As a homeowner, roof repairs are a necessary part of maintaining your property. One of those more significant repairs is your roof, and without understanding the warning signs, it can be confusing to know when it needs to be replaced. If you’re asking, “how often do you have to replace a roof,” you’ve come to the right place.
The average roof lifespan in the United States is between 20 and 25 years, but that depends heavily on where you live, the type of roofing materials you have, how it was installed, and if the roof has been maintained. The lifespan of asphalt shingles can vary from a tile roof. And slate roofs have a different lifespan than wood shingles.
How Often To Replace Your Roof By Roofing Types
Below is a list of common roofing materials and general recommendations of how often to replace them. These recommendations will likely vary depending on factors like existing damage, moisture, a leak or incoming water, etc., so we’ve included signs homeowners can look for when assessing if the roof may need to be replaced.
A roof that’s gone without attention for too long will likely require a replacement more quickly than a roof that has been appropriately maintained and gone without damage from weather, storms, and winds.
If you have a question about the quality of your roof, are noticing significant roof problems, and have a roof that has not been maintained for years, it may need to be replaced. But before we jump to that conclusion, we’ll walk through a few common materials for roofs and simple steps to assess your home.
Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Asphalt shingles (or composite shingles) typically last between 15 and 20 years if properly installed and maintained. You’ll know a shingle roof needs to be replaced when you start to see loose or missing shingles, missing shingle granules, or dark spots on the roof. Weather conditions and water damage play a big part in the life expectancy of a shingle roof.
Asphalt Shingle Warning Signs
Look for spots on your shingles that are dark or where granules might be missing. You may also notice holes or areas where the shingles have been torn off completely. These signs are an important indicator that your roof needs help soon.
If you have a tile roof, the chances are that you won’t need a complete roof replacement while you own the home. That is because tiles roofs and roof cement options typically last between 50 and 100 years. Instead of a roof replacement, often this roofing material can be repaired. For example, unlike roofing shingles that are typically removed all at one time, a cracked tile or two on tile roofs can be easily switched out. This extends the lifespan significantly. The exception is if damage has occurred underneath the roofing materials, such as a roof deck that is unstable or has been destroyed. These outside factors can require removing more than a few tiles and could signify that your roof needs to be replaced.
What To Watch Out For On Tile Roofs
Tile roofs need help when you start noticing cracks or holes where the tiles have slipped off. You may also see signs of rotting, and just like roof shingles, tiles can curl slightly. If you notice any of these indicators of a problem with tile roof types, it’s best to call a roofing company and assess the roof need – whether repair or replacement.
The lifespan of slate roofs is impressive and can often exceed 100 years. Keep in mind that there are multiple types of slate, and not all materials are this durable. But when compared with other options like composition shingles, the life of this roofing material is a lot more than alternatives.
Indicators of Damage On A Slate Roof
The best place to look for signs of trouble for slate roofs may be inside your home and attic. Use a flashlight in your attic to look for any sign of water damage or leaks. You can also step outside and search for any cracked tiles or areas that look like they may be showing signs of age.
Wood shingles require regular inspection and maintenance to achieve their possible lifespan of 20 to 30 years. This age may not be reached in a climate with high humidity, as the moisture can cause decay, damage, and the need for major repair and even early roof replacements. It’s helpful to talk with professional roofing contractors about this material and make routine repair and maintenance efforts.
How To Tell If You Should Replace Your Wood Shingles
Your roof needs help if you notice shingles that have sharp cracks. Minor cracking can be expected, but larger cracks are indicators that you may need a roof replacement. Curling is a similar indicator. While small changes in appearance are normal with wood material, when the edges are curling up, there is no question; it’s time for an inspection. The same is true if the edges are rotting.
Do You Have to Replace An Entire Roof?
If your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan, or you notice any of the problems described above, your roof may need to be replaced. But before you go down that road, it’s best to have a professional roof inspection from a quality roofing contractor.
Many roof concerns can be addressed without a full replacement if caught early and repaired in time. Regular roof inspections and maintenance are the best way to protect the roof of your home. No one wants to deal with big problems like major leaks or a roof collapse. Not only can it become dangerous for everyone living in your home, but it can also be more expensive for homeowners.
If you suspect that you have a roof – or section of your roof – that needs to be replaced, start looking for a roof inspector now before your home sustains more damage.
How Do I Find a Roofing Contractor In My Area?
If you have a roof that you’re pretty sure will need to be replaced, you’re likely wondering how to find the best contractor for your house. We recommend starting with an online search for a professional that works on roofs in your area. Not all roofing contractors are credible so take the time to read through reviews and verify the information you find. You may also wish to visit the National Roofing Contractors Association and search for a contractor that they recommend to replace a roof.
At CCI, we offer a free, no-obligation inspection for roofs and homes in our area. If you think you may need a roof repair or replacement, contact us to schedule your appointment with our team of expert contractors.