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How Long Should a Roof Last? An Informative Guide

How Long Should a Roof Last? An Informative Guide

From 2017 to 2019, homeowners spent a whopping $522 billion on home improvement projects. As a homeowner, it can feel like there’s an endless list of things your home needs.

When it comes to replacing a roof, most homeowners recognize that this is one of the most costly home improvements their home will need.

When making a big investment like a roof, an important question is how long should a roof last? How long will the investment you make keep your home secure and dry?

Many factors impact the life of a roof. Let’s take a closer look.

How Long Should a Roof Last

The good news is that a roof lasts a long time in most cases. The most significant life span factor for a new roof is the material used on the roof.

While the most expensive roofing option, a slate, tile, or copper roof, can last as much as 50 years. Another pricier option is the wood shake roof that lasts around 30 years. Asphalt shingle/composition roofs last about 20 years, the most popular roofing material.

For more information on new roofing, check out

Factors Impacting the Lifespan of a Roof

Beyond the roofing materials used, many other things can impact the lifespan of a home’s roof. Let’s take a closer look.

Material Quality

The adage remains true, even for a roof. You get what you pay for. Sure, the average asphalt shingles last 20 years. Yet, some shingle brands and makers produce better quality products.

The better the quality of the shingle you buy, the longer it’s likely to last.


Underlayment is the waterproof layer placed under the shingles before installation. It helps prevent mold issues and moisture buildup. If your roofer takes a shortcut and doesn’t put down the new underlayment, it shortens the life of your new roof.


Like the shingles they work with, not all roofers are the same. Be sure to do your homework and check out the qualifications, insurance and liability coverage, and reviews of the roofer you hire.

Shoddy installation will naturally shorten your roof’s lifespan.


Climate plays a significant factor in a roof’s life. If you live in a place where there are extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, it can impact your roof. When there are big changes in temperature in a short period of time, your shingles run the risk of cracking.

Likewise, if your roof is completely exposed to the hot sun without any coverage, this can shorten the roof’s life.


An important part of your roof’s installation should be proper ventilation. This helps the roof maintain a consistent temperature which can mean less cracking of the shingles.

Make the Investment in Replacing a Roof

The types of roofing materials used can impact a roof’s life span. But answering how long should a roof last is also impacted by many other factors, too. Your roofer should be able to look at your roof and provide a reasonable lifespan estimate.

For more home improvement articles like this one, be sure to visit our page often.

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