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How Long Does a Roof Last (2020 Updated Guide with Pictures)

A guide on how long a roof should last (all roof types and pictures included)

how long does a roof last

Are you aware of the condition of the roof over yours and your family’s heads?

If you own a home, you should be.

Most of the time, homeowners don’t realize that their roof is in a state of disrepair until it is too late.

What’s more, many homeowners don’t really know how long a roof lasts or when to replace a roof.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the answers you need to know about how long does a roof last (and how long should a roof last).

replacing roof shingles

  1. Intro to How Long Do Roofs Last
  2. The Life Expectancy of Your Roof
  3. How Long Does a Roof Last?
  4. When to Replace a Roof
  5. How to Tell If You Need a New Roof
  6. Signs You Need a New Roof
  7. Is Your Roof Defective?
  8. What to Consider When You Are Replacing a Roof
  9. And How Long Does a 30 Year Roof Really Last?
  10. How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?
  11. How Long Does an Asphalt Roof Last?
  12. What Is The Life Expectancy Of 3 Tab Shingles?
  13. How Long Do Architectural Shingles or Dimensional Shingles Last?
  14. What is the Average Lifespan of Premium Shingles?
  15. How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?
  16. How Long Does a Tin Roof Last?
  17. How Long Do Fiber Cement Shingles Last?
  18. How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?
  19. What is the Average Lifetime of Composite Shingles?
  20. How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last?
  21. How Long Does a Tile Roof Last?
  22. What is the Life Expectancy of Stone Coated Roofing Tiles?
  23. What Is The Lifespan Of Concrete Tile Roofs And Clay Tile Roofs?
  24. How Long Does a Roof Membrane Last?
  25. How Long Does a Thatched Roof Last?
  26. Understanding the Structure of Your Roof
  27. The Construction Of a Long Lasting Roof
  28. Replacing Shingles On Your Roof
  29. What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Roof When It’s Called For?
  30. The Average Lifespan Of A Roof
  31. How Do You Know If You Need A New Roof?
  32. The Value of a Long Lasting Roof

Intro to How Long Do Roofs Last

how long do shingles last

Repairing or replacing your roof can be a costly proposition at best, so it’s a good idea that as a homeowner you know when you might need to replace your roof and how long the particular type of roof that you have lasts in general.

Additionally, it is perhaps even more important to look at how long various types of roofing materials can last if you are buying or building a new home, so you can understand how long your investment can last.

What’s more, there is the resale value to consider.

Establishing the current state of the roof, how long your roof is going to last and what can be expected from the type of roofing materials used, the climate in your region, and the other idiosyncrasies of your property and particular location is an important aspect to consider before you buy, even if you plan on staying in that home for a while.

The Life Expectancy of Your Roof

Having a roof inspection conducted during the standard due diligence stage that occurs before you buy a property is fairly standard, and don’t hesitate to ask for concessions if the roof isn’t up to code or has problems that could prove to be costly in the future.

If you’ve purchased a home or built a home before then you probably know that the roof might be one of the complicated and potentially expensive aspects of the purchase.

You’ll want to know the age and condition of the roof that you’re putting over your and your family’s heads, along with any concerns or special requirements for the type of material and style of roof on the property.

You’ll also want to understand the average lifespan of the type of roof you are buying or installing in your specific geographic area and its unique weather patterns.

And perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to get the roof inspected before buying a new home as well as having regular roof inspections performed to assess the current state of your roof.

For instance, asphalt shingle roofs tend to last around 20 to 25 years, while other types of roofing, like metal standing seam roofing, can last for 50 years or even longer, depending on your climate, type of property, and various other environmental factors including things like overhanging trees and the humidity percentage, amount of rainfall, or if you prone to roof hail damage.

So, at this point, you might be asking how long does a new roof last?

Read on to learn more about the length of time that various types of roofing materials last to understand the best choices for you and your property, whether it is an existing home that might require repairs, a roof replacement, or a new property where you have the chance to make decisions about the type of roof that you’re going to install.

How Long Does a Roof Last?

how long do roofs last

So how long does a roof last on a typical home or residential property last, really?

That depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of roof you have, the region and climate your home is located in, and the style of your property.

If you are thinking of replacing the roof on your house or installing a roof on a newly built home, you might be asking “how long does this type of roof really last?”

