How often does a roof need to be replaced? All roofing systems available on the market today are designed to last a decade or more, but even then, there are never any guarantees. That’s why determining how often a roof needs to be replaced isn’t always easy, but here’s how you can get started.
When discussing how often a roof needs to be replaced, the best place to start is by outlining how long you can expect your specific roofing systems to last on average, given ideal conditions and professional installation.
With commercial roofing systems, you can expect:
- An EPDM roof to last 20 to 35 years
- A TPO roof to last 20 to 30 years
- Asphalt flat roofs to last 20 to 40 years
- A commercial metal roof to last 30 to 50 years or more
If you have a commercial roofing system that has exceeded these averages, there’s a high chance that it’s time to replace your roof. We generally recommend replacements in accordance with these timelines.
While commercial roofing systems generally last longer than residential roofs on average, today’s technology enables residential roofing systems to last far longer than previously possible. You can expect
- An asphalt shingle roof to last 15 to 30 years
- Architectural shingles to last 25 to 30 years
- A residential metal roof to last 40 to 70 years
- Slate tile roofs to last 50+ years
Again, if your residential roofing system has exceeded any of these average life expectancies, that’s generally an indication it’s time to replace the roof.
The average lifespans listed above are all based on a roofing system that is professionally installed in a temperate climate. When a roofing system doesn’t last as long as anticipated, a variety of factors can lead to premature roof failure and replacement, including:
Poor Installation Standards
The number one factor that leads to a roofing system not lasting as long as expected is poor installation quality. When a roofing system is not installed by experts or with an attention to detail and quality, it will almost always fail to some degree before it should. You can install the best roofing materials on the market today, but if they aren’t installed by a team that knows how to do it right, you will most likely have to replace your roof sooner than you should.
One of the best ways to determine the quality standards of a roofing company? Inquire about how long they back a roof installation with a labor or installation warranty. The longer the warranty, the higher the quality.
A Lack of Maintenance or Cleaning
The next factor contributing to early roof failure is ignoring a regular inspection schedule, recommended maintenance routines, or even simple cleaning. Things go wrong, and normal wear and tear should be expected. If you aren’t regularly inspecting the roof to proactively identify minor issues before they turn into significant infrastructure problems, your roof generally won’t last as long as it should.
Similarly, regularly removing dirt and debris from the roof helps protect the underlying roofing system. When you don’t account for the buildup of debris throughout the year, roofs tend to fail prematurely.
Ignoring Recommended Repairs
Even with an otherwise structurally sound roof, repairs are sometimes necessary to extend the life of the roof. If you ignore those repairs with the expectation that the roof will endure, you’re going to run into issues that may eventually escalate and require a complete replacement.
Storm Damage or Severe Climate
The above three factors are the most important because they’re completely within your control, but there’s a fourth factor that frequently leads to early roof failure: storms and severe climates. Unlike the above three, however, those aren’t within your control. Severe storm damage, including damage due to intense hail storms or wind storms, can potentially devastate a roofing system in a matter of moments. Likewise, living in an extreme climate of intense heat or cold can wear down a roofing system over time, shortening the roof’s expected life and expected replacement timeline.
You can’t determine how often you should replace your roof just by reading through a blog. You need a roofing professional to climb up on the roof and identify whether it’s time to replace the roof or if you can get by on repairs for a little longer. Fortunately, New Image Roofing Atlanta makes that easier than ever before with free roof inspections and side-by-side roof repair versus replacement cost breakdowns. Schedule your free inspection today to get started.