How Long Do Roofs Last on Average?

As a homeowner, you depend on your roof to protect your home from the elements at all times. Though the roof is one of the most durable components of your home, it won’t last forever.

In fact, the average roof lasts for between 20 and 50 years, but this is just a rough estimate.

Understanding how long your roof will last is the best way to help you keep it in good shape and make sure your home is safe from damage. Here’s everything you need to know to answer the question, “how long do roofs last?”

So, How Long Do Roofs Last, Exactly?

Ultimately, how long a roof lasts largely depends on the types of materials you use. They’re all designed to keep your home safe from the elements, they break down at different rates.

Asphalt shingles, which are the most common roofing material used in the country, have the shortest lifespan. This is because the granules on each shingle start to slough off with heavy rainstorms and wind. Once the granules are gone, the shingles will be more vulnerable to leaks and damage.

That said, they’re still the most affordable roofing material on the market. They may not last for decades on end, but you’ll be able to afford to replace them more often.

Slate, clay tiles, and metal roofing last much longer and can withstand the elements more effectively. However, they cost a lot more than standard asphalt shingles.

If you’re looking for a replacement to make your roof more durable, these will do the trick. But you’ll pay a much higher price to install them in the first place.

Routine Maintenance Can Make a Difference

Though the type of material you use for your roof will influence your roof’s lifespan, it’s not the only factor at play. All roofs, no matter what type they are, need routine maintenance and regular repair work if you want them to last for years.

Without routine maintenance, it’s easy to end up with a roof that’s damaged beyond repair. Once it gets to this point, you’ll have to pay to replace the entire system often years before you would otherwise need to.

The best thing you can do to prevent premature replacements is to schedule regular roof inspections with your trusted roofing contractor. During these inspections, they’ll look at the materials used, the sub-roofing, and the insulation in your attic space to make sure everything is in good condition. If they notice anything out of the ordinary, they’ll be able to recommend the right types of repairs to get your roof back in good shape.

In addition to routine inspections, you’ll need to watch for signs of damage on your own. After severe storms, walk around your yard and inspect your roof from the ground. If you notice missing materials or see visible damage, call your roofer immediately.

You’ll also want to watch for leaks indoors. Look for discoloration on the ceiling and any unusually damp spots in your home. If you notice anything, call your roofer and schedule a repair appointment.

Always Work With a Professional

Though roof repairs might seem simple, handling them on your own is the easiest way to shorten the roof lifespan. If you’re not careful, you could end up damaging the surrounding materials with your repairs.

Once this happens, you’ll experience further damage and have to deal with more costly repairs over time.

Instead, always leave the roof work to an experienced, licensed professional. Professional roofing contractors know how to work with different materials to make sure the rest of the roof isn’t damaged by their work. Even better, their repairs will last much longer and keep your home safer in the long run.

If you don’t already have a roofer you can trust, talk to your friends, family, and coworkers for advice. The contractor you choose doesn’t have to be the one that installed the roof. As long as they have experience working on the type of roof installed on your house, you’ll be in good shape.

Never Put Off Repairs

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re learning how to extend the life of a roof is to never put off repairs. The longer you let even minor issues slide, the worse the damage will get to the rest of your roof.

Stay on top of routine inspections and schedule them twice per year. This allows your roofer to catch small issues before they can do serious damage to your property.

If you notice a leak, even a small one, schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible. Remember, repairs are always going to be cheaper than full replacements. By taking care of repairs in a timely manner, you’ll save yourself money in the long run.

Know When the Time Is Right for Replacement

Of course, every roof will eventually need to get replaced. This is true even if you stay on top of maintenance and repairs every single day.

The best thing you can do is start planning for that replacement by learning to recognize the signs that it’s time to get rid of the old materials.

If you’re scheduling repairs every few months or keep discovering new problems with your roof after every storm, replacing it might be a better choice. Once the new materials are in place, you’ll have fewer leaks and less damage over the years.

Just make sure you’re ready for that replacement. Use this tool to figure out how much your replacement will likely cost you and start saving up ahead of time. The more you can pay upfront for the new roof, the better off you’ll be when you schedule the appointment.

Keep Your Roof in Good Shape When You Can

Though the answer to the question, “how long do roofs last?” depends on the type of roof you have and how well you maintain it, it’s the maintenance that matters most.

The better you can care for your current roof and the faster you take care of repairs, the longer it will last. Just make sure you hire an experienced roofing contractor to handle all of the repairs, even if they seem small. This way, your roof will last as long as possible.

Keeping your roof in good shape is just one aspect of homeownership. Check out our blog for more tips and advice to help you keep your home pristine.