How long should a roof last?

They say that a roof will last a lifetime.

That was when our life spans were a lot shorter. Nowadays, when we are living into our 90s, does a roof still last a lifetime?

Low expertise roof repairs do not perform well

Roof tile manufacturers can provide a 50 year guarantee on roof tiles.

Bluescope has a 30 year warranty on Colorbond steel.

For most people, a roof is a “install and forget” case. In my travels, I have encountered roofs that are still keeping the rainwater out after  70 years and more…

… But I have also come across roofs that have to be replaced after less than 10 years. If your roofers put in rusty nails to secure your roof tiles – then they can start cracking after 10 years. I have had to replace over 30 roof tiles on a roof in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney recently. The roofers had used bright nails in a section of the roof and the nails had rusted and ‘blown’ the terracotta roof tiles apart. This roof was replaced after the hail storm of 1999.

Since most of my clients are ‘middle aged’ , I tell them that their new roof will last their lifetime. There is no need to factor in changing their roof in their future.

… For existing roofs, it can be quite difficult to tell its age and how much longer it will last. But even very old tile roofs (we have to crawl over them to limit tile breakage) can keep going if there are no tress that can drop branches on them or if there is no one climbing on them to do TV aerial work or cleaning gutters…

Metal roofs will simply rust through when the protective layer has worn away – but it is amazing how long a rusty roof can rust before it develops holes….