top of page

How long will my new roof last?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

When it comes to adding a new roof to your property in Leeds, if the correct type of roofing material is used, you can expect your new roof to have a life expectancy of around 60 years. Most roofs last longer than this if regular maintenance is carried out every couple of years.

Concrete tiles will last around 60 years.

Clay tiles will last around 90 years.

Slate can last around 120 years, as long as a good quality slate is used.

When it comes to replacing your roof, one of the biggest factors is cost. The cheapest material for a roof replacement is concrete, and the most expensive material is slate. Most properties in Leeds are now using concrete tiles for their new roofs as this tile is the most cost-effective.

Roof life expectancy is one of the most important questions we get asked when it comes to roof replacement. We always answer this by how long you plan on living on your property. When it comes to adding a new roof to your home, one factor to consider is that the new roof will not add value to your house, and if you plan on selling your home in the next few years, it is pointless to spend thousands on a new roof if you are going to sell your home. A new roof will make your home more sellable, as you will have a 20-year guarantee on your new roof and the buyer will see that the house has a new roof.

Picking the right roofing contractor is also important when adding a new roof to your property, as they can advise you on the correct materials needed.

How long does it take to replace a roof?

This all depends on what is needed on your new roof. If it's just an up-and-over style roof, we can normally replace your roof within 2 days. A new semi-detached roof will take around 3 days, and a new detached roof will take around 4 days. Some things can make a new roof take a longer period to replace your roof. If your home has a lot of valleys on it, this can take a lot of time to cut up, so this can add time to your new roof. At Leeds & District Roofing LTD., we do work off times as we like to ensure all our jobs are done to perfection.

What materials should I use to replace my roof?

Below you will find a list of roof materials used by us when we replace a roof. We have tried most products over the years, and these roof materials are the best we have used.

Breathable felt for your new roof

When you need a new roof, the most important part is the materials used. Using a cheap breathable felt on your new roof will only lead to problems down the line. Cheap breathable felt will rip and tear easily, and this is the most important barrier on your new roof. All new roofs leak around 10% of water in high winds and rain, and the breathable felt takes the water that has leaked through the slates or tiles into the guttering. This is why good quality breathable felt is needed when you replace your roof.

We only use TLX uv25 breathable felt when we replace a roof, as this is the best on the market and we want your new roof to last as long as possible. TLX uv25 has a gsm of 165 and is one of the best breathable felts on the market. We have used this product for many years now, and we have never found a better feeling on the market.

Breathable felt
Tlx is the felt we use on new roofs
We use tlx uv 25 on our new roofs in Leeds

Roofing battens for your new roof

Treated wooden battens are your next part of a roof. Treated wooden battens are your next part of the roof. All roofing battens should be BBA approved as these battens are all inspected to make sure they meet the correct specifications.

Roof covering for your new roof

Concrete tiles - Concrete tiles have been more widely available and well-liked in the Leeds market over time. In this part, we'll go through the advantages of employing tiles in your construction project or company. Concrete tiles are worth renting or buying due to their many benefits, including flexibility, resistance, and durability. Concrete tiles can withstand up to 530 lb of pressure and impact. Instead, ceramic tiles only need 280 pounds to shatter. Additionally, if the load is too great, the tiles could break.

Concrete tiles greatly lower this danger since they don't shatter as readily while being loaded or stored.

Concrete roof tiles are used on over 60% of all pitched roofs.

In the UK, concrete makes up the bulk of roofs. The original concrete tiles were made by hand- or semi-hand-powered machinery. The first power-driven tile-making machine, the Ringsted, was developed in Denmark (and subsequently patented in the United States).

The concrete tile first appeared in the UK in the 1920s, but it swiftly lost popularity there. However, the government persisted with a vigorous building program after World War II, which caused a rapid increase in demand for concrete tiles. Professionals in the industry are aware that the Redland 49 tile was the most widely used choice and is sometimes referred to as "the tile that re-roofed Britain." This is because British manufacturers made a large investment in more efficient, automated manufacturing techniques for concrete tiles. The tile has been a roofing contractor favorite for more than 50 years due to its low profile and straightforward installation.

