How Long Should a Roof Last? A Guide for Homeowners

Reliable Roofing, Siding & Windows
how long should a roof last

“Only real music is gonna last,” Jimmy Smith once said. The same’s true of roofs.

If you ask, “how long should a roof last?” then you ask the right questions. Every homeowner wants a long-lasting roof. That’s how you get the most bang for your buck, after all.

Discover the ideal roof lifespan by reading on.

How Long Should a Roof Last?

Like with many other questions in life, the answer is, “it depends.” 

First, it depends on the roofing material. Asphalt shingles last 15 to 30 years. They’re the highest-selling roofing material on the market.

They’re made out of cement fibers, organic materials, and other ingredients. Asphalt shingles offer a resilient protective layer against rain, wind, and UV rays. Their underside has a black asphalt layer that turns sticky in the sun and secures the roofing in place with a watertight seal.

Next up, we have architectural shingles. These are premium materials that last 25 to 30 years. They seal the same as asphalt shingles but they’re up to three times thicker.

As a result, they make a denser, more durable roof. They cost between $250 to $400 per square. Architectural shingles come in styles resembling pricier roofing, such as slate, wood, and tile.

Consider wood shingles. A wood shingle roof can last up to 30 years. It needs annual maintenance though.

Wood shingles commonly use cedar because it’s insect- and rot-resistant. These shingles age gracefully, turning into a silvery gray with time.

Clay, Slate, and Steel, Oh My

Roof material choices abound.

Clay tile roofs can endure for 50 years or more. They come in a variety of earthly colors, but they’re known for their terracotta tones.

The installation will run you from $600 to $800 per square. Manufacturer warranties go from 30 years to a lifetime.

Then there are metal roofs. Their quality and price are across the spectrum. 

Steel or aluminum standing-seam panels go for around $115 per square. Standing-seam copper panels and stone-coated steel tiles can cost up to $900 per square.

Metal roofing’s price is also determined by its quality. The thicker its gauge, the longer the roof will be around.

Finally, we have slate tile roofs.

Slate is great for cutting into uniform roofing tiles. Selling from $600 to $1,500 per square, slate is expensive because it’s virtually indestructible. Manufacturers’ warranties range from 50 years to a lifetime because they can withstand even the harshest elements.

Besides all the materials described above, a roof’s longevity depends on the workmanship and the weather as well. Quality craftsmanship can lengthen the lifespan of a roof, while severe weather can shorten it.

Recognizable Quality

A high-quality roof should last you a lifetime. That may be less certain depending on your location and the other aforementioned factors.

Nonetheless, you the consumer have the power of choice. You can choose a roofing material, installer, and more when getting a new roof. Your only restriction is choosing wisely.

Now you know the answer to “how long should a roof last?” Make the well-informed choice by getting a free estimate from Reliable Roofing, Siding, & Windows today.

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