How Long Does a Roof Last?

Worried your roof might not survive for long? Do not despair; we are here to answer all your roof-related questions! But first, here are some crucial factors you need to consider before you rush into action: 

What Affects Your Roof And Its Durability?

  1. Material

The longevity of your roof depends on the materials that created it since they have a lifespan of their own. The materials you invest in will decide the lifespan of your roof. Since cost and durability are usually directly related, it is crucial to spend on something worthwhile.

  1. Quality

 All roofing materials are available in a wide range of grades that determine their quality. Thus, low grade means low quality, resulting in a shorter roof life. Poor quality materials reduce durability since they come with many repair costs. Can’t decide which premium quality product to invest in? You can always consult one of the many contractors available around the clock to help you make the right decision. 

  1. Installation

Having your roof properly and safely installed is vital. That is why you have to be vigilent and careful when choosing a roofing service or contractor. Make sure you research the company/service, read testimonials, ensure they are certified, qualified, and provide insurance. If you overlook these details, you might hire someone who is not skilled enough or does not have the expertise needed to complete the task, resulting in a poor roofing job. 

  1. Underlayment

The underlayment of roofs is one of the main factors contributing to a longer lifespan. It is a crucial component of roof replacements, consisting of a waterproof material that is positioned on the deck of a roof before any roofing materials get placed on it. Not only does it prevent leaks and water from getting into your house during rough weather, but underlayment also stops the accumulation of moisture and mould on your roof.

  1. Elements

Prolonged exposure to sunlight and other climate issues can impact a roof’s longevity by several years. Constantly facing extreme temperatures (hot/cold) can cause roof shingles to split and crack. High winds, hail, and storms can dent your roof and cause the protective granules to separate from the roof tiles. This leads to the collecting of moisture, leaks and eventually, rot. In addition, if trees closely surround the building, the branches could make the shingles fall off. 

  1. Air Flow

Proper ventilation throughout a building helps keep it and its roof healthy. In this case, the durability of a roof and the property’s health are directly proportionate. Healthy airflow helps keeps the temperature stable and prevents the tiles from cracking, ensuring your whole house functions perfectly. On the other hand, a lack of ventilation can increase maintenance and repair costs. Hence, you must check for poor ventilation and get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid roof damage.

  1. Slope 

Efficient rain drainage depends on the angle of your roof. Therefore, if a roof is at an angle that causes poor drainage and has the capacity to collect water, it would require repair or replacement after a short period of time. 

If your house has flat roofs or low slopes, you have to check and ensure it remains free of water puddles. If overlooked, the roof could start to grow fungus, and rot, leading to more leaks.  

Lifespans Of Different Roofs


The lifespan of a wooden roof can range from 30 to 40 years. However, it also depends on the type of wood used. Cedar is most commonly used for wood shakes due to its resistance to wildlife, insects, and rot. However, if you want your wooden roof to last as long as it possibly can, you have to clean, repaint, and maintain it regularly.


Not only a sturdy and cost-effective option, but large format cement tiles also help in faster instalments and come in many colors to choose from. However, due to their heavy weight, they are still somewhat considered a challenging roofing option. If installed efficiently, cement roofs can last around 50-100 years. Comparatively, concrete roofs are cheaper and come with a 40-75 year lifespan. All in all, clay and concrete roofs are one of the most durable on the market. 


This is another type of roof that comes with high durability. With a long lifespan, slate roof tiles can last from 50 to 100 years. 


The type of metal used in the making of a metal roof determines its longevity. Each metal has a different lifespan. For instance, copper, zinc or other premium metals can last 50 years and even reach 100. While they have high installation costs, the return on that initial investment is worth more.

Cheaper metal roofing options consist of ribbed panels with a lifespan of approximately 25-40 years. Standing seam metal roofs function for 50 years, while stone-coated metal tiles can last 30-50 years and get used in hurricane-prone areas. 


Thatching material lasts 15-40 years or even more. The overall lifespan of a thatched roof differs depending on the material being used. It is also crucial to consider that the ridge of a thatched roof requires replacement every ten years. 

Roof Maintenance 

Roof experts from across the globe have several professional tips for any property owner wanting to maintain their roof and make it last longer. These include:

  • Cut branches and limbs from trees surrounding your house and touching your roof. Even if the tiniest branch rubs across your roof shingles constantly, it could result in a hole right through your roof, causing a water leak. 
  • Cut back all fauna.
  • Regularly check and clean your roof to remove algae. Water and bleach work efficiently in achieving this.
  • Pressure washers can lead to tile damage. Instead, clean them with your solution and then use a hose to wash them off. 
  • Use a ladder to wash your roof from the edge.
  • If you live in a wintry city, build a snowfall-resistant roof. You can also strengthen the trusses and build wider gutters.
  • Use a roof rake to remove any snow to prevent the formation of ice dams upon melting.
  • Clean out gutters and ensure proper ventilation to avoid blockage.


There is no standard ‘right’ time to install a new roof. Nonetheless, having all the required information about roof replacement in one place makes it easier for you to recognize the critical signs that your particular roof has surpassed its life expectancy. We hope this comprehensive guide helps you learn more about your roof, how to maintain it, and when to replace it. 

Skip to content