in the gutters. When checking these areas, keep an eye out for debris from your flashing and chimney. Damage to your chimney and flashing will further expose your roof to the elements, meaning it will be even more susceptible to worse types of damage.
Why Should I Replace My Roof?
The most obvious advantage of a roof in good condition is that it protects the interior of your home. However, it also provides many other benefits:
1. It Increases the Value of Your Home
If you’re planning to put your house on the market within five years, having your roof replaced can boost the value of your home. Homebuyers interested in your property will want to know the age of your roof, as they know an old installation will mean they’ll have to pay for a replacement soon.
In addition to boosting your home’s curb appeal — and therefore attracting many prospective buyers — a new roof can also increase how much you can get for your house. According to a 2021 report on the cost and value comparisons of home improvement projects, new roofing can boost a home’s value by over $17,000, with homeowners recovering well over half the cost of installation.
2. It Helps You Maintain Your Home Insurance Coverage
Your roof’s age is an important factor when it comes to the insurance coverage of your home. If your roof is nearing the end of its expected life span, you will want to consider replacing it.
When the time comes for your new roof installation, you will need to speak with your insurance company to find out what’s covered and what isn’t. The majority of homeowners insurance policies will not pay to repair roofs that are gradually deteriorating as a result of normal wear and tear. However, you can still learn about what you’ll need with your new roof to make sure your insurance company will cover it.
3. It Will Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home
Roofing is one of the many components in the homebuilding and remodeling sectors that has become more energy-efficient in recent years. There is a good chance that roofing technology has improved a lot since your last roof was installed, and upgrading your roof now will allow you to enjoy those benefits.
Your roof greatly influences your home’s climate, as it helps to control how much heat enters or leaves the top of your home. For this reason, a roof replacement can make controlling the temperature easier and reduce the load on your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
4. It Gives Your Home a Makeover
When you decide that your house needs a roof replacement, you have the opportunity to consider the color and style you want. Making the decision to go with darker or lighter shingles — or even a different material entirely — can greatly impact the overall appearance of your home. If you’re interested in changing the exterior of your house to boost its curb appeal, a roof replacement provides a great opportunity to do so.
5. It Maintains Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
One of the important tasks of your roof is keeping moisture out of your home and assisting with climate control. As a roof starts to age, homeowners often find themselves worried about leaks and other types of water damage making their way inside. Moisture buildup and leaks can be a threat to anyone in the house, especially if it leads to mold growth. Mold can pose a serious hazard to the health of the occupants and negatively impact the air they breathe. By investing in a new roof, you will help protect the health of people living in your home.
6. It Will Protect Those Walking on Your Roof
We strongly urge that homeowners do not attempt to walk on their roofs themselves — this potentially dangerous task should be left to professionals. Still, any time someone does need to walk out on your roof, safety is of the utmost importance. As roofs start to age, however, they can pose a number of safety hazards, such as:
- Collapse: As moisture makes its way under the roof over time and leads to rot and mold development, the underlying wood tends to weaken. As a result, older roofs often lose their strength, meaning they may no longer be able to support the weight of someone walking.
- Slipping: Shingles themselves can also develop mold, and if they do, they often become slippery and create a major fall hazard.
- Tripping: Lifting or missing shingles can cause a person traversing the roof to trip.
Upgrading or replacing your roof will help protect anybody who might have to access the roof of your home, as they will not be dealing with the hazards associated with old, decaying roofing materials.
7. You Can Upgrade Your Roof’s Quality
As roofing technology has seen substantial improvements in recent years, replacing your roof will allow you to enjoy the latest in roofing technology. Chances are that only certain options were available when your roof was installed. The new materials on the market today are often more durable than previous versions — for example, many newer shingles can withstand higher wind speeds than those of 10 or 20 years ago.
You’ll also be able to relax a little more with the knowledge that you have a brand-new roof over your property. You won’t have to lose sleep worrying about whether your roof is leaking during a rainstorm or if shingles are flying off your home during high winds. A professional roof installation will last for the long term and give you confidence that your home is protected.
8. A New Roof Means a New Warranty
If you have a defect in your roof, the consequences can be devastating. If the quality is not as advertised or it starts to leak, the damage can extend beyond your roof and affect the rest of the home, leading you to pay even more in repair expenses.
Having your roof replaced by reputable professionals means your installation will be backed by a brand-new warranty. These warranties often cover common situations like unexpected defects in your shingles, offering extra protection in case you have any unforeseen issues.
When you have your roof replaced, you should look over your warranty carefully so you’ll know what is covered and what isn’t.
Turn to the Roof Repair and Replacement Experts at Joyland Roofing
Joyland Roofing has been providing roofing services, repairs and replacements to home and business owners in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for over three decades.
We understand the frustrations of having to deal with roofing problems — between speaking with contractors, comparing quotes and trying to find a good option that’s also affordable, trying to coordinate a roof replacement can be difficult and time-consuming.
By working with Joyland Roofing, you can streamline the process and enjoy all of the following benefits:
- Speedy response times and estimates
- Thorough, easy-to-understand videos and explanations so you can understand exactly what is going on with your roof
- Step-by-step processes that are tailored to your personal needs
- Roofing consultants who understand the value of a reliable contractor
- No need to pay for residential roofing work until you’re satisfied with the result
If you have any questions about replacing or repairing your current roof, write to us using our form and we’ll be in touch promptly.
Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258