If you’ve ever wondered how long your roof will last, don’t be fooled by “average roof lifespan” numbers you might find online.  Averages don’t tell you much; a student who gets four Cs and a student who gets two As and two Fs both have a C average: The same goes for roofs; the life expectancy depends on what your roof is made of, and where you live.  Here are some examples that will likely give you a good idea of what to expect:

Tile or Slate

If you have a tile or slate roof, you may be looking at a 50 year lifespan, and some of the highest quality slate may even be good for about a century!  You won’t see many of them around, of course, because the cost of such a roof is not for the faint at heart!


Metal roofs are low maintenance and will last at least 20 years; sometimes 40 years or longer if they’re properly installed.  They, too, are not very common.


Roofs made of wood don’t have a standard lifespan because they type of wood makes a difference.  Cedar roofs are more resistant to rot and insect infestation and will typically last longer if kept clean and dry—but weather changes and natural deterioration take a toll on wooden roofs, and their lifespan usually doesn’t exceed 20 years.


The most common type is an asphalt roof—perhaps because it’s the most affordable and will usually last 15-20 years.  Asphalt roofs do better in colder climates, so they might exceed that range in some parts of the country, and they’re very low maintenance.

Speaking of parts of the country, climate does affect the lifespan of a roof.  Frequent rain, high wind and humidity can affect your roof’s life expectancy.  The heat and humidity of Florida, for instance, and the big difference between high and low temperatures, can shorten a roof’s lifespan.  In Arizona, the temperature can drop from 100 degrees to 50 very quickly, and that can create cracks and fractures on shingles.  In Wisconsin it’s cooler and with fewer variations, so a roof will last longer—as long as a hailstorm doesn’t take aim at it.

            You can’t change the weather—so what can you do to make sure your roof is ready to handle the elements?  It doesn’t hurt to have it inspected regularly; a little routine maintenance can go a long way in extending the life of your roof.  Ridge Top Exteriors offers inspections, and if repairs are needed the estimate is always free and no obligation—so calling our friendly experts for a roof inspection annually is a smart thing to do!



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