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How Long Can You Expect Your Roof to Last?

Repairing or replacing your roof can be a costly proposition at best, so it’s a good idea that as a homeowner, you know when you might need to replace your roof and how long the particular type of roof that you have lasts generally. Additionally, it is perhaps even more important to look at how various long types of roofing materials and how long do shingles last can matter if you are buying or building a new home to understand how long your investment can last.

Establishing the current state of the roof, how long your roof is going to last and what can be expected from the type of roofing materials used, the climate in your region, and the other idiosyncrasies of your property and the particular location is an important aspect to consider before you buy, even if you plan on staying in that home for a while.

Having a roof inspection conducted during the standard due diligence stage that occurs before you buy a property is fairly standard, and don’t hesitate to ask for concessions if the roof isn’t up to code or has problems that could prove to be costly in the future.

If you’ve purchased a home or built a home before, then you probably know that the roof might be one of the complicated and potentially expensive aspects of the purchase. You’ll want to know the age and condition of the roof that you’re putting over your and your family or employees, along with any concerns or special requirements for the type of material and style of roof on the property.

You’ll also want to understand the average lifespan of the type of roof you are buying or installing in your specific geographic area and its unique weather patterns. And perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to get the roof inspected before buying a new home, as well as having regular roof inspections performed to assess the current state of your roof.

For instance, asphalt shingle roofs tend to last around 20 to 25 years, while other types of roofing, like metal standing seam roofing, can last for 50 years or even longer, depending on your climate, type of property, and various other environmental factors including things like overhanging trees and the humidity percentage, amount of rainfall, or if you are prone to roof hail damage. Check out our roof replacement Melbourne services.

How to Know if You Need to Replace Your Roof

Your roof serves the essential role of protecting you and your family from the elements while keeping you warm, comfortable, and dry. Unfortunately, all of that punishment naturally means that your roof will likely need a replacement at some point in your home’s life. 

Roofs Need Replacement (1)

The Roof Noticeably Sags Anywhere

This is a clear sign that you should get your roof inspected, even if it is not yet leaking. Century Roof and Solar recommends immediate investigation because a sagging roof could signal that there’s a structural problem somewhere in the attic, or worse, your home’s foundation supports.

A sagging roof could just be a mistake in the application of right hand trigonometry when the workman framed out the roof or even natural settling of the structure that happens with wood frame homes. Sagging may or may not spell out imminent danger, but we feel that it is best for you to get to the underlying cause of the visible problem so you know the issues. Century has local engineers and architects that we can refer to if we think you have structural problems.

You are Missing Entire Shingles

Repairing or replacing roof sections that come loose is usually easy. But the new shingles will not necessarily match the color of the older, faded shingles. If you do not want your roof looking like a checkerboard, consider a roof replacement.

Often times, roofers will recommend to install additional layers of roofing over the existing. This practice leaves the top layer vulnerable to wind blow off due to poor attachment. When we see roofs that have full missing shingles, the first thing that we investigate is if there are more than one layer of shingles on the roof.

Your Roof Is 25 Years Old

The National Home Inspectors Association pegs the normal lifespan of a roof at somewhere between 20 to 30 years. If your roof is nearing the 25-year mark, you need an inspection to get a proper assessment about whether you should consider having a new roof replacement.

This is even if everything looks okay on the outside. Leaks can often times take years to bleed through to the interior sheetrock and alert you that there is a problem. More costly damage can already be done by that time, and additional money will need to spent on potential re-framing and or interior repair.

You Have Cracked Shingles

Cracked shingles are usually a sign that the roof is near the end of it’s useful life. Cracking shingles need to be repaired as the cracks can allow water to travel between the shingles. Sometimes, surface cracks can appear on newer asphalt shingle roofs.

It is wise to have us remove a couple of samples and send it to the manufacturer for further analysis before the warranty triggers down to no longer cover the labor for replacement. If you see cracks on your roof shingles, it is time to inspect the whole roofing system to get a true sense of its condition and cause.

The Roof is Covered with Algae and Moss

Old roofs collect debris that can provide a home for algae, mold and moss. The presence on lichen on a roof is a natural occurrence. Typically lichen is more prevalent on the roof areas that receive less sun, such as the east and north-facing sides.

Some roofs can safely have this lichen removed, some roof types would get damaged or discolored when removing lichen. We always recommend consulting with the material manufacture to determine if the roof can be safely cleaned.

Tile roofs can be safely power washed, but it is not advised to power wash an asphalt shingle roof. Keeping the roof clear helps to avoid the growth of lichen and it improves the water drainage across the surface of the roof. Also, some new roofing materials have anti-algae properties that keep away the green stuff and keep your roof looking good as new. The anti-algae feature built into modern day shingles is usually warranted from manufactures for the first 10 year life of the roof.

