How Often Should a Roof Be Replaced and What Are the Advantages?

When was the last time you really thought about your roof?

Our roofs do more to protect us from the harsh elements of the world around us than any other part of our homes. They offer us shelter from the rain and shade from the sun. But most of us don't even give it a second thought...until we need to replace it.

But most homeowners have a lot of questions when it comes to roof replacement. What are some signs I need a roof replacement? How often should a roof be replaced? How much will it cost? What are the advantages of a roof replacement over reroofing?

If your roof isn't protecting your house as it used to and you're facing these questions, read on!

How Often Should A Roof Be Replaced?

Roofs are rugged. Despite all of the abuse they take from weather and debris, they can protect your home for decades.

However, every roof will need to be replaced at some point. While the exact timeframe changes depending on the material, there are some basic guidelines.

Asphalt shingles, which are the most common roof material, can typically last between fifteen to forty years. Some shingles can last as long as fifty years depending on the quality.

Wood shingles, though more aesthetically pleasing than asphalt shingles, are much more prone to rot and cracking. Typical wood shingles usually last around twenty-five years, while more durable wood shake shingles can last as long as forty years. In either case, it's important to replace damaged shingles as soon as possible.

Tile or slate roofs are much more durable, often lasting well over a hundred years. Some slate roofs have even survived centuries! However, these are very expensive and are usually only found on high-end luxury homes.

Metal roofs, which have been gaining popularity over the last few years, can last over fifty years with proper maintenance.

Whatever roof material you have, though, it's a good rule of thumb to have your roof inspected for a potential replacement every twenty years.

Signs You Need A Roof Replacement

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell if you need your roof replaced. Many of the signs aren't too obvious unless you know what to look for. Here are a few things that can tell you it's time to replace your roof.

The Roof Is Old

The first sign you need a new roof is the simple passage of time. If it's been twenty years since your roof was installed, replacing it sooner than later can help prevent bigger problems.

Look through your home's service records to see when the roof was last replaced.

Shingle Signs

In a healthy roof, your shingles will lay flat and flush. If you notice any curling, waving, or buckling, it might be a sign that there are bigger problems.

If a sizable amount of shingles are missing, it could be time to replace your roof. Single shingles can be replaced easily enough, but if you notice a large number missing, it's best to call the professionals.

Moss and Mold

Mossy patches can give your home a cozy, cottage-like feel. But on your roof, it's bad news.
If you have moss or mold growing on your roof, it could be a sign that moisture is being trapped instead of running into the gutters. If left unchecked, these moisture traps can leak into your home causing nasty water damage. Additionally, rampant moss growth can cause shingles to separate, diminishing the integrity of your roof.

Cracked or Leaking Flashing

Your chimney, vents, and skylights all have flashing around them to seal them off from the elements. This flashing is often made of tar or roof cement, which degrades over time.

And if you notice that your flashing is old and needs to be replaced, there's a good chance that your roof needs to be replaced as well. This is especially true if your damaged flashing has been letting water in for years, allowing water damage to spread to the roof.


Unless your home was designed by Doctor Seuss, your roof should generally be pretty straight. If you notice any spots where your roof is warping or sagging, that's a good sign that moisture has been leaking through your roof and damaging the structure beneath.

Moisture Inside

If you notice leaks when it rains, that's an obvious sign that your roof isn't doing its job. Trace the leak to the source to determine just how bad the damage is.

Roof Replacement vs. Reroofing

As important as a roof replacement is, it carries a relatively steep price tag. Many homeowners who need a new roof find themselves looking to reroofing as a cheaper alternative.

In reroofing, instead of tearing off the entire roof and replacing it with brand new materials, a layer of shingles is laid on top of the existing roof.

As tempting as it might be to save some money, reroofing only delays the problems of an old roof—it doesn't prevent them.

Not only that but if your roof is in exceptionally bad shape, it isn't even an option. If your roof has any structural damage, reroofing won't be able to help.

Also, reroofing can only be done once. If a previous homeowner has already reroofed your home, it's not even an option.

Additional Benefits of A Roof Replacement

Not only does a roof replacement offer more protection than reroofing, but it also carries a number of other benefits.

  • renews the manufacturer's warranty, leading to lower maintenance costs
  • increases the value of your home
  • improved protection from mold and water damage
  • more energy-efficient, preventing heat from escaping in winter months

Need to Replace Your Roof?

If you asked the question, "how often should a roof be replaced" and realized that your roof is overdue, give us a call. We offer the finest roof installation and replacements in the Austin area. Schedule your appointment for a free estimate today!

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