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How Long Does a Roof Last?

Tags: roof shingles

a roof on a house that has lasted well over 20 yearsIf installed by an experienced professional, a new Roof can last upwards of 15 years or more. However, this is not always the case. The longevity of a roof is based on a number of factors, such as the type and the quality of the materials used. Damage left unfixed could potentially shorten the lifespan of a roof.

Life Expectancy vs. Roof Types

So, how long does a roof last? Start by researching your roof type and look for signs that could indicate that your roof needs to be replaced.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles have an average lifespan of about 20 years if well cared for. If you fail to properly maintain your roof, this lifespan can be drastically shortened to about 12 to 15 years. There are a number of signs that could signal the need for replacement of your asphalt shingle roof. First, look for shingle edges that are curled or tabs that appear cupped. In addition, cracked shingles and bald spots where the granules are missing are signs that a replacement may be needed.

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles, otherwise known as architectural shingles, are fairly thick which makes them more durable than standard three-tab shingles. On average, these shingles will last between 15 and 25 years. When determining whether or not your dimensional shingles need replacing, look for curling or buckling of the shingles, missing shingles, or the presence of shingle granules in the gutters.

Premium Shingles

Premium shingles are a major step up from standard asphalt shingles. On average, you can expect your premium-designed shingles to last up to 50 years. However, there are a number of factors that can influence the lifespan of your roof, such as the underlayment used, ventilation, and the quality of installation. Once your premium shingles near the end of their lifespan, they may begin to curl, crack, or develop bald spots.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

On average, a properly installed standing seam roof system can last upwards of 50 years. Metal roofs can encounter a number of problems over time, such as oil canning which causes the metal to give way, creating visible waves in the metal. Standing seam metal roofs can also succumb to leaks and corrosion. When these types of issues become frequent, you may find yourself in the market for a replacement.

Metal Shingles

a home that has a metal roof in Chantilly, VAMetal roofs, such as those made from steel or aluminum, have an average lifespan of about 50 years. More durable metals, such as zinc and copper, can last over 100 years if well maintained. If you believe that your metal roof is nearing the end of its life, look for certain signs, such as bowing or sagging, excessive rust, or buckling of the metal. Also look in your attic for wet spots or mold.

Ribbed Metal Panels

Corrugated roofing or ribbed metal panels can last up to three times as long as your typical asphalt shingles, giving them an expected lifespan of between 25 and 60 years. Signs that your roof needs replacement may include leakage, exposed fasteners, holes, or other signs of excessive wear.

Stone Coated Steel Tiles

If installed properly, stone coated steel tiles can last quite a long time. Their average lifespan ranges from 40 to 70 years. While steel roofing is virtually maintenance free, it can suffer damage over time. As it reaches the end of its expected lifespan, the tiles may start to rust, discolor, or corrode. In addition, the fasteners may begin to lift resulting in leaks.

Clay/Concrete Tiles

Roofs constructed of concrete can last up to 50 years, while clay tiles have been known to last over 100 years. It can sometimes be tricky to determine if a clay or concrete tile roof needs replacing as you cannot usually see a problem developing until it begins to cause visible damage to your home. One of the biggest problems you may encounter with a tiled roof is leaks, often caused by underlayment that is old and needs replacing.

Cedar Shingles

Cedar shake shingles have an average lifespan of about 50 years with proper maintenance. While cedar shingles provide homes with rugged beauty, they can develop problems over time, such as leaking, warping, cracking, and splitting. Pieces can also break off and go missing. When these problems affect a large portion of the roof or result in frequent repairs, you may want to consider replacing your roof.

Natural Slate

a home with a slate roof that is projected to last over 150 yearsNatural slate has a long lifespan of about 125 years on average, making it a great investment for homeowners who do not want to replace their roof again in their lifetime. Slate roofs that are already over a century old may start to develop issues, such as water damage that affects the exterior and interior of the roof or broken or missing pieces.

Composite Roofs

A standard composite roof will last about 20 years, although premium brands can last up to 50 years on average. Most composite roofs will show similar signs of aging as asphalt roofs, such as curling or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and discolored walls and ceilings. Holes can also develop in the roof which allow unwanted animals to make their way inside.

EPDM Rubber

You can expect an EPDM rubber roof to last about 50 years or longer. These roofs are nearly impervious to UV damage and radiation, but can succumb to other types of damage over time. Signs that you may need a roof replacement include rips in the EPDM membrane, ponding water on the roof, cracks in the TPO shingle coating, or signs that flashing has separated from the roof.

Contact a Professional Roof Replacement Contractor

If you have found damage to your shingles or suspect that damage has occurred due to the age of your roof, then swift repair or replacement is likely in your future. Avoiding these repairs can result in more substantial damage that will likely cost you more in the long-run. For more information about how long a roof lasts or to inquire about professional roof replacement services, contact Beyond Exteriors.

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How Long Does a Roof Last?


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