Clay tiles - One of the first construction materials was clay, which has been around for a very long time. Homeowners all around the globe have relied on these roof tiles to keep their heads dry and their families safe from the weather for millennia. They come in a variety of colors that complement the local palette in many parts of the United Kingdom and provide a touch of natural beauty to any roof. According to BRE's environmental profiling method for construction, the minimum lifespan of a roof covered with clay tiles is around 60 years. Additionally, if a clay tile becomes broken, it is simple to replace it. Broken roof tiles may be changed without having to replace the complete roof. Roofing using clay is preferable to other materials like concrete since it is stronger and lasts longer. For these reasons, clay roof tiles tend to last for some time. Clay roof tiles may withstand harsher weather for longer than concrete roof tiles, which is crucial to consider in light of shifting weather patterns due to climate change, however, no tiles are sold on the UK market without meeting British Standard criteria. Traditional clay roof tiles may outlast their more modern counterparts by many decades. There have been estimates that suggest these roofs might last for 100 years or more. A clay tile roof will last at least 50 years under the most optimistic circumstances. Since the tiles are constructed to withstand the weather and to be almost indestructible, this is the case. Clay tiles have a lower total cost of ownership since they need less maintenance than other roofing materials. Concrete tiles are the standard roofing material. Their lifespan is limited to about 20 years, and they need more frequent and thorough maintenance to keep running well for that long. Because of their little impact on the environment, clay tiles are a popular choice. This is because they are crafted from an organic substance. It's simple to reuse them, and they eliminate the need for production. Unlike metal roofs, clay roof tiles may become loose and blow away in high winds. Even though they are more resistant to the effects of wind than traditional roofing materials, they may still shift or blow off the roof in very strong gusts.

Slate - Welsh Slate is the finest roofing slate available, and it will provide you with a roof that will endure for generations.

As a result of its remarkable geology, the slate quarried there have unique physical features that, when coupled with the expertise of generations of quarrymen, have allowed it to withstand the test of time in the worst climates conceivable. Capital, County, and Celtic are all available in varying thicknesses to meet the needs of various construction tasks. As a company, Leeds & District Roofing has spent decades honing its expertise in the field of roofing. For our roofs, we exclusively utilize the finest quality slate. Welsh Slate roofing is only one of many examples of Leeds & District Roofing's magnificent and long-lasting work. This slate is very sturdy since it comes from Welsh slate mines. Durability-wise, it's on par with or even exceeds that of Spanish Slate and other forms of slate. Penrhyn and CWT-y-Bugail are the two most common varieties of welsh slate that can be purchased commercially.

Lead work on your new roof

There are many areas of your roof that will need lead work and using the correct code is important.

Step Flashings

Run lengths for step flashing should be between 1.2 and 1.5 meters. They should always be in place before the glazing materials are fitted but maybe put before or after the Glazing Bars. This kind of lead flashing should only be used with materials like a brick that have regularly spaced horizontal joints and a drainage channel on the glazing bar. The step finish and the lengths of material used in this flashing type are identical to those used in traditional step flashing (i.e. 1.2 to 1.5m). Lead, on the other hand, is not dressed into a drainage channel as step flashing is, but rather over the Wall Bar Top Cap. Lead work may be added before or after the Wall Bar is erected, but it must be dressed down when the glazing material is in place. It's important to wait until the Wall Bar Top Cap has been installed. Step flashing may be used in situations when stones are put in uniform horizontal courses. The preferable way, however, is to use a unique piece of Lead for each step to avoid the stair's uneven appearance. Lead flashing, like the other forms of flashing discussed, may be dressed into the drainage channel or over the wall bar. Each flashing must overlap by at least 70 mm. Cutting a groove into the stone and installing the Lead into it is the best way of flashing when using random stonework. The lead may be poured into a drainage channel or shaped on top of a wall bar, as before. Each run has to be between 1.2 and 1.5 meters long, with a 70-millimeter overlap.

Lead Apron

The front lead apron's objective is to seal the chimney's intersection with the roof's completed surface from rain and snow. It doesn't matter whether your final roof is made of tiles or slate; the front apron installation process is the same for both. If you have a brick or stone chimney, you'll need to cut your lead apron into a mortar course before you can install it. This will tell you how high your apron needs to be (often between 50mm and 100mm above the current chimney). Using this metric, you may determine the best way to diverge from the pack and secure the victory. For the lead apron to be installed, the mortar course will need to be chased away. A compact angle grinder may be rented with a cutting disc made specifically for slicing through mortar and removing it from mortar courses in a single motion. When installing a lead apron, little folded lead tacks or wedges (which may be carved by hand or purchased already produced) are hammered into the excavated mortar course to temporarily secure the apron in place until it is pointed or bonded securely into place. The lead apron must be reinstalled on both sides of the chimney. When the side-stepped lead flashings are placed, they will cover these returns, completing the flashings and ensuring water tightness for the chimney.

Lead Soakers

Between tiles and anything that causes breaches in the roof's structure, such as chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and other fixtures, lead soakers are used to ensuring that water doesn't leak in. Lead soakers are often used to fill the space between roof tiles and protruding elements like chimneys, skylights, ventilation pipes, and other similar structures. Soakers are installed beneath the surrounding tiles and up against the obstruction to stop water from getting into the attic and perhaps creating mold or leaks. When lead soakers are properly installed on a roof, water will drain off the tiles and into the gutters, protecting the roof from the elements. There is a wide variety of codes for lead soakers that categorize the various thicknesses and, by extension, the functions of the lead. Code 3 lead sheets, which are 1.3mm thick and used for roof soakers, are the industry standard (although code 4 lead sheets can be used which are 1.8mm thick). Thin lead soakers are utilized since using thicker sheets may compromise the roof's structural integrity and fit under the tiles.

