As a homeowner, you want your roof to last as long as possible. You can maintain and repair it without having to replace it for years, but at some point, a time will come when it has maxed out its lifespan.

It can be difficult to determine how many years it has left. Luckily, there are a few clues to look out for that will help you determine the condition of your roof.

Some of these indications include the quality of the installation, materials used, the climate, and how much maintenance it has received over the years. You’ll have to pay attention to the clues given by your house in Oregon to get an estimate of how long your roof will last.

Below we’ll cover the signs and discuss how long Portland roofs usually last according to their type and by following strategies for longevity. Call KVN Construction, your #1 Portland area roofing and siding contractor, if you notice any of the following.

When to Determine if You Need a Replacement

Most homeowners in Portland don’t expect to replace their roofs more than once or twice while living in their homes. Unfortunately, some outside factors could cause you to replace your roof sooner than expected.

You don’t have all the say on how long your roof will last, but how well you take care of it can significantly influence how well it holds up. Eventually, even a good roof will reach the end of its lifetime and needs to be replaced because of the following reasons.


Your problems can start as soon as the installation is completed if it is not done correctly. An improper installation can lead to premature repairs, which will cost you more money than if you had it done by a reputable company in the first place.

Never do business with a company that is not insured. With KVN Construction Inc., you’re in good hands because we’re licensed, bonded, and insured in the state of Oregon.

The Climate

The limited sun exposure in Oregon gives you one less problem to worry about, but the wind and rain from storms can cause issues. The excess moisture that can linger can cause moss and other debris to move in.

Moss may seem harmless despite it being unattractive, but it can shorten the life of your roof over time. The moss will stay until it’s removed by hand or strong winds from the next storm.


Adequate ventilation is beneficial in strengthening your roof and the air quality in your home. Poor ventilation can weaken the shingles, causing them to fall sooner than expected. Having good ventilation in your house is an essential element that will guarantee your roof will last.


The Ceiling

You don’t always have to inspect the top of your home to find the signs that it’s time to call the roofing company. Small spots of discoloration or flaky drywall are often dismissed as nothing can be a sign of a leak.

Roof leaks can be hard to spot. One way to figure out if you have one is to spray the rooftop with your garden hose, then check the attic ceiling. If you see the water dripping through the ceiling where you sprayed it, you have located the source of a leak.

These clues found on your ceiling that indicate your roof may be nearing its life expectancy include:

  • Wet or darkened wood in the attic
  • Wall discoloration
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Rafters of internal structures leaking
  • Rusted nails exposed through the sheathing

The Rooftop

Making sure your roof lasts in the Pacific Northwest relies on a few main elements:

  • Age
  • Roofing material
  • Weather conditions
  • Maintenance

The type of product and how well it’s installed make a big difference to the lifespan of your roof. Roofing materials age at a different rate, and that time can vary depending on the climate of your location.

In Portland, Oregon, the sun is intense but doesn’t make as much of an appearance as in the sunny states, and the winters are on the mild side. This works out in favor of your house because the tame weather will not affect it as much as places that experience a more extreme climate.

Your biggest enemy will be the rain, which can cause several problems with your roof.

Damaged Shingles or Shakes

If shingles are damaged or missing- this is an obvious sign that something is wrong.

Shingles that have dips, blisters, or begun to buckle signify that moisture has gotten underneath them. The moisture will cause the shingles to rot, swell, or lift. This material needs a smooth, flat surface to have a useful life. Otherwise, it begins to crack when the surface is uneven.

Inspect your shingles periodically for damage, especially after a storm. Your shingles will often show you there is a problem with your roof before it’s officially time to replace it.


It might be easy to avoid checking on the gutters, but a quick look inside can give you a good idea of what’s hiding on your roof. Granules can get stuck in there after washing off the roofs. Having backed-up gutters is not only a sign that you should expect to replace your roof soon, but it also affects the air quality and plumbing of your home.

How Long Portland Roof Types Last

Although the factors above will influence how long a roof lasts in Portland, the material installed will also affect longevity.

Here’s how long you can expect your roof to last based on its construction materials.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have been the most common type of roofing material used by homeowners for decades. This traditional material is durable- it’s meant to last between 15 and 30 years if maintained.

One of the biggest signs of shingle roofs that need to be replaced is loose granules or shingles. Worn or missing shingles can cause your monthly utility bill because they no longer reflect the sunlight, causing your home to heat up faster.

If you notice that parts of the flashing are exposed, or some of the shingles are missing, you should make sure they are replaced quickly to protect the underlayment.

Cedar Roof

Cedar roofing is a bit different than traditional roofing materials because it has fibers instead of granules. This material has a life span of around 30 years and is sought after for its appearance.

The fiber is vulnerable to burning through, which is the deterioration from the sun’s UV rays and unskilled power washing. Your underlayment may be overexposed, making the surface vulnerable and eventually unsafe.

If you notice wood shakes that are a concave shape with a deep dip or a hole beginning to burn through the middle, it’s time to get them replaced. If a significant amount of wood shakes have this appearance, then you may want to consider starting your roofing project sooner rather than later.


Metal roofing has one of the highest life spans along with tile roofs, with an estimate of 30 to 50 years. The lifespan of metal is so high compared to other materials because it is resistant to many of the factors that decrease the lifespan of other roofs.

Some areas of metal roofs are more prone to leaking, such as the stack flashings that often have a lower life than the roof itself. This is why it is important to have a roofing contractor inspect your roof regularly, even if your roof is nowhere near the end of its expected life.

Getting The Most Out of Your Roof

Even a low-end roof has an estimated 15 to 20-year life span in Portland, Oregon. This estimate factors little to no maintenance, but it can be stretched if you put some work into its care. Two of the most useful tips are protecting it from the elements and having regular inspections.

These two simple guidelines will help you get the most out of your roof.

Proper Maintenance

Getting repairs done while an issue is still small prevents it from becoming a costly problem in the future. An example would be removing debris that has landed on the roof after a storm. Leaving it up there might seem harmless, but the moisture trapped between the debris and the roof can wear out the material.

A general inspection will be able to identify problems that you may overlook. Contractors are trained to identify common problems visible on roofs. They will get on the roof and search for holes, vermin passageways, and pieces that may be missing or falling off.

When It’s Time for a New Roof Installation

Replacing your roof can be a daunting task, but sometimes it’s necessary to preserve the safety of your home. There are many reasons why replacing your roof is the best option, so it’s better to get it done sooner than later by a company you trust.

Call KVN Construction, your #1 Portland contractor, for all your roof replacement needs. The construction and cost will vary depending on the size of the job, but any repairs will be easier and cheaper to fix if they are caught early and with our affordable pricing. Get in touch today for your free quote!