How Often Do Roofs Need To Be Replaced?

In this article we will be talking about “How often do roofs need to be replaced?”.

Roofs bear the brunt of the elements, being the primary defense for your home against rain, hail, and anything else that might fall out of the sky. But how often does a roof need to be replaced? Well, the answer to this question will vary between different kinds of roofs and the materials that they use, along with environmental factors such as weather conditions and humidity. 

We’ve put together this article to break down the life expectancy of different roofs based on materials and shape, along with explaining some of the factors that might influence how often you should replace a roof. 

Tile Roofs

When it comes to roof tiles, you can generally expect to be using clay or concrete, but how often should roof tiles be replaced? There is in fact a clear difference in terms of durability between these two materials. While it is true that either of these styles of tile is unlikely to come with more than a 30-year warranty, each of them will commonly last much longer. 

In the case of clay tiles, it’s not uncommon for them to last on top of a roof for over 100 years on historic properties, with their replacement only being necessary once they start to crack and degrade. On the other hand, it’s unlikely to see concrete tiles survive longer than 50-60 years in a workable condition. 

However, today, most building regulations state that there must be a breathable felt underlay beneath a layer of tiles, generally made of asphalt. But how long does roofing felt last under tiles? Generally, this form of asphalt felt is known to last around 20-30 years, meaning that even if tiles are in decent condition, a replacement of the felt will likely be needed before they totally lose their value. 

Flat Roofs

When it comes to flat roofs, similarly to tiles, there are two primary materials used by roofing companies. A flat roof will either be made mostly of asphalt roofing felt, much like what sits under typical roof tiles, or it will be a GRP flat roof made from fiberglass. But how long should a flat roof last? 

Asphalt roofing felt can vary massively in terms of quality and longevity, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the materials they use. Because of this, it’s hard to say whether it will last for 2 years or 20, but a good indicator will be the cost, with more expensive felt naturally lasting longer in general. GRP flat roofs have grown in popularity massively in recent years, with a lasting power of 20 years covered by most installers/manufacturers, along with an expected 10 years extra. 

Flat roofs are uncommon in parts of the US with more intense weather conditions, as they can suffer more profoundly under the pressures of heavy rain and snowfall. 

Shingle Roofs 

When it comes to shingle roofs, most of them will use asphalt shingles with the quality of them varying mostly between manufacturers and the team that installs them. Another major factor that will affect the lasting quality of an asphalt shingle roof is whether dimensional architectural shingles or 3-tab shingles are used. 

While a 3-tab shingle roof can be considered more attractive, the fact of the matter is that architectural shingles are designed to last a lot longer. Architectural shingles are generally made with multiple layers of asphalt and granular material, along with being layered in a way that holds them more firmly in place. On the other hand, 3-tab shingles are thinner, lighter, and installed in a less supportive fashion. Some also argue that the style of architectural shingles means that rain and snow roll off more effectively. 

Because of the factors described, you can expect 3-tab shingles to withstand winds of only 60-70 mph and last only around 25 years at a push. Architectural shingles are known to often last upwards of 50 years, withstanding winds of up to 130mph in some cases. Along with this, architectural shingles are cheaper to install and much easier to maintain with a quick fix! 

Other Things to Consider

Along with the warranty guarantees that roofs generally come with, there are other things to think about. If your roof starts to leak, let in the cold, or allow sunlight through, that warranty isn’t going to mean much. Make sure to keep an eye out for telltale signs of degradation, such as cracked tiles, sagging ceilings, curling shingles, mold/rot, or simply missing sections. 

It’s also worth considering the environmental factors of your home’s setting, with more intense weather conditions undoubtedly likely to affect the lasting power of your roof. Knowing how often to replace a roof, in general, might not mean the exact same thing in an area with particularly high levels of wind, rain, or snowfall, as well as things like temperature and humidity.

Where to Go

So how often do roofs need to be replaced? There’s no definitive answer, but the main thing is to keep track of time and pay close attention to the condition your roof is in. 

If you’re in need of shingle roof replacement in the greater San Antonio or Austin area, why not consider Agave Roofing? We’re specialists on all things shingle roofs, using only Owen’s Corning premium shingles to complete our work and approaching every job with the same level of expertise and care. Check out our website for more details on our rates and services.

Request Free Roofing Estimate