How often you replace your roof depends on the type of roof you currently have. This is because the quality of a roof varies by roof type. And anytime quality—or lack thereof—might be involved, there’s going to be a range. For instance, lower-quality roofs and roofs with exposure to severe weather need to be replaced at intervals of 10-15 years. High-quality roofs may not need to be replaced for 40-50 years.
Does My Roof Need to Be Replaced?
In all actuality, roofs need to be replaced so infrequently. It’s better to reframe the question “how often should I replace my roof?” to “does my roof need to be replaced?”
To help you answer this question, we encourage you to consider:
- Whether there are overt, highly visible signs of damage. Missing shakes, shingles or tiles, as well as cracked or damaged shakes, shingles, or tiles, are all highly visible signs of damage. These signs can be a great indicator that it is time to replace your roof. Call a roofing professional who can run an assessment on your roof to help you determine your best options for repairing or replacing your roof.
- Whether there are obvious signs of wear. Wear varies by material type. For composition or asphalt shingles, you’ll want to look for excessive granule loss. For a cedar roof, you want to look for thinning of the wood shake or crumbling, cracking shakes—shakes do wear down, often from incorrect maintenance and UV exposure. For tile, you want to look for a loss of the protective glaze and a softness of the tile (i.e., you can scrape the tile with your fingernail and get some of the material underneath your nail).
- How many existing layers are currently on the roof. Even when you have overt signs of damage or wear, you should first have a roofing contractor determine how many layers are currently on your roof. Knowing this will provide you with guidance on whether you have the option of adding a new roofing layer or whether you need to tear it down to the sheathing and start anew.
A Special Note About Replacing Roofs in the Pacific Northwest
When it comes to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, specifically, you will need to consider past roof maintenance when determining how often to replace your roof. Here in Oregon, for instance, we have an abundance of moss on our roofs. If there’s excessively large amounts of moss on your roof, that’s a clear sign of poor maintenance. It is also a sign you may need to replace your roof at a much shorter-than-expected interval.
If you have questions about the state of your roof or the state of a roof on a house you are considering purchasing, call a knowledgeable roofing contractor who can help.