The longevity or lifespan of your roof is dependent on a variety of factors, including the climate and region that your home is located in, the type of roofing system you have, and if you experience any major natural disasters like a hurricane or tornado, have a house fire or smoke damage, or even a few severe hailstorms.

There’s also the possibility of a large tree falling on your roof or other damage from debris or accident which will naturally shorten the lifespan of a roof regardless of the materials used.

What’s more, the workmanship of the roof matters almost as much as the materials used.

An expertly installed roof that is properly braced and ventilated will last longer than a roof that wasn’t built with the same precision.

When to Replace a Roof

when to replace roofing

If you’ve experienced a major weather event or catastrophic disaster like a hurricane, tornado, house fire, or smoke damage then you already know that you need to replace your roof and that it is time to work with your insurance company to make a roof insurance claim and get the necessary work done.

However, if you haven’t had to deal with a significant disaster, you may still need to replace your roof due to its age, type, or other issues such as overhanging trees or shrubbery causing damage, or extreme humidity.

For instance, a typical residential roof will generally last for around 20 to 25 years, with the caveat that if your roof was installed with one layer over another, you will want to hire a roofing contractor or company who understands this type of roofing job in order to ensure that your current is properly repaired, replaced, or otherwise taken care of.

How to Tell If You Need a New Roof

how to tell if you need a new roof

Do you need a new roof?

If your roof is older than 20 to 25 years or if you’ve recently been subject to a major disaster, then you likely need to look into replacing your roof or at least have it inspected so you can get a good idea of its current condition and when you might be likely to need to get it fixed, repaired, or even completely replaced.

Also, be aware that if your roof was installed over an existing roof (as opposed to replacing the old roof completely) the current roof may or may not be properly ventilated, so you will want to look into that as well ensuring the multiple layers are all sound and solid and repaired properly.

If your roof has many layers that have built up over the years, you may want to consider replacing it entirely.

Signs You Need a New Roof

how long does a new roof usually last

Have you noticed shingles cracking, buckling, or curling up?

If you witness these signs, you definitely want to look into a new roof or at least contact a roofing contractor for an assessment.

If your shingles are losing granules then you also want to look into replacing your roof.

Roof valleys – or if your roof shingles are falling apart and missing in some areas – are another sign that you should have your roof assessed by professional roofing contractors and possibly replaced.

Roof valleys (shingles missing in areas around your gutters and chimneys) or missing shingles in general can also be a sign that you need to replace your roof or at least do some serious repair work.

Can you get up on your roof and walk around and observe?

If the roof is spongy-feeling or if you start feeling like you are bouncing a bit when you are walking on it, then your roof might need to be replaced.

Do you see any granules missing if you have an asphalt shingle roof?

When your shingles are losing granules, then you’ll notice the loose granules around the base of your home, in your gutters, or scattered in your yard.

The shingles themselves might also appear to be discolored.

This is definitely a time to work with a roofing company to determine any problems with your roof and figure out whether you need repairs or a total roof replacement.

Replacing missing or damaged roof shingles can also be a DIY project if you are somewhat handy, but that depends on your own abilities, the type of roof you have, and your do-it-yourself skills.

We always suggest going with a roofing company if you have questions or doubts about your DIY skills, or simply just don’t want to get up on your roof yourself, since it is difficult and can be a dangerous task even if you do have some home repair talents.

You or your roofing company should check out your roof on a regular basis, especially if you think it is time for a new roof or if you think your newer roof might be defective.

Is Your Roof Defective?

how long does a shingle roof last

And how can you tell if your roof might be defective?

If your roof is relatively new and you are seeing issues like shingles buckling and curling, granules coming off asphalt shingles, missing shingles, or other similar problems, then your roof might be defective and you should reach out to the roofing company or contractor who built or installed it, as well as your insurance company.

This goes doubly so if the insurance company paid for your roof due to damage from a weather event or disaster.

If your roof is only a few years old and you are noticing any of the aforementioned issues, then you might need to get your roof looked at by professionals because it could become a bigger problem, especially if you are considering selling your house in the near future.

Also keep in mind that the value of your house may increase or decrease depending on the age of your roof, so if you are planning on moving in the near future, you may want to get your roof assessed before you put the property on the market.

Moreover, if you are thinking of purchasing a new home or other property, then you should make sure that the roof is relatively new and in good repair; if not, you’ll want to ensure that the property is priced accordingly and be aware that you may need to replace the roof soon.

