How long should a roof last | Life Hacks and Tips
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How long should a roof last

Ideally, our roofs would last as long as our homes, but because the roof takes the brunt of the elements, even the best rooftops will eventually have to be replaced. Even if you’re not intending to stay in your home more than a few years, a long-lasting roof made from high-quality roofing materials can greatly add to the resale value of your property. So, if you’re due for a roof replacement, before you go seeking roof quotes, you may want to learn a few things about the types of materials that roofing contractors use and what the value they offer. 

Roofing Craftsmanship

In most areas in the United States and Canada roofing contractors have to be licensed by the appropriate regulatory boards and agencies, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a bad roofer. Fortunately, most roofing contractors offer guarantees on their work. Still, research anyone you’re considering using. Even the best roofing materials are only as good as the contractor installing them.

Roofing Materials

This may be the biggest factor in how long a roof on your home lasts. Some materials like clay and concrete can last a hundred years—longer than many other parts of your house. Others are rated to last only 10 to 15 years, and that could be even less if you live in a harsh climate.

There are so many types of roofing materials available in North America that it would be nearly impossible to list them all, but because the material is the single biggest factor in a roof’s longevity, here are the life expectancies of a few of the more popular types: 

  • Asphalt Shingle – 10 to 20 years
  • Architectural Shingle – 15 to 25 years
  • Standing Seam Metal – 30 to 50 years
  • Stone-coated Steel Tiles – 30 to 50 years
  • Concrete Tiles – 50 to 100 years
  • Clay Tiles – 50 to 100 years
  • Wood Shingles – 25 to 30 years (with regular maintenance)

Having a strong roofing material is no guarantee that it will last for decades. Extreme weather can damage or destroy even the most durable roofing materials. 

Climate and Weather Patterns 

Florida was hit by seven hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. In the aftermath, some very high-quality roofs had to be replaced. Just because you spend a lot of money on your roof doesn’t mean that it’s going to be impervious to extreme weather. Additionally, if you live in a harsh climate, it can subtract years from the life expectancy of your roof. If you’re purchasing a home, make sure you get a roof inspection, even if the seller has proof that the roof is relatively new. 

Roof Longevity vs. Price

There’s no direct correlation between the money you pay a roofing company and the durability of your roof. As a general rule, though, long-lasting materials tend to be more expensive. If you absolutely need a roof and your budget only allows you to go with a less-expensive roofing material, you should still be in good shape. Even cheaper roofs should last 10 to 15 years. Once that period has elapsed, you can reevaluate your roofing needs. 

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