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What You Should Know About Your Roof’s Lifespan

text: What You Should Know About Your Roof's Lifespan

Despite all a homeowner’s best efforts, no Atlanta home has a permanent roof. Every roof, of every type of material, eventually wears out. How can you determine if your home’s roof is at the beginning, middle, or end of its lifespan?

Do Your Homework

Do you know the age of your roof? Who installed it? Do you know who has been maintaining, repairing, or inspecting it?

If you know almost nothing about your roof, contact a local, trustworthy roofing contractor to set a baseline inspection. Just as with commercial roofs, residential roofs can be evaluated for:

  • Flashing integrity — The metal flashing can loosen or corrode
  • Surface issues — Granule loss means lifespan is nearing its end
  • Potential leaks — Missing, cracked, crazed, or torn shingles spell water infiltration
  • Sheathing condition — From inside the attic, a good roofer can assess your sheathing for rot or mold
  • Wear age — Not chronological age, but how old your roof appears to be, based on weather, incidents, and maintenance

Crystal Ball

Whether you have a metal roof, fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof, or some other material, a good roofer can evaluate its condition and provide a rough forecast of its expected life span. Nobody has a crystal ball to foresee the future exactly, but some local conditions can hasten a roof’s end of life.

  • Blunt impact from fallen branches, wind-borne debris, or animal activity
  • Infestation from squirrels, rodents, or insects
  • Repeated exposure to hurricane-force winds and wind-driven rain
  • Cycles of ice buildup and thaw

Metal roofs generally last 50+ years. Fiberglass-asphalt shingles last 15 to 30 years, with newer shingles lasting longer.

Flat roofs are unpredictable in residential settings. Some flat roofs use durable, commercial-grade materials like PVC or EPDM. These may last three decades or longer. Some roofs, especially in older homes, may use materials of earlier invention, like built-up roofing (BUR) or modified bitumen. These wear faster than more modern polymers.


Always go with a local, long-established roofer for inspection, repair, maintenance, and roof replacement. Accurate, consistent roof monitoring can help any roof material last longer. A trusted roofing partner can point out ways to add years to your roof’s life span.

To get answers to every roofing question you have, contact the experts at Echols Home Improvements. We can assess your home’s current roof, help determine how many years of useful life remain, and provide advice on stretching a few months into many more months of life.

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