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How Often To Replace Your Roof?

Posted on : April 14, 2024

How Often To Replace Your Roof?

How often should a roof be replaced? This is the question we get asked often! A roof is supposed to last at least a decade or two, but its lifespan varies depending on the type of roof, the material used, and the amount of maintenance it receives. Determining when to replace your roof can prevent expensive repairs and keep your home safe and secure. 

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we use our experience in the roofing industry to answer your questions. Today, we will provide a detailed answer to the question: how often should you replace a roof? 

In this detailed guide, we’ll be discussing:

  • How Often To Replace a Roof Based on the Type of Roofing Material
  • Why Roofs Need To Be Replaced
  • Signs Your Roof Needs Replacement
  • Why are Regular Roof Inspections Important?
  • Factors That Affect a Roof’s Lifespan
  • Estimated Cost of a Roof Replacement

How Often To Replace a Roof Based on the Type of Roofing Material

A roof is a significant investment in your home. However, they do come with a finite life, which varies depending on the type of material you have installed. In this section, we’ll discuss how long different types of roofs last.

Asphalt Shingles

How Often To Replace a Roof

Asphalt shingles are among the most popular and cost-effective roofing materials used in residential construction. Depending on the shingles' quality, installation method, and weather conditions, they generally need to be replaced within 15 to 30 years. 

Type of Asphalt Shingle: 

  • 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles: 15-20 years
  • Architectural Asphalt Shingles: 25-30 years
  • Luxury Shingles: 40-50 years

Metal Roofs

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are some of the most enduring roofing materials. They can last for 40-70 years or more, depending on the metal chosen and the quality of the installation.

Type of Metal Used: 

  • Steel: 40-50 years
  • Aluminum: 50-60 years
  • Copper: 60-70+ years

Also Read: How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? Saving Money & Extending its Lifespan

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Clay or Concrete Tiles

If installed correctly by skilled professionals and maintained with regular upkeep, tile roofing systems can provide reliable protection for an extended period, lasting anywhere from 50 to an impressive 100 years or more. This remarkable durability, combined with their energy-efficient properties, makes clay and concrete tile roofs an excellent investment for homeowners. With proper care, these long-lasting roofs can withstand the test of time, offering decades of shelter and comfort.

Also Read: How Long Does A Tile Roof Last?

Wood Shingles or Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes offer a natural and vintage look, but they need more maintenance than other roofing materials. Wood shingles typically require replacement within 20-40 years, and that too depends on the type of wood used and the level of exposure to the elements.

Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofing membranes, made from synthetic ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) or modified rubbers, generally require replacements within 30-50 years when professionally installed. Their flexibility and heat-reflecting properties contribute to their longevity. However, punctures, poor seam sealing, or extended UV exposure can compromise these roofs over time, so routine maintenance is key.

Composition Shingles

Combining asphalt with materials like fiberglass or cellulose, composite shingles offer enhanced durability over traditional asphalt options. They can withstand 20-25 years of weathering with professional installation and maintenance. However, due to factors like harsh climates, poor attic ventilation, or manufacturing defects, they may require replacement before this estimation. Regular inspections help maximize their longevity.

Flat or Low-Slope Roof

Flat or low-slope roofs, commonly found on commercial buildings, generally have a shorter lifespan than pitched roofs due to their vulnerability to standing water and UV exposure. Depending on the roofing material used (such as EPDM, TPO, or modified bitumen), these systems require replacement within 10 to 30 years.

Why Roofs Need To Be Replaced

Even with proper maintenance, all roofs will eventually need to be replaced due to various factors:

Age

As mentioned earlier, each roofing material has a different lifespan, and over time, the materials will become less effective in protecting your home.

Weather Damage

Your roof is at the forefront of any harsh weather, and rough climatic conditions can result in damage, like leaks, missing shingles, or even structural damage.

Sun Exposure

The sun's UV rays can cause roofing materials to become brittle and deteriorate over time, especially in warmer climates.

Poor Installation or Ventilation 

Improper installation and poor ventilation in your roof’s attic can lead to premature roof failure.

Moisture and Leaks

Water infiltration due to leaks can cause rot, mold, and structural damage, compromising the integrity of your roof and potentially leading to costly repairs or replacement.

Signs Your Roof Needs to be Replaced

While the age and type of your roof can give you a general idea of when it might need to be replaced, there are some telltale signs that it's time for a new roof:

  • When shingles become brittle and break off, it's like the roof is shedding its protective barrier. Those broken or missing shingles leave vulnerable spots for water to seep in and cause damage.
  • When the granules on the shingles wear away and leave bare asphalt exposed, your roof has lost its rugged outer layer. That smooth asphalt can't withstand the harsh elements as well, leaving the shingles prone to cracking and deterioration.  
  • Nails hold the shingles, and if they work themselves free or begin to pop up, it's only a matter of time before the shingles blow off the roof.
  • When the shingles start curling up or under, leaving gaps, they allow water in. Curled shingles allow water to flow underneath and into areas like the attic. Those entry points for moisture can lead to further decay and interior damage.

All these points are based on the condition of a roof, not any specific timeframe. A roof’s lifespan depends on certain components such as environmental conditions, maintenance, installation quality, the materials used, and your attic’s insulation and ventilation. 

Why Are Regular Roof Inspections Important?

To ensure you catch any potential problems early and extend the lifespan of your roof, it's recommended to have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year. A roofing professional may evaluate the health of your roof, diagnose any issues, and make suggestions for repairs or a replacement.

Factors That Affect Roof Lifespan

In addition to the type of roofing material, several other factors can influence how long your roof lasts:

  1. Quality of Materials: Investing in high-quality roofing materials can significantly increase the lifespan of your roofing system. 
  1. Installation: Proper installation by experienced professionals is crucial for ensuring your roof's longevity and preventing premature failure. 
  1. Ventilation: Adequate attic ventilation assists in controlling temperature and moisture levels, thus decreasing the chance of roof damage.
  1. Maintenance: Regular cleaning, inspections, and minor repairs can help to identify and address potential issues before they lead to major problems.
  1. Climate: Extreme weather conditions, such as high heat, heavy rainfall, or frequent freeze-thaw cycles, can accelerate the deterioration of roofing materials.

Average Cost of a Roof Replacement 

While replacing your roof might be an expensive investment, it is critical for safeguarding your property and preserving its value. Roof replacement costs vary based on criteria such as roof size, roofing material, and installation complexity. A new roof can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000 or more for a residential property.

Understanding your roof's lifespan and identifying the indicators that it needs to be replaced allows you to plan and budget. Timely repairs, inspections, and maintenance can also help extend the life of your roof and postpone the need for a complete replacement.

Call Us For Roof Replacement Projects In Pittsburgh

If you see signs that your roof needs a replacement, we are here to help! With countless successful roof replacement projects, we take pride in our expertise. We have a dedicated team of roof replacement experts who will tackle your roofing project with a commitment to quality workmanship. For a free consultation and quote on contracting and roofing services in Pittsburgh, give us a call at (412) 353-5660.

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