Top 5 Roofing Systems That will Last Longer Than You Will

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Raising the Roof’s Standards: How Long Does a Roof Last

Are you in the middle of constructing your brand new home? Do you need a new roof? Looking for replacement roofs?

Usually, the top priorities focus on improving the windows, decorating the interior spaces, sprucing up the garden landscape, and upgrading fixtures and furniture and flooring.

However, did you ever ask yourself, “How long does a roof last”?  From afar, it is easy to assume all roofs are made of the same material. Therefore, you may be thinking that the life span of all roofs are the same.

This article lists down the different lifespans of the most used roof types for houses.

What Affects the Lifespan of Your Roof?

Your roof stands as one of the most vital elements in your home. Unfortunately, your roof is also one of the least monitored parts of your home.

Just imagine a house with a low-quality roof. Can that roof last

If you live in areas that experience heavy rainfall, your home, and most importantly, your roof will not receive protection from torrid rains.

If you live in dry and hot states, you won’t be provided with the necessary cooling despite the sun’s scorching heat.

If your state experiences winter, your house will not be adequately insulated from frigid temperatures, which could result in ice dams.

Rust and mildew are also some concerns that impact the integrity of your roof.

In short, your roof is exposed to hazards and risks if your house’s roof does not deliver. Different weather conditions such as typhoons, hailstorms, heat waves, and blizzards may reduce a roof’s lifespan.

It is not enough, however, to settle for any kind of roof. You have to go for high-quality roofing materials (like Ice & Water Shield) that will enhance and prolong a roof’s lifespan.

The different types of materials will determine how long or short a roof will last. It will also serve as the foundation of your home’s exterior.

Roofing Materials Lifespans

Before constructing your roof, it is essential to understand the different materials and elements involved.

Here are the different types of roofing material, their respective life spans, and the materials that make up each type.

Asphalt Shingles Lifespan

asphalt shingle roof
Not all jobs are for profit! We replaced my grandmothers asphalt shingle roof for free in Alabama. Her prior roof lasted about 20 years before it started leaking.

Asphalt roofing shingles are commonly used among most houses. Around 80 percent of American homes use roofing materials such as these.

Available in many forms, colors, and styles, this type of shingle roof is designed to keep your home and other homeowners protected from weathering years.

Since this is a low-maintenance roofing material, the cost of replacing the roof is low.

Strip Shingles

The 3-tab shingle is the most basic roof choice among most asphalt shingles.

This type of shingle roof will usually make a roof last of around 20 to 25 years long. 25 years is relatively long considering the fact strip shingles are the most common asphalt material.

They make up a single layer of asphalt using other components like starter strips, underlayment, flashing and ridge vent.

This gives your shingle roof a very lean appearance due to the flat makeup of these asphalt shingles.

Since this is the most basic type of asphalt shingle, strip shingles are the most lightweight and the least expensive among all asphalt shingles.

Nowadays, most engineers and home designers use strip shingles for the construction of cheap houses. Moreover, homeowners who already have preexisting strip use this type of asphalt shingle as a replacement roofing materials.

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional Shingles are the most commonly-used asphalt shingles.

These consist of two or more asphalt layers combined to create a thicker and more elaborate look.

Since these are heavier, they usually have a long lifespan of about 30 to 50 years. In addition, they can also withstand turbulent weather, whether it is a torrential downpour or heavy snowfall.

If you are browsing through options for a new shingle roof, the dimensional shingles should be at your radar’s top.

Luxury Shingles Lifespan

These are deemed the highest quality shingles of the three that were discussed in this article.

This type of material provides maximum protection against most forms of weathering.

It is no secret as to why they are called the shingle “heavyweights.” The lifespan for this shingle roof can go for at least 20 years.

These roof shingles are also aesthetically pleasing to look at. The grandeur three-dimensional design and its coordinated color schemes make it a stunning piece of asphalt to look at.

