How long should a roof last?

Updated April 17, 2017

The condition of a home's roof is one of the most important factors in buying and selling a home. A roof protects the framework of the house, as well as the people living inside. It is important to know when and if a roof needs to be replaced.


Many types of roofing materials are available, from asphalt to clay to metal. The longevity of the roof depends on the type of material the roof is made from.

Time Frame

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, the longest lasting roof type is slate, which can last from 30 to 100 years. Asphalt can last 15 to 20 years, wood 10 to 40 years and clay 20 years or more. Metal lasts from 20 to 40 years or more.


The placement of the shingles can be a determining factor in the longevity of the roof. Sun exposure can shorten the lifespan of a roof, so north-facing shingles can last longer than south-facing shingles, which get more sun.


Look for signs that your roof needs to be repaired. Signs include missing or torn shingles, the age of the roof and the condition of the walls inside the home that touch the roof (mainly water marks or rain spots). If weather in your area tends to be more extreme, your roof could age quicker.


Though roof replacement is expensive, the longer a homeowner waits, the more damage there may be to the house. If you suspect a roofing issue, contact a professional roofing company.

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