How Long Does a Residential Roof Last?
No matter how good you roof is, it won’t last forever. Eventually, every roof will need to be replaced.
There are several signs you might need a new roof—from damaged or missing shingles to mysterious stains on your ceiling—but knowing how long your roof should last ahead of time will give you an opportunity to save for the expense and to catch problems before they get worse.
Roofs generally have a lifespan of 20 to 50 years. However, depending on the materials the roof is made of, the environmental conditions it undergoes, how well you maintain it, and how well it was installed in the first place all affect the life expectancy of your residential roof.
Type of Roof
The type and durability of the materials you used on your roof have a significant impact on how long your roof will last.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of roof materials in the United States and are expected to last between 15 and 30 years. Cheaper asphalt shingles fall on the shorter side, with a lifespan of closer to 15 years, and architectural asphalt shingles can last around 25 or 30 years.
Wood Shakes and Shingles
The life expectancy of wood shakes and shingles depends on the type of wood used, but these types of roofs can last up to 30 or 40 years. Keep in mind that wood roofs require regular maintenance to prolong their lifespan.
Clay tiles are a highly durable option for residential roofs, with the added bonus of naturally repelling heat to help keep energy costs low. These tiles have an average life expectancy of anywhere from 50 to 100 years.
Like clay tiles, concrete tiles are strong and have similarly long lifespans of 40 to 75 years. Concrete roofs also tend to cost less than clay roofs.
Slate tiles are popular thanks to their aesthetically pleasing look, their durability, and their average lifespan of 50 to 100 years. However, slate roofs are often a pricier option compared to other roofing materials.
Metal roofs have varying lifespans according to the type of material used as well as the thickness of the tiles. For example, cheaper metal roofs made from ribbed panels have an average lifespan of 20 to 40 years, while premium materials such as copper or zinc can last more than 50 years or even close to 100 years.
While the ridges of thatched roofs need to be replaced every decade or so, the life expectancy of the roofs themselves vary widely—from less than 15 years to more than 50 years—based on the thatching material.
If your home is in an area where extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornados, intense heatwaves, snowstorms, or high winds occur, your roof is more likely to experience damage and therefore will need to be repaired or replaced more often. To help mitigate the effects of environmental conditions, you can choose materials made to meet your specific climate concerns.
Additionally, factors unique to the environment of your property can impact the lifespan of your roof. For example, if you have trees near your roof, make sure their branches are not rubbing against it, which can cause the shingles to break or fall.
Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of your residential roof. Annual roof inspections will ensure you catch any issues with your roof before they develop into larger problems that then require the whole roof to be replaced.
Quality of Installation
How well your roof was installed in the first place can make a decade of difference. A roof put in by experienced roofing professionals will be properly ventilated and correctly installed, which means it will last longer than a roof built by an amateur.
Before choosing a roofing contractor, check their qualifications, licenses, and customer testimonials to make sure they have experience in installing residential roofs in your area.
Contact Champion Roofing for Your Commercial and Residential Roofing Needs
Champion Roofing is a recognized leader in the Chicago roofing industry. Our professional roofing contractors offer a range of services, including roof inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement—all featuring the high-quality work that comes from 30 years of experience serving residents in the Chicago area.
Our roofing team is here to guide you through every step of your project. Whether you need to have an inspection, repair damaged shingles, or replace your roof entirely, we’re ready to help.
Contact us today to get a free quote. Your roof is worth the investment.