New roof installation

As a homeowner, you are likely wondering about roof lifespan, especially since a new roof for your home or commercial building is a major investment that you want to get right - from cost, to roof longevity.

At LOA, we can help you better understand expected lifespan of your roof, whether it's an asphalt shingle or tile roof style. Knowing approximate roof shingle type lifespan and other factors will give you the opportunity to replace your roof preemptively when it nears the end of its lifespan. This can also potentially save you a ton of hassle in the long run. It can even help you determine whether you should repair or replace your roof.

So, what is the average lifespan of a roof?

Average Lifespans for Different Roofing Materials

Both residential and commercial roofs can be made from several different types of materials. Because each of these roofing materials has unique properties, the average lifespan can vary quite a bit.

Here are the typical life expectancies for several of the most common roofing materials:

Read More: Best Roof Types of Texas

Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Often used for DIY roofing installations, three-tab asphalt shingles have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. While they are a budget-friendly option, they are not highly durable and tend to offer lower wind resistance due to their materials.

Professional roofers typically advise against using them as they provide limited protection and necessitate a relatively soon re-roofing. Here is some information about the minimum slope for an asphalt roof.

Wood Shingles

This shingle type is crafted from cedar, spruce, or pine, making for a lovely aesthetic appearance for your home. Indeed, wood shingles lend homes a natural, rustic appearance at an affordable cost. Wood shingles typically last up to 30 years.

They require consistent maintenance and are susceptible to issues such as termites, fires, mold, mildew; and roofing damage from storms and wind.

Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are a great choice for many homeowners, thanks to their durability and resemblance to wood or slate tiles. Their lifespan ranges from 40 to over 50 years, and each shingle is crafted from polymer, rubber, or plastic.

Less costly than slate and longer living than their wood counterparts, composite shingles offer increased protection against heat, hail, and fire.

Metal Shingles

While a standard for many commercial building, metal roofs are becoming a more popular choice for homes as well. Overall, the longevity of a metal roof ultimately depends on the thickness of the metal. Thinner metal shingles last for around 20 to 25 years, while better quality, thicker materials offer more than 50+ years of protection. There are several types of metal roof types to be aware of - more information in our different types of metal roofing article here.

Despite being pricier to install, metal roofs boast longer lifespans compared to asphalt alternatives. Here's some info about the minimum slope of a metal roof.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tile roofs are another consideration for your home. They are cost-effective thanks to their long lifespan of around 50 to 100 years. They also provide a wide variety of styles and designs for homeowners to choose from. However, they are very heavy roofing type. If you like the way concrete tiles look, you could also opt for composite shingles instead.

Slate Tiles

Among the hardiest options, slate tiles boast one of the lengthiest average lifespans, lasting for over 50 years and sometimes nearly a century. Slate tiles are highly resistant to heat, hail, snow, and moisture.

One potential drawback of slate tiles, though, is its cost, especially thanks to needing extra structural support. As such, we recommend talking with your roofing team about whether you should go with composite or whether you're comfortable with a slate roof. Here are 4 things to know about getting a slate roof.

Clay Tiles

Lastly, another great shingle choice, thanks to their enduring strength, are clay tiles. Clay tiles can last for 50+ years or more. Similar to slate, clay tile weight and expense requires additional framing and support. You should talk with your local Austin roofing experts for more information. For further reading, please take a look at our article about points to consider with clay tile roofing.

For even more information on the topic of shingles, check out our best shingles for your roof article.

Read More: 4 Tips for Choosing a Roof Type

7 Factors to Consider for Roof Lifespan

You may be wondering why the ranges for some of the above materials are so wide. The simple answer is that several other variables come into play. When determining the life expectancy of a roof, there are more factors than just the roof type used.

1. Material Quality

Every type of roofing material has a spectrum of quality. For example, if you work with a roofing company that uses flimsy, low-quality shingles, they almost certainly won’t hold up for as long as sturdy, high-quality ones would.

This is one reason why it’s so important to choose reputable roofing professionals for your roof installation project. Make sure to fully understand the quality and life expectancy of each shingle type (above section) for better understanding.

