When to Replace Your Roof


It’s time to replace your roof if you see broken shingles or other damage. If you haven’t replaced the roof in 20 years or more, it may also be time to look into reroofing. Consider the type of roofing material and the weather in your area to get a sense of when you should replace the roof.

Knowing when to replace your roof is crucial as a homeowner. Even if you do not have extreme weather conditions, many factors can cause damage to your roof, and it can only take so much before it needs replacement.

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

One of the most important factors you should consider when it comes to whether your roof needs to be replaced is the average lifespan of your roofing materials. Most materials last about 20 to 30 years.

If you know the material of your current roofing and when it was installed, you can determine when a roof replacement is necessary.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

If you have asphalt shingle roofing, you can expect it to last about 15 to 30 years. The shingles may only last 15 years if you have a lot of storms, but they could last 30 years with proper care.

The shingles may not last 15 years if there’s a ton of hail or if animals damage your roof. Be sure to check on your roofing regularly for damage.

Wood Shingle Roofing

Wood shingle roofing lasts about 20 to 25 years on average. If you have severe winters or summers, the wood may not last as long.

The quality of the wood and the specific type of wood used may also affect the lifespan. Check your roof at least twice a year to make sure it’s in good shape.

Slate Roofing

Natural slate roofing can last much longer than other roofing materials. At the low end, the slate will last around 50 years, but some slate roofs last over 100 years.

The slate’s quality and place of origin can affect the lifespan, as can the installation process and maintenance after installation.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs have an average lifespan of 50 to 75 years. A metal roof can last this long because of the material’s durability.

However, these types of roofs are more prone to leaking, the exposed fasteners need regular maintenance, and wind uplift can be a problem. It isn’t as susceptible to cracks or other types of damage as wood or another material, but metal roofing isn’t super common and the maintenance can be daunting for many homeowners.

Tile Roofing

Like metal, tile roofs can last for about 50 years or more than a century if you maintain them. Tile roofs can withstand more environmental changes without damage.

Even though the tiles may last a long time, you may need to replace the felt system under the tile after 20 to 40 years. That way, you can maintain the integrity of your roof.

Other Factors That Affect Roof Lifespan

The most significant factor that affects roof lifespan is the material but you should also consider where you live, as environmental elements play a big role in how long your roof lasts.

For example, if you have frequent rainstorms this could cause a build-up of moisture that could then lead to water damage.

Water erosion is one of the biggest enemies of a healthy roof as it can cause structural damage, lead to a leaky roof, and weaken the integrity of the entire roof, shortening its life expectancy.

The slope of your roof will also help determine how it handles environmental and climate changes, affecting the lifespan of the current roof.

How to Tell If You Need New Roofing

You may need new roofing if you have any of the following:

  • Holes: If you can see light coming into your attic, then it’s time to call a roofer.
  • Curled edges: If the shingle edges are curling, you need new ones. 
  • Moss growth: Moss growing on the roof can lead to damage to the shingles.

You should also consider the age of the roof. If it’s been 20 or more years, you will likely need a new roof depending on the material. 

One final consideration is the appearance of the roof. A worn-out or dingy-looking roof can sometimes be enough of a sign that your roof needs to be replaced.

When to Replace Roof Shingles

If you have any damage or if it’s been a couple of decades since your last roof replacement, it’s probably time to replace the shingles. Consider the shingle material and its average lifespan and look for any damage your shingles may have.

When Is It Okay to Just Replace Shingles?

Any time when the damage is minor, you can replace just the shingles. If the roof damage is more serious you will need to do a complete roof replacement.

Either of these tasks can be difficult to do if you lack experience. In most cases, you might consider hiring a professional to determine the extent of the damage, whether a full replacement is needed or if shingle replacement is enough, and to ensure the job is done properly.

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Patching Damaged Areas

The biggest pro of patching damaged areas is that the cost would be less than replacing the whole roof. It can also be much quicker because you don’t need as many materials.

However, the new shingles may not match the look of the old ones. Heat, snow, and moisture can all change the coloration, meaning even shingles you’ve had in storage may not match.

Roofing Over an Existing Roof

You may want to add new roofing over your current roof. If so, here’s how:

  1. Remove ridge caps, pipe flashings, and air vents.
  2. Glue any broken shingles into place.
  3. Brush off any debris, including twigs and loose shingles.
  4. Install special drip-edge flashing to reroof.
  5. Add a starter strip to the bottom of the roof.
  6. Cut the shingles and install them from the bottom up.
  7. Reinstall the pipe flashings and air vents.

Roofing over an existing roof has pros and cons, with the biggest pro being that it is cheaper than replacing the entire roof.

The biggest con being that this can be a very difficult process without the needed experience or professional assistance, and could even lead to injuries. Because this approach necessitates shingling over shingles, it is only a viable alternative if the roof is not only a shingle roof but also free of curled shingles.

This process adds unnecessary weight to your roof potentially leading to more issues in the future which could affect your home appraisal.

Is it possible for you to attempt this process without a professional? Yes. But with the amount of time, work, and risk involved without a professional it could potentially have more downsides than benefits.

Finding a Roofer for You

Whether you have an asphalt shingle roof or a tile roof, you need to know when to replace it. And when that time comes, Primal Roofing is the perfect option.

We’ll evaluate your situation and give you options, such as a repair or replacement. Then, you can select the option that works for you. Contact us today to get started.