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are reliable, long-lasting, and very low maintenance.

It’s no secret why most homeowners consider this roofing material during a brand new roof installation. Here are some of its benefits:

  • External Appearance

Let’s admit. You don’t want the exterior of your home to look uniform with your neighbors’ houses. One way to show that your house stands out is by giving your roof a colorful look.

Plain roof colors such as brown, white, and black give off a more boring vibe and a less homey atmosphere. Thankfully, asphalt shingles come in many different colors.

The installation of these shingles can surely help complement either the minimalist style or the home’s outgoing color schemes.

  • Low Budget Price

If you are trying to construct your house using low budget materials, then installing asphalt shingles is the way to go. This type of roofing material costs much less compared to its roofing replace counterparts.

It is a feasible choice for those who want to either revamp their roofs or install it.

  • Longevity

Shingles such as this can last for about 30 years long. Its ideal weight assists the roof’s durability. It can resist harsh weather such as snow, rains, typhoons, etc. It is also immune to leaks, thus resulting in a few repairs.

Asphalt shingles are neither too light nor heavy. As a result, uplifting problems are minimal to non-existent. These shingles are also fire resistant, especially during the installation of fiberglass matting.

  • Easy Installation and Roof Replacement

Asphalt shingles are lightweight, which makes installation very easy. Furthermore, this type of roof is easy to maintain because the materials required for possible repairs are very cheap.

Therefore, if you ask yourself, “how long does a roof last” this won’t necessarily last anywhere, but they’re ideally made to last in areas with fair weather conditions.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

We also cannot deny, though, that these shingles also have their flaws. While it pays to highlight the positive aspects of this material type, it is also important to note some of its disadvantages.

  • Lifespan

It was mentioned earlier that the asphalt shingles can make a roof last for about 30 years. This may be a long lifespan for some, but not enough for others.

In fact, asphalt roofing in areas with extreme weather conditions can halve the durability, bringing it to just between 12 to 15 years.

On the other hand, some roofs can last anywhere from 50 years long to even a hundred. 

  • Susceptible to Damage

Even though asphalt shingles are resistant to most weather types, we still cannot deny that they are prone to long-term damage.

Strong winds may result in the roof’s uplifting, especially if you installed the most basic shingles.

Exposure to extreme temperatures may also result in possible cracking that may temporarily last for a while.

The amount of solar heat that is trapped by these roofs may result in damage to your home’s interior. 

  • Formation of Moss and Mildew

If your home is within an area with constant dampness, moss and mildew might form on the roof’s surface. 

This may result in potential roof damage in the long-run. 

Metal Roofing Lifespan

metal roof
Our crew installing a metal roofing system in Virginia for the National Park Service.

Metal roofing has not entered the popular territory in terms of on-demand roof materials.

This type of roofing has become common among traditional houses due to the availability of better production services.

This type of material gives off a modern appearance for your home with its technological and hybrid composition. Here are some of the most common metal roofing systems:

Standard Seam

The standard seam is one of the most well-known metal roofing systems among homeowners. If the installation process is done correctly, this type of roof can last for around 30 years to 50 years long.

State-of-the-art metals such as copper, zinc, and titanium can result in roofs that can last to a hundred years.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles are another popular option for roof installation and even a replacement roof among most houses. It is also more cost-effective, with the price being 20% to 30% cheaper than the standard seam.

This shingle roof surely can hold its own in terms of offering the same amount of durability and protection compared to that of the standard seam.

Ribbed Metal Panels

This is a more affordable roofing option for your home. With the right installation, this type of roof can last for a minimum of 20 to 25 years and up to a maximum of 40 years.

If you add concealed fasteners to your ribbed metal panels, your roof’s lifespan will extend from 30 to 50 years maximum.

Environment and other external factors will play a role in the overall lifespan of this roof.

Stone Coated Steel Tiles

These are commonly used in states such as Florida. Stone-coated steel tiles are heavy-duty and lightweight. It is also long-lasting compared to its metal roofing counterparts.