2. Quality of Craftsmanship

To go along with material quality, you should also consider the quality of the work. The roofing contractors who handle your roof installation will have a major impact on the roof’s life expectancy. Before choosing a roofing company, make sure to research the qualification of the roofing company in question. You should also read reviews or testimonials to get a better idea of the quality of work they do.

If they complete the job with precision, attention to detail, thoroughness, and can provide emergency roof repair, it will greatly increase the odds of your roof having a long lifespan that you can enjoy for many years to come!

3. Environment/Location

Another important factor is the environment and location. For example, if you live in an area that experiences icy winters or powerful wind storms, your roof is going to accumulate much more wear and tear than it would in an area with calmer weather.

In Texas, the main element to worry about is the intense summer heat, which can be damaging to some asphalt shingles. Metal shingles, on the other hand, hold up very well in extreme heat. To go along with this, you should check with your roofing contractor about what is the best time of year is to install your roof.

4. Maintenance

Another thing to keep in mind is how often you (or your roofing company) maintains your roof. As a home or business owner, you can have a major impact on the lifespan of your roof.

By keeping up with regular roof inspections, maintenance, and repairs, you’ll be able to keep the roof healthy and minimize its wear and tear. Roof maintenance is definitely one of the best things that LOA can recommend for extending your roof lifespan.

Read More: How to Know When It's Time to Replace a Roof?

5. Underlayment

Another important factor to consider for your roof's lifespan is the underlayment. This is the layer of waterproofing protection, which is crucial for if the exterior roof is damaged.

Furthermore, having an additional layer helps to prevent moisture buildup and reduce mold issues. If you have questions about roof underlayment, be sure to talk with your roofing contractors.

6. Color of Materials

Sometimes the color of shingles you've chosen contributes to how long your roof will last. For example, in hot Texas weather, we recommend lighter colored materials for your home. This is mainly because dark shingle types tend to absorb more heat. Here's some info about how to improve the energy efficiency of your roof with the right shingle color.

If your roof experiences prolonged exposure to hot summer sun, it will cause a significant shingle breakdown, which ultimately will make it harder to ventilate your roof. More information here about signs your roof needs a repair.

7. Ventilation

This brings us to the last factor: ventilation. To help extend the roof life expectancy of your home, you need to make sure you hire a roofing company who care's about maintaining consistent temperature in your roof system. This is to prevent the materials from cracking under pressure or breaking down over time due to heat.

Furthermore, proper roof ventilation can limit the risk of either freezing or overheating, which in turn, helps your home's energy run more efficiently. If you suspect poor ventilation, you should check with your local roofing contractor.

Read More: What is the Longest Lasting Roof for Inclement Weather?

Roof Lifespan: In Summary

Ultimately, you have quite a bit of influence over how long the roof of your home or commercial building lasts. By hiring a quality roofing company to get a roof estimate, selecting the right long-lasting materials for your home, and taking good care of the roof, you can ensure that it lasts a very long time. Always be on the lookout for cracked shingles, missing shingles, roof leaks, or poor ventilation and hire a local roofing expert to assess the problem.

Besides asphalt, wood, composite, metal, concrete, slate, and clay, LOA also handle roof installations for TPO roofs, flat roofs, built-up/mod-bit, and EPDM, for either commercial, industrial, or residential roofs. Our expert team is fully trained and licensed to handle any installation, roof coating, or hail damage repair project. We individually are a team of certified roofing project managers who love what we do!

Our Areas of Service

Have a residential or commercial roof in Texas? We serve properties in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Belton, Temple, and Killeen. We are Texas roofers that serve you with integrity and 100% full transparency with every project we take on! LOA is proud to have recently achieved the Top 100 Roofing Contractors honor in the country!

Contact LOA Roofing

Is your roof leaking by a vent pipe? Need to fix part of your asphalt roof? Does your commercial roofing need a repair? LOA can take on both large replacements and small repairs.

If you need reliable roof installation/replacement, repair, maintenance, emergency roof fix, or other roofing service in the Austin, Houston, or San Antonio area, contact us at LOA Roofing & Construction today or request an appointment to get a FREE quote! We can even provide general contracting services like commercial buildouts, water restoration, drywall, framing, painting, electrical work, and more.

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