How Often Should I Replace My Roof?

The lifespan of your roof depends on a lot of factors, but one thing is certain. Roofing only lasts for so long, and there’s a good chance you will need to replace your roof at some point. There’s a chance your roof already needs repairing or replacing. How often should you replace your roof? It depends. There are several signs of roof damage you can look for that can help guide you.

Signs a Roof Needs to Be Replaced

1. Cracked or Broken Shingles

Shingle damage is a significant sign your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Sometimes it can be obvious—maybe you’ll see shingles with missing pieces or chunks of debris washing into your gutters. Other times, it can be more subtle. You may need to inspect your roof up close or have a professional do it for you, especially if you have a dangerously steep roof.

Cracked or broken shingles result from extreme weather conditions or just regular wear and tear. Asphalt shingles contain oil that enables them to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Over time, exposure to sun, wind, and weather dries out your shingles, leaving them brittle and unable to function as they once did, which results in cracking and breaking.

2. Leaks

Leaks are another clear indication your roof needs to be replaced. They can be a sign of external damage, like from a fallen tree limb, or an indication of wider roof deterioration.

Whether your leak issue is in just one place or more widespread, you will likely need to contact a professional to inspect your roof and make the necessary repairs. The cost of roof repairs will depend on how extensive the damage is.

3. Flashing Is Breaking

Roof damage isn’t just limited to the shingles. The flashing is the material used to connect your roofing to other parts of the roof like vents, chimneys, or skylights. This material directs water away from the structure and onto the shingles to run toward the gutters.

If the flashing is breaking, water can get into the seam and under the roofing. This can lead to severe damage to the roof and the structure below. If you notice damage to your roof flashing, look into repairing it as soon as possible.

Like cracking shingles, moss growth can be an indication of a larger problem. If moss is growing on your roof, it could mean water is working into cracks and gaps—which means you could have significant damage.

Moss growth can also occur if your roof is shaded by overhanging objects like tree limbs, allowing moisture to stay on your roof longer and enabling the moss to thrive. That moss can trap even more moisture on your roof and lead to damage. It’s typically best to clear the shading limbs away from your roof. This helps prevent moss growth and can help you avoid damage from falling limbs.

5. Sunken Roof

This is a major sign of extensive roof damage. It can mean a more widespread failure of the roofing. A sunken roof typically includes more than just the shingles and likely involves the roof’s structure as a whole. If you see your roof sinking at all, you should contact a professional to take a look.

Roof Age Matters

In addition to checking for signs of damage, consider the roof’s age. Even with routine maintenance and timely repairs, roofing naturally deteriorates with time, requiring a costly roof replacement.

Find out when the roof was installed to determine if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan and due for replacement. You may need to contact the manufacturer or property’s previous owner to know the age. 

Also, keep in mind that some roofing materials age faster than others and will require replacement sooner. 

How Long Do Roof Materials Last?

Sometimes, a simple wash is all that’s required to make an old roof appear like new again. Nevertheless, old roofs come with inherent dangers and should be replaced. How often should you replace your roof? It depends on the material.


Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material and the least expensive. But their low price tag doesn’t mean they won’t last long. Their average useful life is 15 to 20 years and may extend to 30 years with proper upkeep, such as the application of Softwash Hawaii


Clay tiles are one of the hardiest roofing materials available, and it’s not surprising that they are among the longest-lasting. Clay tiles can last up to 50 years and are best suited for hot, sunny climates. In addition to being resistant to weather, fire, and rot, they are also low maintenance.


If you have slate tiles for roofing, you might never have to consider how to prepare your roof for replacement. That’s because slate lasts 75 to 200 years, and manufacturers usually offer warranties ranging from 50 years to a lifetime. Like clay, slate is extremely durable and virtually fuss-free.


Metal is an increasingly popular choice for roofing—it is resilient but not as expensive as clay and slate. Depending on the type of metal used and its thickness, a metal roof can last between 40 and 70 years. For example, steel and aluminum are good for 50 years, while zinc and copper will not require replacement for a century.  

Other Factors to Consider

When establishing how often you should replace your roof, other factors can impact its life expectancy as well. These factors include:

  • Installation Quality: Improper installation shortens a roof’s expected lifespan, as mistakes might damage the material and structure.
  • Environmental Conditions: Frequent exposure to UV rays, high winds, extreme temperatures, and heavy falling debris also reduce its useful life.
  • Maintenance: With routine upkeep, you can detect damage early before problems worsen and require costly repairs or replacement.

Get Your Roof Cleaned & Treated Today!

Knowing how often to replace your roof can be tricky. It depends on many factors, including how old your roof is and how it has held up to the surrounding conditions.

There is something you can do to extend the life of your roof. Roof Cleaning and Routine Maintenance treatments from Softwash Hawaii extends it life, and ability to stand up to the elements. 

Plus, Softwash Hawaii Routine Inspection & Maintenance Program can ensure your roof’s life is maximized. The best part? Roof & Exterior surface treatments from Softwash Hawaii just 10-15% of what replacing your roof would cost. You save thousands and keep your roof going strong.
Contact Softwash Hawaii today and get more years from your roof.

Share This Post

You're In Good Hands!

We want you to know
We are committed to your happiness



& Insured




Oahu’s #1 Trusted Soft Washing & Pressure Washing Company

Ready to restore The Look of your Home?

no obligations just a fast quote



Use Code [ 25-OFF ] When Requesting a Quote for Two or More Services