When you are in the market for a new home and if you are at the point of getting a new property inspected, you will want to make sure that the roof is up to code and in good condition, and if not, see if the current owners are prepared to either replace the roof or offset the purchase costs so that you can have the roof replaced.

What to Consider When You Are Replacing a Roof

One important thing to consider when you are choosing a roofing system or purchasing a new property is the resistance of the roof to wind uplift, which is the suction effect created by wind forces as the air flows parallel to the surface of the roof.

When a gust of wind hits the side of a house or other building, some of that air moves upwards across the roof, creating a pressure differential that can blow off or damage shingles or tiles, or even entire sections of the roof altogether.

Roofing systems are rated based on the amount of wind uplift they can withstand measured in miles per hour.

If you live in a particularly windy area or one that is prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, you’ll want to ensure that you go for a higher rating for wind uplift.

You’ll also want to consider other factors before replacing your roof or purchasing a property – the age of the roof, how many layers of shingles there are, and whether the roof is properly braced and ventilated.

A roof inspection performed by a professional can help you answer these questions and more, and you can also visually examine the roof yourself for curling or buckling shingles, missing shingles, damaged shingles, damage to the flashing or seals around the chimneys, skylights, or dormers, granules or debris in the gutters or around the ground near your home, and other signs of future problems.

A qualified roof inspector should also check out the inside of the attic or top floor under the roof and see if there is any daylight visible, which would signal that there is a roof leak.

If you are in the market for a new roof, you may also hear roofing companies or contractors describe certain types of roofs as “30 year roofs” or perhaps even “50 year roofs” or other lengths of time.

While it is possible for many residential roofs to last that long, there are some contingencies to consider.

Major catastrophes or weather events like severe hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes can obviously affect the lifespan of your roof; in addition, regular roof inspections, maintenance, and small repairs can also extend your roof’s longevity.

And How Long Does A 30 Year Roof Really Last?

The lifespan of a 30 year roof can be 30 years or 3 decades, or it can last for significantly less time if you experience a disaster like a fire, major hailstorm, tornado, or a hurricane.

Many roofing warranties may cover a roof for 20 or 30 years, depending on the location and type of roof, but you’ll want to always check the fine print and review your homeowners’ or property owners’ insurance policies as well, and ask any questions before you sign on the dotted line to buy a home or replace an existing roof.

If you are looking to purchase a property with an older roof (or your own roof hasn’t been replaced in some time), you may even see 50 year old shingles or roofing systems on the market – and while you should always get a roof inspection before buying a new home or building, it is possible for some types of roofing to last that long.

Read on to learn more about the average life of various types of roofs, when you should get a roof inspection or consider repairing or even replacing your roof, and more…

How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?

how long does shingles last

A shingled roof can last for several decades, but typically asphalt shingle roofing systems (the most common type of shingled roof in most areas of the U.S. – they are installed on approximately 80% of new homes at the moment) last for around 15-25 years with proper care and maintenance.

That said, there are several types of shingles that could be an option for your home or property, depending on your location, budget, and preferred style.

The type of shingles and the material that they are made which make up your roof play the biggest role in how long it will last.

For instance, asphalt shingles don’t last as long as wooden or cedar shakes.

Asphalt shingles tend to only last for 20 years, while wooden shingles, cedar shingles, or wooden or cedar shakes tend to last for much longer depending on your region, climate, and other elements such as overhanging trees or landscaping that might pose a problem.

Fiber cement shingles and other composition shingles can last for around 20 to 30 years.

The type of shingle roof that you have will affect how long your roof lasts as well as when you need to consider replacing shingles or get other repairs done – or do them yourself, if you are fairly handy and comfortable climbing around on your roof.

There are a variety of guides online for performing roof repairs, so if you are comfortable with DIY you can often fix or apply new shingles to your roof on your own.

That said, always consult a roofing contractor or roofing company if you are unsure of what you need to do or are not comfortable with clambering around on your roof yourself.

Any kind of roof will have its lifespan shortened by major weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, or other storms, so even if your roof and home seem relatively or undamaged after such an occurrence, know that you should have the roof checked out right away to make sure there aren’t any small issues that could prove to be a major problem in the future.

How Long Does an Asphalt Roof Last?

asphalt roof

An asphalt shingle roof can last around 15 to 25 years, if properly maintained and barring any significant weather events or disasters.

