How Long Does a Roof Last?

How Long Can You Expect Your Roof to Last?

When you’re buying a new home, it’s important to think about more than just the purchase price. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of upkeep and repairs over the years. One question that’s important to ask is, “How long does a roof last?” 

The answer will depend on a number of factors, including the type of roofing material, the quality of the installation, and the local climate. For example, a metal roof will usually last longer than an asphalt shingle roof, but it will also be more expensive to install. 

Similarly, a roof in a sunny climate is likely to deteriorate faster than one in a cooler climate. Ultimately, the best way to determine how long your roof will last is to consult with a qualified roofing contractor. They can inspect your property and give you an estimate of how many years you can expect your roof to last.

Alternatively, you may have been living at your property for many years and may wonder how long it will be before you have to budget for a roof replacement. 

In either of these situations, you may need to look at the different roofing materials, their cost, and life expectancy. 

So, how long does a roof last on a house, and what can you do to prolong its life?

Predicting a Roof’s Lifespan

The expected lifespan of a roof will depend on many factors, including the chosen materials, the standard of workmanship, and the prevailing weather conditions in your area. 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs are certainly the most popular across America and, according to one source, may be found on more than 80% of new homes. They are made from a mat of organic material or fiberglass covered with asphalt to give them a good degree of durability and protection against the prevailing weather.

If the shingles are made from organic materials like cellulose, they may last longer but be costlier to install. They tend to be more robust and feature a thicker asphalt coating than those made from fiberglass.

Asphalt shingle roof products can be broken down into different groups.

Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles

The most common are three-tab, which have been around for decades and represent the most affordable option. Here, the bottom edge of each shingle is cut into three separate tabs to create a distinctive appearance. You can buy these in a variety of color blends to complement the look of your home or match the surrounding neighborhood. 

Asphalt roofs may last for between 15 and 20 years in average conditions. Bear in mind that they can sometimes begin to crack if they are exposed to very high temperatures or dramatic temperature changes. Asphalt roofs are susceptible to roof leaks and will require repairs or replacement more often than other  types of roofing materials.

Three-tab shingles are also vulnerable to damage in particularly humid regions, such as Florida. Here, you may discover a buildup of algae or fungus, although some companies manufacture shingles for these situations, which may resist any infestation.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles (sometimes known as dimensional) feature a laminated design that can be more durable than the conventional three-tab. These shingles have also been around for some decades, and in this situation, two separate sheets are bonded together to provide more resistance. 

They may be more effective at dealing with water penetration from wind-driven rain and less likely to curl up or blow away during winter storms.

This type of asphalt shingle roofing has the “architectural” nickname due to its design, thickness, cut, and contour. Some people think they look similar to natural slate or cedar shakes but without the additional expense of those options. 

They also come in an array of colors to match any aesthetic. Architectural shingles may last between 20 and 30 years, but they are somewhat more costly than the three-tab counterpart.

Premium Shingles

Some companies produce luxury or premium shingles that are specifically designed to look like slate and are much bigger and thicker than either three-tab or architectural. As you may expect with the premium tab, they are going to be even more expensive than architectural shingles, although you can expect them to last for up to 40 years.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles typically feature cedar as it is resistant to insect infiltration or rot. They can withstand severe weather events and may therefore be a good choice if you live near the coast and may worry about tropical storms. 

Nevertheless, they require a degree of maintenance to avoid any growth of algae, potential pest damage, or discoloration. Sometimes, an individual shingle could split or warp, causing a leak and subsequent replacement.

Wood roof systems are relatively cheap to install and are especially well suited to period homes that may have steeply pitched roofs. With a good maintenance regimen, you may expect wood shingles to last for as long as 30 years.

Concrete Tiles

When it comes to roofing materials, concrete tiles are a wise investment. Not only do they have a lifespan that far exceeds most other options, but they are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

With concrete tiles, there is no need to worry about replacing your roof every 20 years or so. Instead, you can rest assured knowing that your roof will likely outlast your home. This not only saves you money in the long run, but it also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. 

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why concrete tiles are becoming the roofing material of choice for more and more homeowners.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are very popular for those who are looking for ultimate durability. A standing seam metal roof can last up to 70 years, but you’ll find a wide range of options where the life expectancy may be dictated by quality and price. 

The thicker the gauge of metal, the more durability you may expect, but you should certainly bear in mind the prevailing weather in your area. Also, think carefully if your home is beneath a solid canopy of trees, where falling branches could actually dent the roof. These roofs may also be vulnerable to hail damage, and in these situations, you may want to choose a thicker gauge.

Slate and Clay Roofing Tiles

At the top end of the spectrum, you will find a clay or slate roof. These have probably the longest life expectancy of all, typically 100 years and perhaps up to 200 years. The manufacturer may offer a lifetime warranty as these roofs can withstand the most extreme weather conditions. 

And, as they retain little to no moisture, they may require little to no maintenance. Nevertheless, this could be one of the costliest options, and as slate tile and clay tile roofs are very heavy, installation may take longer. Also, you need to ensure that your home’s frame can withstand the additional weight.

How to Look After Your Roof

When you install your new roof, you’ll want to ensure that it lasts. Get into the habit of inspecting it regularly and have an even closer look following any significant storms.

You should look for visible signs such as missing broken shingles or tiles, sagging, or curling. Clearly, if you have a leak indoors, you should call in the experts to conduct a full inspection. After the fall season, clear all your guttering to get rid of leaves, pests, or bird nests, and ensure that your downpipes are free of any obstructions. If you identify issues early on and make sure that you get the problem repaired, this will help you extend your new roof’s lifespan.

Looking for a Roofing Contractor

If you come across any issues with your roof or want further advice about a new installation, turn to the best roofing contractor in northeast Georgia, JET Contracting. JET believes in delivering quality products and top-notch service and has more than 20 years of roofing experience. Always remember that no job is too big or too small for JET Contracting, a locally owned company based in Athens.

The Best Way to Determine the Lifespan of Your Roof: A Consultation With a Contractor

For more tips on how to make your roof last longer or for a free quote, contact JET Contracting today. From roof replacements and repairs to gutter installation and exterior painting, our professionals at JET do it all! Reach out right away to learn more and get a free quote on your roofing project!

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