What Is an Average Roof Lifespan?

Roof contracting is a $50+ billion industry. The head of every household is also one of its most crucial parts. It keeps us warm in winter, cool in summer, and relatively dry throughout the whole year.

As soon as your roof has an issue with it, you know pretty much immediately. That’s because of its under-appreciated importance.

But what is the average roof lifespan? How long is too long to wait between inspections? And how do you know when a problem with your roof is just nature taking its course or the product of a faulty installation/repair?

Well, find the answers to these questions in our quick and comprehensive guide to the average lifespan of a roof!

So, What’s the Average Roof Lifespan?

A simple question with, surely, a simple answer!

Not quite.

See, the average lifespan of a roof depends on the type of roof it is. The average lifespan of an asphalt roof is different from the average lifespan of a metal roof is different from the average lifespan of a wood roof. Materials make all the difference in the roofing world, so it’s vital to know what you’re working with before you start doing calculations.

Average Lifespan of an Asphalt Roof

Asphalt shingles are some of the most common roofing materials out there. For good reason, too: if you have asphalt shingles on your roof, you can expect them to last around 20 to 40 years, depending on how and when they were made.

So if you have a recently attended asphalt roof, relax! You’ve got a while yet.

Average Lifespan of a Metal Roof

Metal roofs are more common in severe climates, where you need the hard-wearing qualities of metal to withstand intense environmental conditions. They tend to last between 30 and 50 years. Makes sense, considering they’re as hard as, well, metal.

Average Lifespan of Clay Tile Roofs

Clay tiles are common in fancier, ‘premium’ homes. They actually need a special kind of roofing construction just to withstand their weight, which makes the installation process a bit pricier than other kinds of roofs.

It pays off though, a well-built clay tile roof can last anywhere from 50 to (wait for it) 100 years. Yep, a century hence your descendants could be enjoying the clay tile roof you install today, provided you install it right.

Just make sure you can afford it first!

Average Lifespan of a Wood Roof (Cedar)

Depending on how often it’s maintained, a cedar roof can go anywhere from 20 to 40 years before you’ll want to replace it. Not bad for material as simple as wood!

A Roof That’s Right for You

So there you have it, a quick guide to the average roof lifespan of some of the most common roofing types in the USA. Whether you have an ultra-fancy clay tile roof or an ultra-hardy metal one, you now know how long you can expect it to hold out.

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