However, you will probably want to have your roof checked out by professionals around the 15 year mark, especially if you have dealt with any kind of major weather issues.

Asphalt shingles are made from layers of organic material and cement fibers over a layer of black asphalt that heats up in the sun and forms a watertight layer that offers protection from UV rays and wind as well.

If you think your asphalt shingles might need to be repaired or replaced, look for major cracks, loose or missing granules, or shingles that are curled up at the edges.

A hailstorm, blizzard, tornado, or other catastrophic weather event can also shorten the lifetime of your roof and you may need a full replacement or roof repair.

3 tab asphalt shingle roofs – one of the most popular kinds in most temperate climates including the midwestern United States – are some of the more common asphalt roofing options, but there are some variations like architectural or dimensional shingles, which can last longer.

Keep in mind that if you have an asphalt shingle roof in places that get serious strong sunlight like southern California, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, or Arizona, then you’ll want to be aware that your roof might not last as long as it would in other areas like the Midwest or Northeast.

That is because homes with asphalt roofing that are in hotter areas might be more susceptible to thermal shock or heat related problems that cause cracks, which can lead to premature roof failure.

So if you have an asphalt shingle roof in a warm climate, you’ll want to have it inspected more often – and if you are thinking of buying an asphalt shingle roof in a hot climate, definitely get a signoff from a roofing professional first.

This advice to have your asphalt shingle roof assessed goes doubly so if you are thinking of selling your house any time soon, since the prospective buyers will want to know the state of or the overall health of your roof before they sign a home purchase contract.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of 3 Tab Shingles?

3 tab shingles are the most popular sort of shingles for sloped roofs, since they are comparably inexpensive, readily available in most areas, and can last for approximately 10 to 20 years.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering a 3 tab shingle roof is that they tend to perform better in more temperate climates such as the east coast and midwest, so if you live in or are buying property somewhere with very cold winters or that is incredibly prone to major storms or blizzards, you might want to look at alternative options.

How Long Do Architectural Shingles or Dimensional Shingles Last?

Architectural or dimensional asphalt shingles are thicker and more durable and therefore more suited to places with more extreme weather conditions.

That said, they are also more expensive but they do last between 15 to 25 years and can withstand wind uplift for up to 110 miles MPH, or even up to 130 MPH with specialized installation techniques and roof bracing.

What is the Average Lifespan of Premium Shingles?

Like architectural shingles or dimensional shingles, premium asphalt shingles can withstand around 110 MPH to 130 MPH of wind uplift depending on how they are installed.

The difference between the two types of shingles is that premium shingles are generally more luxurious in appearance and they are usually installed on high end homes.

Premium shingles last from 20 to 30 years on average.

How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?

how long does a metal roof last

Metal roofing can last for decades, which is one reason that it is popular in many areas.

how long do metal roofs last

In addition, the look of a copper or zinc roof can be aesthetically pleasing and add value to your home due to their appearance and longevity.

After all, what potential buyer wouldn’t be interested in a beautiful roof that can last for decades?

More importantly, a metal roof can last for 50 years or even longer if they are well cared for and no major disasters or other problems occur.

zinc roof

In fact, copper and zinc roofing can last for well over five decades and can be fully functional for 100 years or longer, which might make these types of metal roofing well worth the investment if they are the right style and fit for your home and your style preferences.

Metal roofs have become increasingly common due to their longevity as well as their energy efficiency, since they can often keep houses cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Standing seam roofing systems are the most common types of metal roofing systems that you’ll see in most residential neighborhoods, and they can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years to over 100 years depending on the material, construction techniques, and the location of the property itself.

Standing seam roofs can be crafted from a variety of materials including stainless steel, copper, titanium, and zinc.

Another benefit of standing seam roofs is that PV solar panels can be mounted on them directly without needing to do any extension construction work or even drill any holes in the roof.

Metal shingles are another option if you’re looking into installing a metal roof on your home, and they offer many of the same benefits but tend to cost around 25% less.

Another affordable option for metal roofing is ribbed metal panels, which offer many of the same benefits but work well on steeper or gabled roofs.

Ribbed metal roofing systems with exposed fasteners can last from 25 to 40 years, while those with concealed fasteners last a little longer at around 30 to 40 years.

