Need a New Roof in Winter? Here’s How Long it Lasts

Need a New Roof in Winter? Here’s How Long it Lasts

Are you considering a new roof in winter for your home, whether it’s before or during the season? Different types of roofs have different lifespans.

You can expect three-tab asphalt shingles to last up to 25 years, while architecturally aesthetic shingles last at least 30 years. Wood shingles can last up to 30 years, but certain individual shingles might need to be replaced before then. Depending on quality, a clay tile roof can last up to 50 years, and a metal roof can last 20 to 70 years. Slate roofs can last up to 100 years, and solar tile shingles up to 30 years.

Getting a new roof when it reaches its maximum lifespan is a good idea, even if it still looks good to the naked eye. Roof leaks, curling shingles, missing shingles, and hail damage are other signs it’s time to replace your roof.

Asphalt-shingle or architectural-shingle roofs can take up to 4 – 5 days to replace, depending on the weather and how big or complex the job is. Other types of roofs can take up to a couple weeks. Overall, it can take longer if it rains, snows, or there is harsh weather.

Materials play a huge role in how long a roof lasts. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a new roof before it’s needed. What’s the lifespan of a roof? Let’s take a look at one of the most important decisions when replacing your roof.

Asphalt Singles and a New Roof in Winter

Most roofs today are made of asphalt shingles. The reason they’re so popular is, they’re affordable for many homeowners and come with a 25-year warranty. They usually cost approximately $65 – $155 per square foot. In addition to protecting against ultraviolet rays (UV), wind, and rain, asphalt shingles are made from an asphalt coating over fiberglass or cellulose. Over time, heat from the sun softens the asphalt on the shingles, forming a watertight seal and bonding them in place.

There are pros and cons to each type of asphalt shingle, especially if you are considering a new roof in winter. A cellulose asphalt shingle is highly durable, but it costs more than a fiberglass shingle. As well as being thicker, organic asphalt shingles are coated with more asphalt. A layer of fiberglass shingles over an existing roof, on the other hand, is lighter in weight, so they’re often the go-to choice. The fire rating of fiberglass asphalt shingles is better than cellulose asphalt shingles.

Three-tab and architectural shingles are the most common types of fiberglass and organic asphalt shingles. Three-tab shingles are most popular because the lower edge is cut into three tabs, making the shingles look like three separate ones.

When installed in humid areas, asphalt shingles can get damaged by fungus or algae. You might want to consider algae-resistant shingles if you live in a humid or wet climate.

Contrary to this, architectural shingles are constructed with multiple layers that look like individual shingles, giving the roof a more dimensional, interesting look. There’s a notable difference between three-tab shingles and architectural shingles, which is explored below in greater detail.

Architectural Shingles and a New Roof in Winter

Despite being three times thicker than asphalt shingles, architectural shingles seal like standard asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles also have better warranties because they’re more durable. There are some warranties that last for 30 years or more, although they vary by manufacturer. When you’re choosing a new roof in winter, consider all these factors.

A square of architectural shingles costs $225 – $425 each. Fortunately, they’re more attractive than three-tab shingles. They’re durable because of those laminated layers, but they also mimic wood, slate, and tile roof patterns and textures if you want. Architectural shingles can achieve a high-end aesthetic look without being too expensive because the luxury designs aren’t as expensive as the materials they mimic.

Low-slope or flat roofs should not be covered with architectural or three-tab asphalt shingles. Roofs with a pitch where the roof rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of run should use them.

Maintenance and Upkeep for Wood Shingles

Cedar shingles and shakes are rot-resistant and insect-resistant. They look great on just about any house style, especially steep-pitched roofs.

A wood shingle roof costs $225 – $625 per square. Wood shingle roofs should be inspected yearly, and damaged or split shingles should be replaced as soon as possible. It depends on the quality of the shingles or shakes, but a well-maintained wood shingle roof should last from 15 years to 30 years.

Despite their natural aesthetics and low installation costs, wood shingles have some drawbacks. You might run into a few warped or split shingles during installation, or you might run into disfigurement after the shingles are installed. Individual shingles can pop up or leak from these defects, which is something to think about if you’re considering a new roof in winter.

