Roof Replacement Time: How Often Should a Roof Be Replaced?

A common saying about owning a house is “putting a roof over your head.” Notice that it put special emphasis on the roof and not the walls, rooms, or doors. The roof is usually what defines a house.

Sadly, the roof is also an oft-overlooked part of the house.

Until it’s sprung a leak or breaks down, most people wouldn’t even think about what’s going on up there. However, just like there’s a need to remodel or replace a part of the house every now and then, the roof might also need replacement.

How often should a roof be replaced? Keep on reading to learn more.

Signs That You Need a Roof Replacement

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends twice-yearly inspection of your roof. You can start at the attic but eventually, you’re going to have to climb up to the roof to look for damage. You should take all the usual precautions for safe inspection or you can ask a friend to do it for you.

Here are some of the things to look for and signs that it might be time to replace your roof:

  • Stains, streaks, and other signs of water damage

  • Visible holes or dark spots

  • Molds or rot

  • Missing, cracked, damaged, or buckling shingles

  • Drooping or sagging roof

  • Moss growth

Hopefully, you can catch small problems before they merge and turn into a bigger one. However, a leaky roof or a few damaged shingles doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a total roof replacement. Repairs are still in play for isolated or small damages.

When in doubt, it’s best to get in touch with a commercial roofer to get a professional opinion. Go through these questions to ask before hiring a roofing contractor.

How Often Should a Roof Be Replaced?

With regular inspection and maintenance, your roof should last for a long time. However, everything has an expiration date (except for maybe concrete roofs). The lifespan of your roof usually depends on the material.

The following are some common estimates of when to replace a roof based on the material used:

  • Concrete roof: should last the lifespan of the house

  • Tile roof: 100 years, although may need replacement of individual tiles

  • Metal roof: 50-75 years

  • Rubber roof: 30-50 years

  • Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years

  • Wood shingles: 20-25 years

  • Composition shingles: 12-20 years

Keep in mind that these suggested schedules for roof replacement will vary depending on the climate that your house is exposed to.

For example, cedarwood can last up to twenty years but its lifespan is cut short in drier climates, where it’s prone to splitting. In areas with severe storms or high winds, any type of material can wear out more quickly.

Other factors, such as color, pitch, and orientation can also affect the lifespan of your roof. Darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors while a slope that faces south receives more sun exposure. A low-pitch roof allows rain and snow to settle which can lead to water damage.

Your Roof Deserves Your Attention and Care

Don’t wait until your roof is in danger of collapsing. Now that you know how often should a roof be replaced, you can show some love and TLC to your roof when needed.

For more lifestyle and home improvement tips, check out the other articles on this site.