Higher end metal roofing systems tend to be popular in northern areas of the U.S. that have to deal with a lot of snow and ice due to their resilience and ability to help snow and ice slide right off the roof.

One thing to keep in mind is that thicker tiles or standing seam roofing tend to last longer and perform better – but naturally they are more expensive.

How Long Does a Tin Roof Last?

A tin roof can last over 50 years barring any kind of disaster or emergency, like most other types of metal roofs.

In some locations, tin roofs are preferred due to their ability to withstand most weather events and they can last as long as most metal roofing systems, although they do lack the sheer longevity of copper and zinc roofing.

A tin roofing system might also be the best choice if you want the durability of a metal roof but don’t have the budget or inclination for zinc or copper.

How Long Do Fiber Cement Shingles Last?

fiber cement siding

Fiber cement shingles and other composition shingles can last for around 20 to 30 years.

The type of shingle roof that you have will affect how long your roof lasts as well as when you need to consider replacing shingles or get other repairs done – or do them yourself, if you are fairly handy and comfortable climbing around on your roof.

There are a variety of guides online for performing roof repairs, so if you are comfortable with DIY you can often fix or apply new shingles to your roof yourself.

Any kind of roof will have its lifespan shortened by major weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, or other storms, so even if your roof and home seem relatively or undamaged after such an occurrence, know that you should have the roof checked out right away to make sure there aren’t any small issues that could prove to be a major problem in the future.

How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?

how long does a slate roof last

Slate roofing not only looks elegant, but it can last for a significant amount of time – in some environments, slate roof tiles can last for over a century.

However, they don’t always last that long and if you have a slate roof, you need to keep up on the maintenance and replace any broken or damaged shingles as soon as possible.

Slate roofing is prized for its luxurious look as well as how long-lasting it is – a slate roof can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, and in fact there are slate roofs that have been standing for over a century.

They are a common feature on high homes and mansions as slate is often rather costly, but it may be worth it in the long run due to the value a slate roof can add to the property.

slate roof lifespan

Since slate is a natural stone with ideal tendencies for being cut into roofing tiles, it tends to be one of the more durable options that handle all kinds of weather conditions from wind to rain to snow to even hail.

One thing to note is that slate roofing is quite heavy as compared to the alternatives, so the underlying structure needs to be correctly built in order to support its weight; if you are replacing a different type of roof with slate tiles, you may need to enhance or build up the bracing and rafters in order to hold up the slate.

Another consideration is that while slate roofing can withstand a high amount of wind uplift, if the tiles fly off during a storm they are especially dangerous due to their weight and sharp edges.

What is the Average Lifetime of Composite Shingles?

Composite shingles or tiles are tiles made of a mix of fiberglass, recycled paper products, and asphalt and they are designed to mimic the look of slate or cedar roofing.

They are similar in pricing to standing seam roofs, are rated for up 110 MPH in wind uplift, and they can last for approximately 30 to 50 years.

How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last?

how long does a cedar shake roof last

Cedar roofing is a popular choice due to its elegant appearance and weathered look that tends to get better with age – and the fact that it is rot-resistant and insect-resistant. Cedar shakes or cedar shingle roofs can last for several decades or even longer with regular care. Cedar shakes or cedar shingles can last for around 30 to 40 years depending on the climate, the presence of any overhanging trees or other vegetation that may cause problems, and the level of maintenance that you or your roofing contractors perform.

cedar shake roof life expectancy

Cedar shakes or cedar shingles can last from 20 to 40 years with proper care and maintenance, and they can withstand wind uplift of up to 110 MPH.

When you start seeing cedar shingles or shakes cracking or peeling, then you know it is time to look into repairing or replacing your roof.

Cedar shakes, shingles, and other types of wood roof require regular upkeep to stay in good shape.

An annual roof inspection – think of it as a yearly physical for your roof – is necessary to check out its condition, replace any split or peeling shingles, and check for leaks.

Treating the wood with a preservative that can penetrate the wood every five years can help prolong the life and beauty of your cedar roofing.

Ask the contractors who have built or inspected your cedar roofing if you need to treat your cedar roof and set up a regular maintenance schedule if you want to ensure that your cedar shingles or shakes last as long as possible.

How Long Does a Tile Roof Last?

how long does a tile roof last in florida

Tile roofing systems can last for years if properly cared for, and they tend to be popular in warmer and wetter climates due to their heating and cooling efficiency and water resistance.

