How Long Does a Roof Last?

How long can a roof last after it is installed? A roof can last anywhere from 15 to over 100 years, depending on the materials, quality of installation, and regular maintenance. Asphalt composite roofs, which occupy more than 80% of all roofs built, can last up to 35 years, while slate and tile roofs are brittle but have the potential to last the longest with reasonable care and fast repairs.

If you are considering installing a new roof or wondering how long your current roof might last, let’s take a closer look at the typical lifespans of each roofing material you might choose.

Worker lining up tile roof

How Long Does an Asphalt Roof Last?

20-35 Years

Most homes and many suburban businesses have asphalt composite roof shingles. An asphalt shingle has a flexible fiberglass core, asphalt protective layers, and UV-resistant granules. This multi-layer approach gives your roof durability and adaptability to all types of weather – including the wear and tear of high-powered sunshine.

Asphalt composite roofs used to last 15-20 years, but the techniques and materials used to make asphalt shingles have advanced, and recently installed asphalt roofs can last up to 30 or even 35 years at a stretch – especially with regular inspections and responsive maintenance during that time. This makes asphalt roofs durable, flexible, and nicely predictable.

Brown tile roof

How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?

20-100+ Years

Slate roof tiles are classic and highly desirable for more than just their beauty. While brittle, they are otherwise extremely durable. Slate tiles don’t curl in the wind and are waterproof when installed correctly. A well-maintained slate roof with regularly replaced tiles can last for over 100 years, and some historic buildings still have much of their original slate roofs.

However, a slate roof’s life can be cut to a fraction if unmaintained or if large tree branches are allowed to overhang the roof, which could then fall, damaging many tiles at once.

Light brown roof

How Long Does a Clay Tile Roof Last?

20-50+ Years

Clay tile is similar to slate but has a shorter natural lifespan for the entire roof. Clay tile roofs are beautiful and distinctive, with heavy tiles that can crack but are not as brittle as slate. Clay tiles repel heat well, which is why clay roofs are popular in southern climates, and good maintenance can cause your tile roof to last for 50 years or more. Like slate, some historic buildings still have much of their original clay roof tiles, but a tree branch could spell disaster.

How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?

15-50 Years

Metal roofs are efficient and durable if you choose the right thickness and design of metal roofing for your building. Metal roof lifespans are often comparable to asphalt composite, often replaced after 15-30 years. However, a thick grade of metal roof well-installed and properly maintained can last fifty years or more, like tile.

Meta roof

How Long Does a Wood Shingle Roof Last?

10-30+ Years

The last type of roof lifespan to examine is wood shake roofs. Wood shake or wood shingle are layered thin pieces of wood, often a water-resistant cedar, and are prevalent in cottage and Tudor-style homes, especially in the Northeast, where traditional New England building styles are still popular.

Wood shingle or shake roof can last a very long time if properly maintained and with regularly replaced shingles. Poorly maintained wood shingles will grow mildew and rot, needing to be replaced in 10 years. However, good care and regular application of new shingles can cause your wood roof to last longer than an asphalt roof of similar quality.

Contact the Professionals

Are you planning to install a roof on a new home or replace your current roof? Do you need a home inspection to tell you how close your roof is to its maximum lifespan?

Rock Solid Exteriors is available at your convenience for all your roofing needs.

Contact us today for a free estimate of your roof with a complimentary evaluation of its age and current replacement schedule.

 

Image Sources: Ratchat / JPC-PROD / MSPT / SKT Studio / Axtem / Shutterstock