How Long Does a Wood Roof Last?

BY |

Whether planning to build a new home, renovate or rent, examining the quality of the roof is a critical factor to consider. The quality of a roof is determined by the iron sheets used to construct it, the design, and the wood or metal used.

A roof will last for a long if it is renovated regularly.

The average lifespan of a wood roof is 30 years, but the period is depended on the environment the house is located, maintenance, and the quality of materials used in constructing the roof. Environmental factors such as wind, humidity, air pressure, and rain heavily influence the lifespan of a roof.

I will unravel the mystery behind the factors that facilitate the life of a roof, the best roofing materials, and the underlying conditions that a roof may or may not suit in a particular geographical area.

What are the factors that lower the lifespan of the roof?


The lifespan of roofs will vary depending on the house’s location and the environmental factors within the geographical area. The factors that influence the lifetime of a roof negatively are as follows;

1. Environmental factors

A little less than a month ago, I was going for a morning walk around the suburbs of an industrial area and realized that the nearby buildings had rusted roofs but seemed to be new.

I researched and found that the area was experiencing acidic rain as a result of industrial gases.

The owners had no other option than to replace the roofs after the rain turned the roofs. Likewise, buildings near the coastal areas experience the same due to humidity from the ocean. The salty condition in the coast acts as a catalyst and speeds up the reaction.

The same problem characterizes areas experiencing hurricanes and other strong winds. Roofs are blown away without notice!

The 30 years lifespan does not always apply to people living in savannah grassland and deserts.

2. Quality of material

The quality of iron sheets used determines the lifetime of the roof. As the saying goes, cheap is expensive. Buying cheap iron sheets demands regular replacements because the extreme environmental condition will degrade the value quickly.

Again, the quality of the rafters used will determine the value of the roof after a strong wind. If the rafters are metallically connected by welding, the roof will not be dismantled by a hurricane.

But if it is poor quality wood, the chances are minimal, and preparing to revisit hardware should be the next plan.

3. Roofing material

Planning for long or short-term roofing depends on the financial stability, type of house to be constructed, and the purpose of the house. A short-term house does not require durable and expensive roofing materials.

Lightweight roofing iron sheets such as aluminum are cheap, but they are affected by extreme temperatures and acidic rain. If I consider using them, the structure should be of less importance and short-term.

On the contrary, copper roofing is very expensive but long-lasting iron sheets that do not rust no matter what conditions. As the chameleon camouflages, copper iron sheets do so when adverse weather conditions such as extreme temperatures, rain, and salty humidity hit on the outer surface.

4. Roofing slope

The slope should be inclined to shed water, morning dew, and falling debris. Debris falling from the atmosphere facilitates rusting of iron sheets, and so the roof should be inclined.

A medium-steep slope is the best because the wind will not take advantage of blowing away, and moisture will fall easily.

5. Ventilation

House ventilation regulates the room temperature by allowing fresh air inside and expelling warm air out and vice versa. Moisture that resides in the house for a long time condenses and falls on the roof, thus causing water on it. With some time, the roof develops rust and holes.

How long does asphalt shingles roof last?

Like any other durable roof, asphalt shingles guarantee long-lasting roofing that goes for 30 years, depending on the model. Asphalt has three models; 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. A dimensional model has a 30 years warranty while 3-tab has a warranty of 25 years.

When the house is well ventilated, a dimensional model can give a service of up to 28 years, while a 3-tab guarantees up to 22 years. When damaged, asphalt shingles need to be replaced, and maybe you can be worried when to know that asphalt needs replacement.

Curling, broken, cracked, or mineral debris on the gutters shows that the asphalt needs replacement.

How long does a metal roof last?

When planning for the long run, metallic roofs are the best choice. They guarantee even a century, and in most cases, they do not disappoint. Metallic iron sheets are made of copper and zinc. Talk of galvanized corrugated iron sheets, and you are talking about metallic roofing.

Metallic roofs guarantee safety in wind-affected areas because they withstand wind velocity of 100 miles per hour.

Though it may take decades before damages, color fading, and water stains in the attic are noticed, the sheets are demanding a replacement when either of these and/or of them are noticed.

How long does cedar shake roof last?

Cedar roof is made from cedar and California redwood trees. The shakes are made from mature cedar plants where the tree is cut into small logs of wood of varying lengths and identical widths.

The shakes are fixed on the roof one after the other, from top to bottom, in an inclined position as clay tiles are installed. Cedar shakes guarantee up to 30 years when well maintained, but the lifetime radically reduces in cold regions.

However, the quality deteriorates with time due to moisture in polar areas and scorching sun in tropical regions. Cedar shakes demand replacement when they shrink, break, moisture seeps into the shakes, plants grow on the shakes threatening the life expectancy.

How long does a clay tile roof last?

They are common in residential areas and big buildings. Clay tile roofs are natural, made from clay soil, and compressed under high pressure and temperature to produce strong to hard tiles. Clay tile manufacturers provide a warrant of something between 30 years and a lifetime.

When well maintained, clay tiles can hit a century. The roof is not required to be so steep because they are fixed one after the other.

Cleaning them regularly removes molds, debris, and other plants that germinate over the roof from wind-pollinated flowers.

In Polar Regions, clay tile roofing is not suitable because freezing and thawing drastically reduce life expectancy. However, the tiles can be sealed with plastic papers to avoid contact with ice and dew.

Cracked tiles debris, leakages, or roots penetrate the roofing alert that immediate replacement is required.

How long does the slate tile roof last?

If old is gold, then slate tile roof is one because they guarantee a warrant of between one and two centuries. Slate tile roofs are made from stones that are cut into the shape of a rectangle.

Of all roofing materials, slate tile is the best bet for both tropical and Polar Regions.

They withstand adverse weather conditions such as extreme sun and high humidity, resist corrosion, rarely break, and retain moisture.

Slate tiles demand less maintenance because they are naturally made, and it is hard to support the growth of molds, moss, and wind-pollinated plants.

Leave a Comment