A tile roof’s lifetime largely depends on the type of tile roofing material that you choose and any regional weather factors that may apply.

tile roof life expectancy

A tile roof will have a longer or shorter lifespan based on the climate it is located in; for instance, a tile roof in Florida is going to require a different type of maintenance than a tile roof in Illinois.

Furthermore, a tile roof might last longer than a shingled roof in Florida, for example, because tile roofing can better withstand the heat and humidity and possible hurricane or tropical damage that can occur in that state.

On the other hand, a tile roof in Illinois can still last for several decades, since the climate is much more temperate and the roof is less likely to be subject to thermal shock, hurricanes, or other weather events that can cause serious damage.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Stone Coated Roofing Tiles?

One popular option for tile roofing is stone coated steel tiles, which are lightweight but also strong enough to withstand wind uplifts of 110 MPH to 150 MPH, making them an excellent option for hurricane prone areas like Florida, the Carolinas, and the Gulf Coast.

Note that these tiles can be prone to rust, so if there is any discoloration, chipping, or peeling paint or excessive leaks that don’t respond to basic repairs you may need to replace your stone coated steel tile roof.

How What is the Life Expectancy of Stone Coated Roofing Tiles?

Concrete tiles or clay tiles are another favorable roofing option, especially for higher end or luxury homes.

Clay tile roofs can last for 50 to 100 years and the more affordable concrete tile roofs can last for around 40 to 75 years, but keep in mind that they are heavier than other types of roofing systems so the underlying structure will need to be able to properly support them.

One thing to be aware of if you are considering installing clay or concrete roofing is that both clay tiles and concrete tiles can break off and become hazardous during a windstorm or tornado.

Clay tiles are particularly popular in the southwestern U.S. – especially in that distinctive terra cotta shade – due to their ability to keep things cool in hot desert weather.

How Long Does a Roof Membrane Last?

If your home or property has a flat or low-sloped roof, some of the other types of roofing systems that we’ve covered won’t be suitable.

For these sorts of properties, a roofing membrane like EPDM is a common choice due to its low cost.

However, it only lasts for 5 to 15 years and is prone to leakage due to its taped or glued seams.

PVC and TPO roof membranes are more costly but also more durable roofing membrane options.

These are single ply roofing membranes with hot welded air seams that allow them to last nearly twice as long as EPDM rubber – but of course these types of membrane roofs are more expensive to install or purchase.

Keep in mind that if your property is situated in an area where hurricanes are likely, then you will want to invest in a fully-adhered membrane roofing system as opposed to a mechanically attached single ply membrane roof since those will be more likely to withstand the winds and water from a hurricane.

How Long Does a Thatched Roof Last?

how long does a thatched roof last

If you live in a house with a thatched roof, then you probably already know that they need to be built properly by professionals who have specific experience with thatched roofing.

That said, the core or main structure of a thatched roof can last for several decades – up to 40 to 50 years depending on your climate – but the roof ridge will need to be replaced every 8 to 10 years.

thatched roof

Thatched roofs are often built by craftsmen who have built these types of roofing for years, so they understand the details and can give you an estimate of how long your roof will last, as well as providing you with regular maintenance and inspections.

Understanding the Structure of Your Roof

replacing shingles

No matter what type of roofing material you choose to install or that already exists on your property, you should learn about the way that it is built – it will help you understand how long it can last, how roof inspections work, when and how your roof might need to be repaired, and even what kind of roof you should get if you are building a new house or replacing an existing roof.

A roof is built based on the deck, or the underlying surface that supports everything else.

This base layer also includes an ice and water barrier and a drip edge, which helps water fall off the eaves and away from the roof and the rest of the house.

It is essential that the deck be clean and dry before the rest of the layers are put into place – and that the old shingles or roofing material is completely removed before the new layers are applied, since adding new product on top of the old can lead to a variety of long term problems that will shorten the life of the roof.

And then there is the underlayment, which helps keep the deck dry and adds another barrier against extreme weather conditions.

This layer also includes the ventilation and the flashing – the ventilation helps air circulate and the flashing is what keeps things watertight around the chimney, skylight, dormers, or other features.

how long does a 30 year roof really last

Making an investment in a high end watertight underlayer is always a good idea, especially in wet and cold climates like the northeastern U.S. and the northern Midwest that have long freezing winters.

