How Long Can a Roof Last? Are You Taking Care of Your Roof Wrong?

roof projection

There are certain letters that you don’t want to receive in the mail. Almost anything from the IRS is bad news, as is a letter from the mother-in-law saying that she’s coming to visit next week. There’s one letter, though, that will make a visit from the in-laws seem like a bright spot in your life.

A roof replacement demand letter.

If you’ve ever wondered how long can a roof last, you should know that your insurance company has thought of it too. They have a right to demand that you replace your roof to continue covering your home.

Read on to learn how long roofs last based on their shape and material.

Types of Roofs

In general, insurance companies like roofs without flat areas. These areas allow water to pool, which will damage your roof and allow water to leak in. Those leaks affect the rest of your home and lead to damage that requires thousands of dollars to fix. It can also lead to mold, putting your home’s structure and family’s health at stake.

The shape of your roof and the materials it’s made from are the two primary considerations of an insurance company.


Generally, flatter roofs are bad from an insurance perspective. If you have a flat roof, they’ll want you to get a new roof every 10-15 years in some areas. Insurance companies view flat roofs as a ticking time bomb in places that see a lot of rain. They prefer hipped roofs, in which all four sides have a downward slope, because this is the best shape for keeping rain, snow, and foreign objects from sitting on the roof.

Gabled roofs are also good options, although an insurance company will assume that they won’t last as long. A gabled roof is one in which two sides slope down.

Remember, the more slop a roof has, the longer it lasts statistically. 


For shingle roofs, there are three main types. The first is the standard shingle, which gives the roof a flatter surface. These will generally last around 15 years before needing a replacement. Architectural shingles will generally last longer because they overlap each other and create a textured surface that’s better at stopping water from pooling.

Clay or concrete tile roofing will last around 30 years because of estimates due to the strength of the material. Metal roofing can 40 years or longer, making it the best option.

How Long Can A Roof Last?

A hipped metal roof can last up to 70 years and is the perfect solution for insurance companies, followed by a gabled metal roof, which can last up to 50 years. Hipped roofs with clay or concrete tiles are ideal for those that want a less expensive way to keep their insurance company happy. These can last up to 30 years.

Keep Your Insurance Company Happy

If you don’t want to get a letter from your insurance company demanding that you get a new roof, contact a professional to ask them how long can a roof last. You can also talk to them about long-lasting roof options. You should also get a roof inspection annually to stay on top of any problems.

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