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Have a 30-Year Old Roof? How Long a Roof Really Lasts

Are you wondering whether or not it’s time to replace your roof?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether or not it’s time to replace your roof. One good way to tell is by looking at how old the roof is. 

If your roof is 30 years old or older, it may be time to replace it. But, this isn’t necessarily the case. 

Check out this guide to discover how long a roof really lasts. 

How Long Does a Roof Last? 

To say a roof lasts for 30 years would be an inaccurate statement. This is because there are many factors that influence the longevity of your roof. 

One of the biggest factors that influences the lifespan of your roof is the material it’s made out of. Let’s take a look at how long each roofing material should last:

Asphalt Shingles 

Typically, asphalt shingles last between 15 to 30 years. 

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material sold today. The reason asphalt shingles are so popular is because of their affordability and variety in style. 

They also provide a durable layer of protection against rain, wind, and UV rays. While asphalt shingles last between 15 to 30 years, you can usually get a warranty for 25 years. 

Architectural Shingles 

Architectural shingles are a premium type of asphalt shingles. Typically, these shingles last between 25 to 30 years. 

Architectural shingles seal in the same way that regular asphalt shingles do. However, architectural shingles are three times as thick as asphalt shingles, making for a denser, more resilient roofing material. 

Architectural shingles are considered a more attractive alternative to asphalt shingles, but they are more expensive. Typically, architectural shingles cost between $250 to $400 per square, whereas asphalt shingles cost $70 to $150 per square. 

You can even choose architectural shingles that mimic more expensive roofing styles, such as slate, wood, and tile. While warranties vary by manufacturer, 30-year warranties are typical. 

Wood Shingles 

Wood shingles can last up to 30 years, but only if you keep up with annual maintenance. 

Cedar is the preferred wood shingle material because it’s both insect and rot-resistant. While wood shingles can look great on just about any house type, they look especially great on cottages and Tudor-style homes. 

However, it’s important to remember that wood shingles are subject to warping and splitting. This is why you need to get your roof inspected annually to extend your roofs lifespan. And should you find any warping, the shingles will need to be replaced. 

Clay Tiles 

Clay tiles are known for being extremely durable and can last as long as 50 years. 

While clay tiles can cost between $600 to $800 per square, you won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. These are a durable, low-maintenance roofing option, and most manufacturers offer warranties for 30 years or more. 

Metal Roof

When it comes to longevity, metal is one of the best materials out there. In fact, most metal roofs can last up to 70 years!

So, if you’re planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, this is a great option. Typically, metal roofs start at around $115 per square, but prices can run all the way up to $900 per square if you opt for standing-seam copper panels or stone-coated steel tiles.

Manufacturers offer warranties for metal roofs ranging from 20 years to a lifetime. 

Slate Tile 

Last but not least, we have slate tiles. Slate tiles are the ultimate winner in terms of longevity, as they can last for a century or longer!

While slate tiles are at the more expensive end of the spectrum (costing anywhere from $600 to $1500 per square), a slate roof can take on pretty much anything Mother Nature throws its way. 

Most slate tile manufacturers offer roofing warranties ranging from 50 years to a lifetime. Should a slate tile ever break on your roof, it can easily be replaced. 

Signs You Need a New Roof 

The above numbers we gave are all estimates for how long your roof should last in an ideal situation. Of course, we all know that the ideal situation isn’t always the realistic situation in life.

So, even if your roof hasn’t hit that 15 or 30-year mark, you still may need to replace it. Here are some of the top signs that you need to replace your roof:

Daylight Through the Roof Boards 

Head up to your attic and see if there is any light peaking through the roof boards. 

If there is, then this is a sign that your roof either needs to be repaired or replaced. If light is able to get through your roof, then this means that water can also get through your roof. 

The last thing you want is to deal with water damage in your attic or other parts of the house, so it’s important that you start working on your roof ASAP.

Dark Stains and Streaks 

If you see dark stains or streaks on the underside of the roof, then this is a sign that your roof is likely leaking and the moisture is causing damage to both your roof and your home. 

Rotting 

Rotting is especially common on asphalt and wooden roofs. On the exterior of your roof, check for signs of rotting and decaying. 

Telltale signs of this type of damage include missing tiles, broken tiles, rotten tiles, or moldy buildup. 

Shingles Buckling and Curling 

Shingles buckling and curling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Inspect the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight, and if you notice any shingles that are curling and losing granules, this could mean that your roof is past its life expectancy. 

Are You Ready for a New Roof? 

Now that you know how long a roof should last, it’s time to decide whether or not it’s time to install a new roof on your home. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start looking into roofing materials as well as roofing contractors. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more home improvement tips and tricks!

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