No one wants to be hit with unexpected repair costs, especially when it comes to something as vital as their roof. While you may be able to handle a few winter days without a functioning heater or temporarily manage a plumbing crisis by turning off the water, there is no good way to patch up a roof once it’s started to leak or collapse. Your best bet is to prevent roof failure before it happens.
So, how can you tell when your roof is in need of replacement? There is no clear-cut answer. Instead, you’ll have to take roofing material, maintenance history and signs of deterioration into account.
Lifespan by Roofing Material
Asphalt shingles, also called composite shingles, are overwhelmingly the most popular roofing material, with 80 percent of homeowners choosing them for their roofs. 1 This is primarily due to their affordability. An asphalt shingle roof lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 years, but potentially longer with a little periodic maintenance.2
Metal roofs come in many varieties, including aluminum, copper, steel, tin and zinc. In terms of longevity, they outperform shingle roofs, lasting anywhere from 40 to 70 years with proper care. They also tend to need less maintenance than other roof types. However, you will pay double or triple the price of standard roofing materials if you choose a metal roof.3
Most tile roofs last from 50 years to an entire lifetime.2 They stand up well against UV damage, insect infestation and rot, although they are fragile and don’t hold up well to foot traffic or sharp impacts from hail or other debris. The deep orange-red hue of clay and terracotta is especially popular throughout the Southwest.
Slate roofs are a particularly timeless subset of tile roofs that can last upwards of 150 years if well maintained, putting them in a different class than most other roofing options. In addition to lasting nearly forever, slate roofs are totally fireproof. The downside? Slate costs anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 per square! 4
Wood roofs are somewhat uncommon but can add a historic or rustic look to your home. They are commonly made of cedar because it provides some protection against pests and rot and typically lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 years.2 Since wood is particularly susceptible to mold and fungi growth, especially when exposed to large amounts of water combined with poor ventilation, your roof will need regular upkeep. You may wish to schedule professional cleaning or wood preservation treatments every few years to maximize your roof’s lifespan.
Other Factors That Affect Roof Longevity
Choosing the right roofing material is only half the battle. Another crucial aspect of preserving the longevity of your roof is choosing the most trustworthy and experienced roofing professionals in your area to install it. Even a roof with the best material will fail if the installers are unfamiliar with the material or do a sloppy job of laying and securing the shingles.
You will also need to maintain your roof, just like you do with any other component of your house. This primarily entails scheduling regular roof maintenance with a professional every few years or so. These experts can inspect your roof for signs of damage you may have missed and make repairs. The second part is keeping your roof clean and free of debris. There are several steps you should be taking to ward off plant growth and rot:
- Keep gutters flowing – If water is standing still in your gutters or debris is crowding your roofline, your roof may start to absorb the backed-up water and rot.
- Sweep off sticks, leaves and branches – In general, do not let your roof get bogged down by detritus. It’s much simpler and more affordable to clear your roof of wood and leaves now than it is to repair a leak caused by a fungus down the line.
- Stop moss growth – Moss traps water against your roof and looks unsightly. If moss growth is a problem for your roof, you may want to consider applying a powder or liquid moss killer or installing a zinc sheet on the top of the roof to keep it at bay.
Signs That Your Roof Is Failing
Even if you’ve calculated when your roof needs replacing, you still want to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of roof damage. A strong storm or fallen tree branch can easily damage an otherwise sturdy roof, so don’t rely on your roof’s projected life expectancy alone when making the decision to replace.
Here are just a few signs your roof may need replacement:
- Missing shingles
- Shingles that are curling, buckling or otherwise misshapen
- Worn-looking shingles that are missing granules
- Cracks in the roof material
- Old or rusted flashing
- Daylight streaming into your attic from the roof
- Neighbors replacing their roofs
- Roof sagging
Get a Brand-New Roof From Allied Siding & Windows
At Allied Siding & Windows, we provide our customers with high-quality Duration® Shingles produced by Owens Corning™. These shingles combine the affordability of shingle roofs with the performance of longer-lasting roof materials. By choosing Duration Shingles, you get:
- Resistance to winds up to 130 miles per hour
- SureNail® Technology for strength and quicker application
- Reduced plant growth with StreakGuard™ Algae Resistance Protection
- A wide variety of TruDefinition® colors to choose from
- Coverage under the Preferred Protection Roofing System Limited Warranty
- And much more!
Allied Siding & Windows has been serving Texas for more than 30 years. If you’re looking for roof replacement, installation or repair, you can trust our specially trained contractors to get the job done right. Visit our site for your free estimate or call us at (713) 946-3697 today to get started!