Lead Gutter Back

A chimney back gutter, or any flashing at the point where a protrusion from the roof slope, such as a wall or roof window, interrupts the water's path to the gutter, is there to collect and reroute the water so that it does not damage the structure. The amount of water collected is directly proportional to the length of the back gutter and the amount of roof area that drains into the back gutter. Chimney or projection widths may be anything from a few centimeters to many meters. More depth and width will be required in the rear gutter to accommodate the flow of water from the roof, the greater the projection. It's not a good idea to dump a lot of water from a rear gutter onto the roof. The roof tile head and side laps as well as the chimney side flashings can be overwhelmed by point loads of water, especially on low-pitched roofs. Internal outlets or open lead gutters may be required to direct the water to the eaves in such cases. Water from the rear gutter should be directed into a hopper rather than onto the tiles in areas where a chimney is located at a gable wall. Alternately, you might build up the lead flashing to form an upstand and divert the water away from the gable.

Lead Valley

When a pitched roof is poorly built, the valley is one of the first places water will find its way. Because water will be channeled towards rather than away from this space, careful planning and execution are required before construction. The mortar bedding is sometimes misunderstood to be there just to keep water out. A valley, however, should function well even without masonry. Some valleys, like those made from double-lapped plain tiles or slate, don't even need mortar. Single-lap tile valleys are often laid without mortar in Leeds. So, how does one go about making a valley? It's crucial to start with the foundation beneath the valley. In place of just resting on top of the rafters, the valley boards should be positioned flush with their tops. In that manner, the tiles aren't required to extend over the valley's rim. As the boarding must be trimmed to fit between the rafters, support timbers must be fastened to the sides of the rafters to ensure the valley boards are set flat. When installing a lead-lined valley, thin plywood linings are placed over the valley boards to keep the valley smooth.

Ridge tiles on your new roof

Because of BS 5534, all newly constructed roofs must have a dry ridge system installed by the building control department. Please note that this rule does not apply to the repair of preexisting roofs or certain listed and historic properties. Mortar-bonded ridge tiles' durability may be affected by several external influences. A dry ridge, on the other hand, ensures that the roof tiles stay put in the absence of a storm, drastically lowering the likelihood of damage. Dry ridging doesn't need any upkeep as mortar does. It is normal for mortar mixes to deteriorate with time, although this might happen faster than expected.

Covert roof ventilation is another option made possible by a dry ridge. This, in turn, helps to avoid the formation of potentially hazardous condensation. Condensation is bad for your roof's health and may lead to leaks, damage, and mold if left unchecked; a dry ridge is preferable.

Valley works on your new roof.

Dry Roof Valleys

Mortar (Cement) has been replaced by more modern methods throughout the years. Dry roofing or dry fixing describes this technique. Most roofs have mortar applied to the verges (gables), ridges, hips, and valleys. Verges, ridges, and valleys have traditionally been fastened to a roof using mortar. All Verges, Ridges, Valleys, and Hips must be fastened using at least one type of Mechanical or Dry Fixing, as per the latest regulations (BS5534). There are several benefits to using dry fixing rather than mortar. Leeds & District Roofing is a local roofing company that specializes in dry fit systems. Valleys made of traditional mortar degrade with time and collapse because of vibrations and natural expansion and contraction. Dry valley systems are standard equipment when we rebuild a roof, and we install them often. Since dry valley systems are mechanically fixed, they avoid the issues that come with mortar. That's why they're so long-lasting and cheap: they need almost any upkeep.

Lead Roof Valleys

Lead has long been recognized as one of the greatest roof coverings because of its durability, versatility, and low maintenance requirements. Typically, a roof's valley is where you'll find a lead. A home will often have many lead valleys, and without them, water from rain can simply seep inside, leading to mold and other structural issues. Both roof repairs and valleys may benefit from the use of lead, which is a popular and useful material. Because of its pliability, leadwork may be fashioned into a wide variety of forms. Lead's malleability makes it an unrivaled material for extended performance, and this allows it to be meticulously fabricated into a variety of forms. Lead's innate resistance to corrosion and water makes it exceedingly durable, and its malleability is a bonus.

Dry verge caps on your new roof

Dry verge caps finish off a new roof and can make your new roof maintenance-free. They come in many colors and when fitted correctly will last as long as your new roof. Using the correct dry verge cap will always help with keeping your home watertight. We recommend using a BBA-approved dry verge cap as this will fit into the full spec of your roof.


bottom of page