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How Long Does a Roof Last? 5 Things to Know

A good roof brings value to a home both in terms of function and its appraised price. So you don't want to wait till your roof is crumbling before taking necessary action. We look at how long roofs last and what you need to know before hiring a contractor to replace one.

A good roof brings value to a home both in terms of function and its appraised price. So you don't want to wait till your roof is crumbling before taking necessary action. We look at how long roofs last and what you need to know before hiring a contractor to replace one.

The importance of a structurally sound, functioning roof cannot be overstated. It protects your home from the elements and can be designed to modify its internal temperature. In addition to that, a good roof can mean the ability to ask for a higher price for your house.

For that reason, it's essential that homeowners are cognizant of basic roof maintenance practices. Similarly, buyers can benefit from knowing how to judge a roof, since it can turn out to be a major expense later on. Here's everything you need to know.

How Long Roofs Last

The lifespan of a roof — or any other home component, for that matter — depends on its quality and how well you've maintained it over the years. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, that could come into play as well. That said, there are estimates for how long a roof lasts on average based on the material.

A 3-tab asphalt shingle, a commonly used roofing system, lasts between 10 and 20 years. Clay tiles have been around for a long time and can last as long as 100 years if looked after the right way. Metal roofs are an expensive option but will go about 30 to 50 years before needing replacement.

If you're building a new home, the material of the roofing can be an important choice to make. Homeowners will have to make a pick while keeping both cost and durability in mind.

Signs A Roof Needs Repairs

We've seen how long you can expect a roof to keep out the elements. Now let's take a look at the signs that your roof may need some rehabbing.

Possibly the first thing that you will notice about an aging roof is that it lets in sunlight. If sunlight is able to penetrate the roof, then so can rain. So if you see sunlight streaming through your roof, it's probably time to call a contractor.

Homeowners should go up to the roof every once in a while to check for signs of disrepair. Multiple cracked shingles can be evidence of issues that need fixing. Shingles may also curl in certain cases, which means that a leak is imminent.

Also, look out for moss while inspecting a roof. Moss can compromise the structural integrity of roofing if not dealt with at the right time. Keep your roof free of leaves, sticks, and other debris to reduce the chances of moss growing.

Repair or Replace an Aging Roof?

As much as you try to maintain a roof well, there will come a point when you just have to invest in fixing it. At this point, you will be met with the choice of either patching over the existing structure or replacing it completely.

In certain cases, repairs do the job. It may be that it's just a few shingles that are a source of the problem. Replacing those shingles could have your roof back to looking and working as it should be.

In other cases, you may simply not have a choice but to go with a whole new roof. Water damage is a common reason for roofs to be replaced completely. Moisture can cause structural problems and also pose a health risk to residents.

Homeowners often wonder if constructing a new roof over the existing one is a good idea. Going down that route can save you some money. At the same time, stacking roof layers can weigh down the entire structure, which is why building codes in most places don't allow more than two layers.

Layered roofs can also cost more money to tear down when it comes time to replace the entire thing.

Cost to Reroof a House

Roofs constitute one of the larger expenses for homeowners while making repairs.

The amount people pay for new roofs varies from place to place. Denver, for example, is on the costlier side, with new roofs costing $9,000. That's a lot pricier than Austin, where the same will cost you $7,000 on average. The national average for the installation of a new roof is $7,633.

Square footage is another factor that determines how much you'll pay for a new roof. A 1,000 square foot home with a 1,054 square foot roof will cost you between $4,000 and $5,500. Now let's say you own a much larger 3,000 square foot home with a 3,162 square foot roof. Replacing the entire roof for such a home can cost you between $11,200 and $16,000.

How Long it Takes to Reroof a House

The duration of the fix-up can be an important consideration, especially if you're selling a house. Listing your house at the right time can result in a significant increase in your margins.

The size of your house, obviously, plays into how long it takes to replace the roof. The material being used is another important factor.

Asphalt shingles are easy to work with and you can have an all-new roof inside of two days. Concrete tiles are more delicate, so it takes between eight and nine days to install them.

When it comes to selling a house, it isn't necessarily the homeowner's job to pay for roof repairs or a replacement. As with other expenses, the buyer and seller generally negotiate over who pays for the roof and how that impacts the overall asking price.

When you go into these negotiations, it helps to have an experienced real estate agent by your side. Clever Partner Agents can help you sell a house, while also getting the best deal you can on various other expenses involved.

Visit our website to find a top real estate agent in your city.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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