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Top 3 Reasons Roofs Fail

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Of all the home maintenance that comes along with buying a house, replacing the roof is one of the biggest and most intimidating projects. That’s understandable! Your home’s roof is the shelter that protects your family and your possessions, so you need it to be in good shape.

Here’s a short guide to the top 3 reasons roofs fail. If you’re on top of these, your roof should last for years to come.

1. Roofs Failing Due To Old Age

Here in Texas, a typical composition roof takes a beating from the elements. The intense heat of our summers, combined with wind and hailstorms in the spring, means that most composition roofs will need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years.

A less expensive 3-tab composition roof will last 10-12 years on average, while you should get 15-20 years out of thicker architectural shingles. Either way, composition shingles have a core made of fiberglass and asphalt, which starts breaking down under UV light as soon as the protective granules on top begin to fall off.

New metal roofing options, like standing seam roofing and stone coated steel, are becoming more popular precisely because they last so much longer than old composition technology. Although they are more expensive upfront, a properly installed stone coated steel roof can last 50 years or even more.

(Want to know more? We have a whole article about how long a roof lasts in Texas.)

2. Roofs Failing Due To Damage

An umbrella with a hole in it just isn’t any use in a storm. Neither is a damaged roof. Your roof is your home’s primary shield against the elements, and it can’t protect your shiny new Tesla — or your family, for that matter! — when it’s damaged.

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There are plenty of reasons roofs fail due to damage, and not all of it is easy to see. Of course, some roof damage is obvious: a tree crashing into your attic during a storm will be hard to miss. But other kinds of roof damage, like small hail impact spots or poor ventilation, can creep up on you.

We recommend a yearly roof inspection where a professional will look for all the signs of roof damage, large and small. That includes damaged shingles, insecure venting and flashing, pinhole leaks, and water damage in the attic. 

3. Roofs Failing Due To Poor Materials Or Installation

Even the best roofing materials won’t do much if they’re not properly installed. This includes not just placing and nailing the shingles, but also correct underlayment, all the necessary ventilation, properly installed flashing, and other details.


If you choose a roofing company based on price alone, then they have had to cut costs somewhere. The first two places roofing companies try to economize on are the cost of materials and the cost of paying their installers — but skimping in these areas is a huge mistake. It can lead to a sub-par, inferior roof that will only lead to leaks, water damage, and headaches down the road.

Designer Roofing focuses on doing quality work with quality materials. This matters for every roof installation, but it’s especially important when working with premium shingles and metal roofs that require specialized skills and experience to install correctly. Our crews are made up of top-quality installers, and our crew foremen have been working with us for years.