But eventually, like everything, Mother Nature takes its course. At least the anti-algae feature defers the possibility of any unsightly discoloration on your roof.

There are Granules in your Gutters

Granules are the stubbly material on asphalt shingles that protect the shingle’s asphalt core from the sun’s damaging rays. A new asphalt roof installation shedding some granules is normal, but if your roof is more than 10 years old, it’s a serious problem. Granules keep the sun’s rays away from your home; without it, shingle deterioration is accelerated.

You Can See Curling Shingles

Weathering issues with your roof shingles usually present themselves as curling, and there are two kinds. Curling in the middle of the shingle (called clawing), or on the edges (called cupping). The appearance of curling indicates that the shingles are close to developing leaks, due to water being able to run backwards up under the shingle, which could lead to bigger problems down the road.

Average Lifespan of a Roof

Obviously, the different types of roofs have different lifespans. So, we’ll start by listing our estimates of average roof life spans based on the roofing material used. Looking for a roof replacement? Check out Top Glaze for a wide range of roof services. 

Asphalt Shingles

Under normal circumstances, 3-tab asphalt shingle roofs should last 15-20 years before needing replacement. However, architectural asphalt shingle roofs are a bit more resilient to the elements due to their design. These may last up to 10 years longer than 3-tab asphalt shingle roofs.

Clay/Cement Tile Roofing

Clay/concrete tile roofing is one of the hardiest roofing options there is. Not only are the tiles very resilient, but they’re also heavy. This means they’re installed on top of extra-sturdy roofing reinforcement, which means even more protection for your home.

What Are The Signs You Need A Roof Replacement Or Roof Repair

For these reasons, tile roofing is extremely durable and will last from 50 to even 100 years.

Slate Roofing

Slate is by far the most durable roof you can buy. In most cases, it will last 100 years or longer.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles usually last 25-30 years. But they require maintenance, which affects their lifespan.

For example, if you don’t keep the roof clear of leaves and moss growth, they trap moisture against the roofing, encouraging decay. But, if you keep up on the necessary maintenance, you might get 50 or so years out of your wood shingle roof.

Wood roofing is also particularly susceptible to damage by fire. Thus, it is hazardous and illegal to install in certain locations as it can easily go up in flames.

Wood Shakes

Since wood shakes are thicker than shingles, they’re more resistant to factors like UV rays and harsh weather. These roofs should last for 35-40 years.

But, again, maintenance is a factor. How well you maintain a wood shake roof determines how long it lasts.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is another very resilient roofing choice. Common metal roofing materials, like steel and aluminium, should last 50 years before needing replacement. Other metal roofing, like zinc and copper, can last 100 years or more.

Other Factors That Affect Roof Lifespan

Besides what it’s made of, your roof’s lifespan is determined by factors like maintenance and weather, too. For example, certain weather may mould and/or crack wood shingles more easily. Even resilient metal roofs may suffer from sealant erosion over time.

Also, asphalt shingles are very light and may come to loose more often in locations that get high winds. Windy areas with many foliage can also knock trees or tree branches into the roof, causing damage.

Furthermore, if such damage isn’t dealt with soon enough, it rapidly gets worse. A small crack can let moisture in under the roofing material. There it expands and contracts with temperature changes, causing the crack to widen.

For this reason, annual roof inspections are essential for lengthening the life of your roof, no matter what it’s made of.

How Long Will Your Roof Last?

As a general rule, the 25 – 30 year benchmark works. If your roof is that old, it’s likely that it will need replacement soon enough. Some might even need a full roof replacement earlier. However, that figure doesn’t tell the full story. As we said above, there are many variables to consider. One important variable is the materials used on your roof – both the actual material and its quality. We have a wide range of Melbourne roof replacement services at Top Glaze.

Typically, the 25 – 30 year rule extends to roof with composite or asphalt shingles. These materials are very popular because they’re affordable and come in many different options. However, not everyone uses these materials for their roofs, So the timing for replacement can vary.

As you’ll see in the chart below, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors gives different life expectancy for chosen materials. Asphalt shingles, according to this chart, last for about 20 years before replacement. You also have to consider what manufacturer you use and the quality of the shingles. This is one of the many reasons we offer Certainteed Shingles to homeowners. Quality and advanced protection go a long way to save money.

Overall, there are many different answers to how often roofs need to be replaced. If you’re wondering about your roof, our best suggestion is to schedule a home inspection. That said, there are warning signs you need to be aware of.


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