4 min read

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

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Roof replacements are an expensive, time consuming, major construction project that unfolds right on top of your home, potentially disrupting your daily life.

It can be a pretty intense project, but thankfully, you don’t have to get them very often, especially if your roof is installed the right way.

Depending on what kind of roofing material you have, and the quality of the install, you may only have to get a roof replaced once every 30 years or so.

Some materials, like three-tab asphalt shingles, will last from 15-20 years if installed correctly, while architectural asphalt shingles typically have a 25-30 year lifespan, and heavier duty roofs made with standing seam metal can make it closer to 50 years in good conditions.

In this blog we’re going to talk about:

Let’s get started!

How Often Does a Roof Need to be Replaced?

The frequency with which you’ll need a roof replacement depends heavily on what material you have on your roof, and the quality of the roof installation. We’ll talk about the materials more in just a second, but across the board, if your roof is improperly installed, you can expect it to need repairs, and a replacement, far sooner than it would with a quality installation job. Faulty installations can lead to leaks, which will damage your roof decking, and weaken the entire structure of your roof. It’s something you’ll want to get right the first time, and not have to fix later.

Now let’s talk about how long the individual materials on your roof last.

If you have an asphalt shingle roof that was installed properly, you should be able to get by without a replacement for 15-30 years, depending on the type of shingle you have.

3-Tab shingles are on the lowest end of the asphalt price spectrum, and are in the same place in the lifespan category. Typically, they’ll stick around for about 15-20 years in good conditions before they start to wear out.

Architectural shingle roof

 

 

Architectural shingles are usually somewhat more expensive than 3-Tab shingles, but can last almost twice as long. This is due to a two-ply design that reinforces the shingle, and extends its life span out to 25-30 years in good conditions.

 

Luxury shingles are the third type of asphalt shingle, and are by far the most expensive. The benefit of splashing out for one of these product lines is primarily for the flexibility of their design, and the way they can better simulate the look of a slate, ceramic, or wooden roof. All materials that are even more expensive. From what we’ve seen, luxury shingles tend to end up getting around 30 years of life.

Metal roofs are the second most common roof that we tend to see, so we’ll talk a bit about them as well. The main two types of metal roofs are standing seam, and screw-down panel. If you spring for a standing seam metal roof, they can get you around 50 solid years of protection before issues start occurring, making it one of the longest lasting roofing materials on the market. However, if you have a screw-down roof, it won’t get you anywhere close to that lifespan, especially if it’s put over a heated space.

metal roof on barn_WebPWhen you heat up metal, it expands, and then contracts as it cools, causing some movement. That means that the way it is fastened to the roof must be flexible and move with the metal. This is why screw-down panels develop problems when put on a home. Since they are screwed into the roof, they are rigid, and as the metal moves, the screw holes will widen, and open the way for leaks to appear. The time it takes for this to happen will depend on the climate that you live in, but to be safe, it’s best to stay away from putting a screw-down roof on a home.

How often should a roof be repaired?

It’s a much more difficult job to estimate the time between roof repairs, as they really depend on a huge variety of factors. The ones we talked about earlier being workmanship, and roofing material, as well as how often your home is exposed to strong storms, wind, and hail.

Roof Repair_WebP

 

Typically, the shorter the overall lifespan a roof is advertised to have, the more likely it is to sustain some kind of damage from storms that will need to be repaired. One exception to that would be the jump between architectural and luxury shingles.

Both have about the same overall lifespan when it comes to granule loss and overall wear, but luxury shingles are thicker, and heavier. This makes them a bit more resistant to storm damage, as they can’t be punctured as easily, and are capable of standing up to stronger winds than architectural shingles.

 

Standing seam metal roofs also have the reputation of holding strong for the entirety of their life, and should live up to that claim, assuming you have an experienced company handling the installation.

What are some signs you need a roof replacement?

Old worn shingles_WebP

Now that you have a better idea of how long your roof should be lasting, how do you know it’s time to get a replacement? There are a couple of major indicators of your roofs age that you can look for on your own home to know that it may be time.

If you have asphalt shingles that are starting to curl, and get continuously blown off during strong winds, that’s usually a strong sign that you should be getting them replaced soon. The same goes for shingles that show a lot of granule loss. Granules are the top layer of the asphalt shingle, and they run off over time as the shingles continue to wear. Once most of them are gone, however, your roof may be telling you that it’s reaching the end of its life.

To learn more ways of telling if your roof needs a repair, or a replacement, check out our blog on that topic!

On Tops Roofing has been repairing and replacing roofs in the Raleigh, North Carolina area for over 30 years! Whatever your roofing project would throw at us, we’ve got the experience to help!

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