How Long Should Your Roof Last?

One of the most important questions you should be asking is how long it should last when it comes to your roof. After all, if you don’t replace your roof when you need to, you could end up with a lot of additional expenses on top of the cost of the new roof.

Of course, as you would expect, the lifespan of your roof depends on what it’s made of, the conditions where you reside, and the quality of the install. In this article, we’ll take a look at the various types of roofs and the average lifespan of each. Finally, we’ll explain how you can determine whether it’s time to replace your roof.

How Often Should a Roof be Replaced?

The bad news is that, yes, your roof will wear out over time. The good news is this isn’t an expense you’ll have to worry about very often. In general, roofs have a decent lifespan. Of course, unless you built your home, the chances are that the roof on your home may have already been there for some time. 

The life expectancy of your roof varies based on the material it is made from. Below, we’ll explain what you need to know about each type of roofing material.

Asphalt Shingles

The first type of roofing material we will look at is asphalt shingles.

How Long will Asphalt Shingles Last?

In the United States, the most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. In general, you can expect this type of roof to have a life expectancy between 15 to 25 years. However, keep in mind that there are different types of asphalt shingles.

The cheapest asphalt shingles, ideal for those on a budget, typically last 15 to 20 years.

The mid-grade architectural/dimensional shingles are more durable and can last up to approximately 25 years. These shingles can withstand more weather conditions.

Finally, the premium shingles can potentially last up to 30 years and can tolerate the most wind.

Wood Shakes/Shingles

The next type of roofing material we will look at is wood shakes/shingles.

How Long will Wood Shakes/Shingles Last?

Depending upon the type of wood used, wood shakes/shingles can last an average of 30 to 40 years. Typically, cedar is used because it’s resistant to insects and rot. Of course, you need to perform regular maintenance on a wood roof, including cleaning and staining, to achieve the best lifespan.

Clay/Concrete Roof Tiles

Now, we will look at clay/concrete roof tiles.

How Long will Clay/Concrete Roof Tiles Last?

Both clay and concrete roof tiles are highly durable compared to asphalt shingles or wood shakes/shingles. On average, clay roof tiles have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years. On the other hand, concrete tiles (more budget-friendly) have an average life expectancy of 40 to 75 years.

Slate Roof Tiles

The fourth type of roofing material we’ll look at is slate roof tiles.

How Long will Slate Roof Tiles Last?

Slate tiles are also highly durable, with a reasonably long life expectancy. You can expect your slate tiles to last 50 to 100 years.

Metal Roof

The fifth type of roofing material we’ll look at is metal.

How Long Will a Metal Roof Last?

The average life expectancy of a metal roof varies based on the type of metal it is made of. Metal made of copper or zinc and some other premium metals could last 50 to 100 years. While this is an expensive investment, it will pay off over the years because you may never need to replace it during your lifetime.

The more budget-friendly version of a metal roof is made of ribbed panels. This type of metal roof should last 25 to 40 years. On the other hand, a standing seam metal roof should last approximately 50 years.

Another option for metal roofing is a stone-coated metal tile. These are popular in areas where hurricanes are likely and can last for about 30 to 50 years.

How to Tell if My Roof Needs Replacing

If you experience a catastrophic event such as a tornado, house fire, or hurricane, you will need to replace your roof. However, there are times that your roof will need to be replaced even without something like this.

  • If you have an asphalt shingle roof, signs that you need to replace it include loss of granules, which you may see collecting in gutters, and shingles that are curling, buckled, or cracked.
  • A roof made of wood shakes/shingles may show damage such as splitting and rotting- or may even have mold/algae growing on them.
  • A clay tile roof may have cracks or chips on the tiles. Additionally, you may see leaks in your attic.
  • A slate roof may have missing or cracked shingles. Additionally, you may notice leaks or water damage in your attic.
  • A metal roof may show discoloration or rust, and perhaps even water damage and leaks in the attic.


Make sure that you take the time to inspect your roof regularly and when you have questions or concerns, call a professional roofing company, such as A&J Reliable Inc., to help determine when it’s time to replace and what your best options are.