How Long Should Roof Last?

Structurally and functionally, your roof is one of the most important components of your home.  Not only does it provide support to the entire structure, but it also provides shelter from the elements – the main purpose of a home.  So, it should be no surprise that it is very important to maintain your roof.  Obviously, not all roofs are equal, and there are myriad materials that go into the construction of roofs.  As to the question, “how long should a roof last?” the answer depends on a number of factors including material, climate, and maintenance.  Nevertheless, let’s take a quick glance at longevity expectations for the major types of roofing materials.

Asphalt Roofs

The most common roofing material in North America, asphalt roofs are popular because they are both durable and affordable.  Considerably less expensive than roofing materials such as metal or wood, some homeowners are surprised to learn that these types of roof offer an impressive life span.  Indeed, when keeping the cost of your roof in mind, asphalt stacks up well against the competition offering 15 to 20 years of durability.  Moreover, asphalt roofs are relatively easy to maintain and repair, so even if minor problems come up they can be fixed without a significant impact on your budget.  In order to maintain your asphalt roof and lengthen its lifespan, roofing professionals recommend regular inspections, repair, and cleaning.  You may even get 30 or 40 years out of a properly cared-for asphalt roof.

Metal Roofs

Many modern homes feature metal roofs because they are strong and durable.  Over the past several decades, metal roofs have become among the soundest on the market and are becoming a popular choice because they are also low maintenance.  Single and panel metal roofs are common choices featuring a warranty that ranges between 20 and 40 years.  In fact, metal roofs have been known to last even longer, especially if proper installation practices are followed.  As such, it is very important to work with a professional roofer with experience installing metal roofs; and though the cost may seem excessive, their longevity makes them an affordable option as they can last a lifetime (or more)!

Wood or Shake and Shingle Roofs

Wood shingle or shake roofs are a beautiful roofing option, but the upkeep on these roofs can be a concern for the average homeowner.  Wood roofs are attractive and offer excellent insulation, but they require regular upkeep since moisture can significantly impact the longevity of wooden roofs.  Even the most rot- and insect-resistant roofs (such as cedar) are not immune to the effects of nature.  As such, you need to ensure to keep your roof clean and well ventilated.  Leaves, dirt, and debris must be removed to prevent damage from moisture, rot, and insects.  Still, a well-maintained wooden roof can last up to 20 or 30 years.