Discoloration can also happen to wood shakes and shingles, which start out with a lovely brown color but fade to a mellow silvery gray after a few months, which some people like. Fire retardants are available for wood shingles, but they’re still prone to catching fire. Wood roof shingles aren’t allowed in some municipalities. You might have a higher homeowner insurance premium or deductible with wood shingles.

Instead of cedar, some wood shingles are made out of redwood or southern pine. Shakes are handmade, but shingles are machine-made. Wood shakes are much more expensive, relatively speaking, than they were years ago. Despite the natural look of wood, it can’t be used everywhere, and some local building codes may prohibit them due to fire proneness.

Metal Roofs are Beautiful and Have Longevity

Depending on the material, metal roofing runs from $110 per square for aluminum or steel standing-seam panels to $925 per square for stone-coated steel tiles and copper standing-seam panels. Many homeowners consider this option for a new roof in winter when they can afford it, foresee themselves living on the property for nearly a lifetime, and want something that really stands out.

A metal roof’s quality also depends on its gauge. The thicker the gauge (the lower the number), the stronger the roof. Metals with a lifespan of 20 to 25 years are cheaper.

In northern regions, high-end metal roofs keep snow off the roof and are durable enough to last over 50 years. Depending on the metal, manufacturers give warranties ranging from 20 years to a lifetime. On a side note, asphalt shingles use a lot of petroleum products, but metal roofing has a smaller carbon footprint than asphalt.

However, falling branches or large hail can dent metal roofs. It’s pretty hard to get dents out of a metal roof, and they’re usually visible from a distance. Consider metal roofs made from steel instead of aluminum or copper if you live under a canopy of trees or get a lot of hail.

Clay Tile Roofs and Proper Installation

When it comes to having new roof in winter installed, this option is only for certain geographies. The southwestern United States is known for its bold and earthy colors in clay tiles, which are available in a variety of shades. They cost about $575 – $825 per square to install, but you won’t have to replace your roof for at least 50 years. Depending on the manufacturer, the tiles can last for up to a lifetime and are a durable, low-maintenance option.

The sun’s intense heat can soften asphalt shingles underneath (the options at the top of this article), weakening adhesion and causing roof leaks in hot, sunny climates.

However, clay tiles are sometimes actually made of clay. Others are molded, tinted concrete in curved, flat or interlocking shapes. Installing them is not a do-it-yourself project. Having to install the tiles in defined patterns requires precise measuring, as they’re heavy and brittle. A clay tile roof can weigh up to 950 pounds per square, so you may have to beef up the roof structure if you’re transitioning from an old asphalt roof.

Slate Tile Roof: The Longest Lasting Material

This option is perfect for cutting into uniform roofing tiles since slate is a natural metamorphic stone. While slate roofs are not cheap (ranging from $550 – $1,600 per square), they can withstand nearly any weather, which is why many consider this choice when getting a new roof in winter.

There are warranties on slate tiles ranging from 50 years to a lifetime. If one breaks, it can easily be replaced.

However, a slate tile roof’s biggest downside (besides cost) is its weight. The rafters of the roof need to be reinforced before a slate roof can be installed. Standard roof framing won’t support these heavy tiles. Slate tile roofs are also not do-it-yourself friendly. The installation of slate tiles requires precision, and an experienced contractor can prevent the tiles from shedding layers.

Nonetheless, there’s no better roof for fireproofing than slate tile. It’s eco-friendly too, since it’s natural.

Where Your Buck Meets the Roof

Again, the lifespan of a roof depends on the materials, the workmanship, and the climate. It’s no surprise durable materials cost more. There are lots of colors and designs to choose from, but choosing a new roof in winter isn’t just about picking a color. You should choose a roofing material that works with the climate and slope of your roof — and the weather in your region.

Just as important in the process: Make sure you have adequate warranty protection. Roof shingle workmanship warranties versus standard and extended warranties can sound like a complicated web of information. While the warranty process can feel overwhelming at first, knowing all of your roof-material warranty options is key to making a good decision about your long-term roofing material.

Keystone Roofing and Siding is here to educate consumers and homeowners about the health and safety regarding one of their most important assets. Please contact us with your questions or to set up an appointment.