How long has it been since you replaced your roof?

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home and protects you from rain, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. While all roofs eventually wear out and need to be replaced, it can be hard to know when that day comes. Based on your roofing materials, that time may vary significantly. 

To give an idea of the average material lifespan, we’ve outlined some estimates of how long roofs are meant to last and signs it’s time to replace it.

How Long Do Different Roofing Materials Last?

Not all roofs are built the same, and there are significant variances in how long a roof may or may not last. Let’s go through how long each roof is expected to last and how to maintain your roof to keep it in shape.

asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt Composite Shingles: 15-20 Years

The most commonly used roofing material in America is asphalt shingles. They are affordable and easy to install and are an excellent option for a roofing replacement. However, they are also the roofing material with the shortest lifespan, and people often replace their roof at least once throughout the time they own their home when they have asphalt shingles. They can wear and tear more easily than other types and are more susceptible to damage (especially hail damage). But their affordability is a major deciding factor.

solar roof tiles

Solar Tiles: 25-30 Years

Solar tiles, not panels, on the other hand, last a little bit longer and offer the great benefit of energy savings. People who switch to solar can see considerable savings in their energy bills and sometimes even a net profit if they participate in energy-saving programs through the state or special reimbursement programs. The high cost of a solar roof can often pay itself back after a few years.

natural wood shingles

Wood Shingles: 25-40 Years

Beautiful, natural wood shingles and shakes are a great investment to make for your roof. They age beautifully, are great insulators, and can be treated to be resistant to fires, and they are durable against strong winds and hail—more so than asphalt or other standard shingles. In addition, with proper maintenance, they can last up to 40 years without requiring repair or replacement.

green roof

Green Roofs: 30-50 Years

For those looking for a more environmentally-friendly option, green roofs are an excellent choice. They provide insulation and make the bottom floor of the house cooler in warmer weather while also offering some noise reduction from city noise pollution.

However, they’re not as durable as other options since they don’t have asphalt shingles to protect them from weathering, and they require a lot of maintenance, depending on the greenery you plant. But, if you have the time to invest in a green roof, it can last up to 50 years before needing replacement!

synthetic slate tile roof

Synthetic Slate Tile: 40-50 Years

Slate tiles are a great option for those who want to use natural materials on their roof. They’re made of real shale and take the appearance of traditional wood shakes or tiles, but they can last up to 50 years with little to no maintenance.

metal roof

Metal Roofing: 40-60 Years

If you’re looking for a roof that will last the longest and require very little upkeep, metal roofs are your best bet. They can withstand hail damage without needing to be replaced or repaired, and they provide excellent insulation from the heat in the summer months and cold temperatures during winter.

Stone-coated Steel: 40-70 Years

Stone-coated steel roofs are similar to metal roofs, but they’re made of stainless steel that can last up to 70 years if properly maintained. They provide excellent insulation and resist damage from the elements like hail or fire. Plus, their unique texture will give your home a beautiful look you can’t find with other roofing materials.

concrete tile roof

Concrete Tile: 50 Years

If you’re looking for a very traditional roofing material that will provide a timeless look to your home, concrete tile is the way to go. They won’t require replacement as long as there are no major issues with installation or damage from storms and hail, and they can last up to 50 years without needing major repairs.

clay tile roof

Clay Tile: 50-100 Years

Popular in the southern states where there’s little rain and high temperatures, clay tiles are an excellent option for those who want to make a significant investment in their roof and not have to worry about extensive maintenance. Clay tile roofs are incredibly durable and can last up to 100 years without needing replacement.

natural slate shingle roof

Slate Shingles: 100+ Years

Coined the “forever roof” natural slate shingles truly last a lifetime. Slate is a natural material found in nature that’s durable against fire, wind, hail, and other elements. It also provides excellent insulation during extreme weather shifts.

The main downside to slate shingles are the cost as they are one of the most expensive roofing materials available. But this will be the last roof you ever need as it will last over 100 years.

Another popular option for those looking for the slate look with a smaller price tag is synthetic slate. These shingles offer the same aesthetic appeal with a similar level of durability. While nothing can beat natural slate, the synthetic option will easily last 50 years.

Maintenance Tips for Extending the Life of Your Roof

The life expectancy of roofing materials is just that, expected. The ranges can shift so much because outside factors greatly impact how long a roof lasts. Things like proper installation, climate, and storm damage can all limit how long a roof may last. That’s why regular maintenance and inspections are essential to maintaining your roof and upholding its integrity. There are a few things homeowners can do to keep their roof in good shape throughout its intended lifespan.

Get Regular Roof Inspections

One of the most important things you can do to extend your roof’s life expectancy is to get regular inspections. A good contractor will be able to determine whether there are any problems with your roof that need immediate attention or if these issues may just require minor touch-ups to maintain the integrity of the material.

roof inspection to determine how long a roof will last

Keep The Roof and Gutters Clear of Debris

Clogged gutters are a primary reason why your roof might leak. When water can’t flow cleanly off your roof, it backs up and seeps in at the edges of your roof. Keeping your roof free of debris such as sticks, leaves, snow, ice, and whirligigs (or helicopters) can ensure you stay free from leaks.

Trim Low Hanging Tree Branches

If you have a tree that’s close to your roof, it might be time for some trimming. Low-hanging branches can damage your roof should a strong storm break it off, causing it to land on your shingles.

Make Minor Repairs When Necessary

Don’t put off minor repairs, no matter how small they may seem.  Broken shingles, small holes due to hail damage, and leaks from damaged flashing are all things that can be easily fixed if caught early on. Small issues left untreated for too long may lead to the need for a replacement roof or at least require costly repairs.

professional roof repair

Routinely Check Your Attic for Water Leaks

The best way to know if there’s a leak in your roof is to check the attic for any signs of water. In addition, inspections can help find whether or not you have an issue with your shingles, flashing, chimney connection (if applicable), and even insulation.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

So now you know how long your roof should last, plus maintenance you can do to uphold your roof’s shape. But now, it’s essential to know the tell-tale signs that your roof needs to be replaced. Those signs include:

  • Warping shingles
  • Damaged or missing shingles (in large portions of the roof)
  • Curled or rippling edges of the roof
  • Leaks that are not easily fixed with minor repairs
  • Water stains on the ceiling or attic floor
  • Sagging spots or pooling water
  • Recurrent ice dams every winter
  • Mold or rot on your home’s exterior or interior

If you notice any of these signs, call a professional for an inspection right away. The team at Impact Roofing can do a thorough inspection, offer an accurate estimate, and get the necessary steps in place to tear down and replace your roof.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Roof

You deserve to have a roof that can protect your home and keep you and your family safe from the elements. Regardless of the type of roof you decide on, a proper installation will ensure your home is safe for years to come. This is why we always recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor to install your roof. Of course, when the time comes to replace your roof, we hope you call Impact Roofing!