What your roof is constructed of, the climate where you live, and how properly it was placed in the first place will all affect its longevity, but we've got the information on all the different types and the variables that can shorten it. We'll also explain how to identify if it's time to replace it.
Roofs have a long lifespan in general. Of course, there's the possibility that your home's roof has been in place for a long time.
How Can I Tell If My Rooftop Is In Need Of Replacement?
Roofing will need to be replaced after a catastrophic incident such as a tornado, house fire, or hurricane, but even without such calamities, a roof will need to be replaced at some point. Cracked, buckling, or curling asphalt shingles are telltale signs that the roof needs to be replaced. It's also possible that they're losing granules, which you'll notice in gutters.
Wood shakes and shingles may break or rot, have damage, or mildew or algae growth. If your roof has clay tiles, keep an eye out for any that are broken or chipped. You can also notice leaks in the attic.
Look for missing shingles and cracks in a slate roof, as well as water stains in the attic. If you have a metal roof, problems may appear in the attic, or you may see discoloration or rust.
Look for raised netting and evident fixings on the ridge, as well as ridges and dips in the roof, as well as moss and lichen development. Regularly inspect your roof and consult an expert to determine whether repairs are sufficient or whether replacement is required.
What to Think About When Replacing a Roof
When choosing a roofing system or acquiring a new home, it's crucial to consider the roof's resistance to wind uplift, which is the pressure created by wind forces when air flows parallel to the roof's surface.
Whenever a gust of wind hits the side of a house or other structure, some of the air moves upwards across the roof, causing a pressure differential that can blow off or damage shingles or tiles, or even entire sections of the roof.
The amount of wind uplift a roofing system can withstand is measured in miles per hour and is used to assign a rating. If you reside in a highly windy location or one that is prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, you should choose a roof with a greater wind uplift rating to avoid wind damage.
Before changing your roof or acquiring a home, you should think about the age of the roof, the number of layers of shingles, and if the roof is adequately braced and ventilated.
A professional roof inspection can answer these and other questions, and you can visually inspect the roof for curling or buckling shingles, missing shingles, damaged shingles, damage to the flashing or seals around chimneys, skylights, or dormers, granules or debris in the gutters or around the ground near your home, and other signs of future problems.
A skilled roof inspector should also check the inside of the attic or top floor under the roof for any signs of daylight, which could indicate the need for roof leak repair.
If you're in the market for a new roof, you might hear roofing firms or contractors refer to specific types of roofs as "30-year roofs," "50-year roofs," or other terms. While many residential roofs are capable of lasting that long, there are several factors to consider.
Major disasters or weather occurrences, such as strong hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, can certainly shorten the life of your roof; but, frequent roof inspections, maintenance, and simple repairs can also help to extend the life of your roof.
How Long Do Different Roof Types Last?
A roof's lifespan is determined by its materials and construction, as well as the weather conditions in your area. Although many roofs live longer than 15 years, many can last 50 or more years, depending on the severity of the storm or the size of the fallen tree. Rooftop materials that are less expensive will, predictably, not survive as long as those that are more expensive, and the pricing is wide.
At the low end, shingles can cost as little as $70 per square (a "square" is 100 square feet in roofing parlance), while at the high end, shingles can cost as much as $1,500 per square, with shingles in the top price range potentially lasting longer than the house itself.
v Asphalt & Architectural Shingle Roof
Asphalt shingles, the most prevalent form of roofing material offered today, are used on more than 80 percent of new homes because they're inexpensive (averaging $70 to $150 per square foot) and come with up to a 25-year warranty. They give a permanent layer of protection against UV rays, wind, and rain, and are made up of a variety of substances such as organic materials and cement fibers. A layer of black asphalt on the bottom of the shingles becomes sticky in the hot sun and seals the roofing in place, forming a watertight seal.
While architectural shingles adhere to the roof in the same way as ordinary asphalt shingles do, they're up to three times thicker, resulting in a denser, more durable roof. Architectural shingles, which range in price from $250 to $400 per square foot, are more appealing than ordinary shingles, with homeowners able to select among styles that resemble even more expensive roofing materials like wood, slate, and tile. Manufacturer warranties vary, with some lasting up to 30 years.
v Wood Shingle Roof
Because it is rot- and insect-resistant, cedar is the chosen material for wood shingles (also known as "shakes"). Wood shingles complement any home, deteriorating to a mellow silvery gray over time, but they're especially well-suited to Tudor and cottage-style homes. It's not uncommon to encounter a few bent or split shingles because wood is a natural product. A wood shingle roof should be inspected at least once a year, and any split shingles should be replaced as soon as possible. A wood shingle roof costs $250 to $600 per square foot and comes with a 30-year warranty.
v Clay Tile Roof
Since clay tiles come in a variety of earthy colors, this roofing is best known for its bold terracotta tones, which are extremely popular in the southwest region of the United States. A clay tile roof will cost between $600 and $800 per square foot to install, but you won't be replacing it anytime soon. The low-maintenance, long-lasting tiles can easily last 50 years, and manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 30 years to a lifetime.
v Metal Roof
Metal roofing ranges in price and quality from roughly $115 per square for aluminum or steel standing-seam panels to $900 per square for stone-coated steel tiles and standing-seam copper panels. When it comes to metal roofing, thickness is also important; the thicker the gauge (lower the number), the more durable the roof.
Lighter metals (26 to 29 gauge) with a longevity of 20 to 25 years are available at the lower end of the price spectrum. High heavy metal roofs (22 to 24 gauge) is common in northern regions because of their ability to send snow falling off the roof, and it's robust enough to last for more than a half-century. Depending on the strength of the metal, manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 20 years to a lifetime.
v Slate Tile Roof
Slate, a natural metamorphic stone with a high-quality appearance, is ideal for cutting into uniform roofing tiles. Though a costly option, with prices ranging from $600 to $1,500 per square, a slate roof can withstand almost anything Mother Nature throws at it (except perhaps a powerful tornado) while retaining structural integrity and beauty.
Slate tile manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 50 years to a lifetime, and if a slate tile breaks, it is easily replaced. Aside from the cost, the most significant disadvantage of slate tile roofs is their weight. Because standard roof framing is insufficient to support these heavy tiles, the roof's rafters must be reinforced before they can be installed.
v Concrete Tile Roof
Concrete roofs are classified into two types: flat, with a slight curve (also known as low-profile), and with a large curve (also known as high-profile). They are popular because they can be styled and painted to look like other tile styles such as stone, slate, wood, and clay.
Concrete tile roofs may take the prize for versatility because they can not only be molded to look a certain way but can also be easily painted into various colors to suit your design taste and complement the overall aesthetic of your home. Concrete, which is made of water, sand, and cement, is perhaps as strong as they come if you're looking for something sturdy.
Regular home care is a crucial element of homeownership, and keeping your home's crowning feature, the roof, in good functioning order is a job that all homeowners must take on in order to protect their property's integrity.