Badly constructed ventilation can cause roofs to fall apart from the inside out.

The right type of ventilation is equally as important as a quality underlayment when it comes to the durability and overall life expectancy of your roof.

This is because a well-vented attic space allows for air flow that helps to prevent things from getting too moist (and therefore prone to rot) and snow and ice from damming the roof in the winter.

Ridge vents, eave vents, and power vents may all be necessary depending on the style, shape, and features of your roof.

Other elements of building a roof to take into account are the types of nails and fasteners used, since there are different types that are appropriate for different situations and materials.

Your roofing contractor will know what types to use depending on the materials used and structure of the building.

The final part of the process is the most visible one – that is when the shingles, tiles, metal sheeting, or membranes are applied on top of everything to give you the final layer and aesthetic that you were looking for in your completed roof.

The Construction Of a Long Lasting Roof

how to tell if you need a new roof

All of these elements work together to result in a (ideally) long lasting roof.

When you are choosing a roofing company or contractor to replace your roof or install one on a new house, understand that the choice of various types of shingles, tiles, metal, or any other roofing material is only one aspect of crafting a roof with a long lifespan.

On the contrary, the shingles work with the flashing, underlayment, deck, and ventilation to help prolong the lifetime of your roof.

You should know that most roofing warranties include standards for installation and the types of underlayment, ventilation materials, and more that have to be used – and all of this contributes to lengthening the lifespan of the roofing system.

Replacing Shingles On Your Roof

Replacing a few roof shingles is much easier than replacing your entire roof, naturally.

And sometimes replacing the shingles on your roof is something that you can do yourself if you are comfortable with climbing up on top of your home and have good DIY skills, but we do tend to suggest that you have your roof examined by a professional every few years.

After all, how long does a 30 year roof or any type of shingle roof last in reality?

We can offer you an idea but there’s nothing like real world expertise and having your roof inspected by a contractor or company who is familiar with your particular type of roofing material, your location, and any other quirks that may need to be taken into account.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Roof When It’s Called For?

There are a lot of problems that can occur if you don’t replace your roof when it needs to be done, or even if you don’t keep up with regular roof maintenance.

In the best case scenario, there will be water damage to your home and property if the roof leaks; worst case, the entire roof collapses and destroys your belongings and may even put you and your family in danger.

The Average Lifespan Of A Roof

So how long do roofs last in general and how long will your roof last?

As we’ve covered in this article, the length of time that your roof will last depends on the materials used, the quality of the installation, and any major natural disasters, catastrophes, or accidents that may have occurred during the lifetime of the roof.

You can make your roof last longer by getting regular inspections and performing proper maintenance (or getting repairs done by an experienced roofing contractor), but if you have roof leaks that cannot be easily repaired, lots of broken, curled, torn, or missing shingles, or other serious damage, it may be time to get your roof replaced.

How Do You Know If You Need A New Roof?

new roof

At the end of the day, how long does a roof last? No matter what kind of material your roof is made from, the amount that it will last depends on a wide range of factors such as the type of roofing materials used, whether or not it was installed over other layers of roofing material as well as how it was originally built and installed in general, and the climate and region that your home or other property is located in.

Knowing when you need a new roof is an important part of being a homeowner, no matter what kind of roof you have. While various types of roofs have different lifespans, an asphalt or wood shingle roof, a slate roof, a metal roof, a tin roof, a tile roof, a composite roof, thatched roof, or any other kind of roof all need regular inspections and maintenance.

The Value Of A Long Lasting Roof

how long does a roof last in illinois

Another reason to consider replacing your roof is the value that it adds to your house if you are planning on selling it in the near future and your roof is nearing 15 to 20 years old, depending on the type of material used, the quality of the build, and any damage that may have occurred.

Getting a roof inspection, fixing any problems before they start, and potentially replacing your roof can make a significant difference in the selling price.

In fact, a house with a new roof sells for an average of $12,000 more than a house with an older roof, which means that you may recover the costs of the roof replacement when you sell.

Regardless of whether or not you are planning on selling your property any time soon, the condition and the longevity of the roof over your head is of utmost importance.

While the length of time that your particular roof lasts depends on the type of materials used, the installation techniques involved, and any damage that may need to be fixed during its lifespan, all the aforementioned guidelines can help you determine when to replace your roof as well as to understand the potential lifetime value of your investment in a new roof.

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