This roof type has a lifespan of about 30 years to 50 years.

Since stone is one of its primary elements, this roofing option can withstand various natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Advantages

Metal is a reliable option if you need a new roof that will last long. Here are some of its advantages:

  • Weight

The average weight of a tile is usually 750 pounds per square or an area of 100 square feet. Some concrete tiles go for about 900 pounds per square.

A metal roof does not carry such heavy burdens (pun intended). Most variations go for around 50 to 150 pounds per square. This is 20 percent of the average weight of most roofing tiles.

Due to its lightweight feature, you can focus on building the foundation of supporting structures. If you’re looking for a roof replacement or building a brand new home, you can downscale roof support members.

  • Easy Installation

Since metal materials are lightweight, this makes the roof installation very convenient. Most metal roofing elements come in either multiple-shingle roof fragments or 12- to 36-inch wide panels.

  • Fire Resistance

Metal roof materials usually have a Class A fire rating, the highest among all levels. This is because most metal elements are noncombustible

  • Heat Conduction

Earlier, it was mentioned that asphalt tends to result in heat getting trapped. This results in potential damage to your home’s interior.

In the case of metal roofing, it reflects radiated heat from sunlight. This minimizes heat gain throughout the day. In addition, this gives your home much needed energy for its air conditioning units.

Most roof systems apply dead air-space between the roof deck and metal. This minimizes the transfer of heat and increases efficiency for energy.

Disadvantages

Although most of this material type has its advantages, it is also worth noting a number of its flaws. Here are the concerns metal roof systems fail to address:

  • Cost

The most major disadvantage is its very expensive cost. Metal roofs can usually range from around $150 to $600 per square.

This may work for those living in their homes long term. If you need a roof that can last for about 50 years or more, this may not be a solid investment.

  • Noise

This is another huge drawback of roofs that are out of metal. The sound of rain tapping outside will certainly make you feel like you are in the middle of a rock concert.

It will require additional materials to soundproof your home. This adds to the already expensive cost of metal roofing.

  • Denting

Those living in states that experience winter season, expect several dents on your metal roof. This is possible if hailstones start falling on your roof.

Clay Tile Roof Lifespan

clay roofing tiles
Taken in Dubrovnik, Croatia on a company trip, the roofing company that installed these said their business is over 100 years old and still has roofs from the early 1900s that are in service!

Clay roof tiles are another premier option for roof construction.

Unlike most lightweight material, these particular tiles weigh a ton. Therefore, they need to follow a specific design so that the roof will last for a long time.

An adequately installed clay tile roof will last for around 50 to 100 years long.

Advantages

Here are some of the benefits your home will enjoy if you consider buying this kind of roof:

  • Longevity

Clay roof tiles outperform the rest of the pack in terms of their durability and longevity. When we ask ourselves, “How long does a roof last?” the average answer is between 25 and 50 years long.

In the case of clay tiles, they can last for at least 100 years long. It’s no secret that most prehistoric Spanish houses are still around to this day. It may look like every single one of these houses feature a new roof.

On the contrary, these beautiful roofs you still see all over Spain and Europe have been around for centuries. Little to no roof replacement is needed for this type of roof. Indeed, clay roofs can last for a long time.

  • Easy Customization

If you want your house to stand out from the rest of the herd, clay tiles are the way to go. This type of roof material comes in an assortment of colors. Examples of these colors are orange, yellow, brown, etc.

Moreover, these clay tiles can be coated in different colors using enamel paint. Another critical factor to note is that these clay tiles maintain their original color for a long time regardless of the weather patterns over the years.

  • Eco Friendly

Since clay is a natural material, this type of roof is very environmentally friendly. This means no carbon dioxide and excess heat will be emitted to our atmosphere.

Therefore, you are fulfilling your duties are a citizen of this planet by investing in an eco-friendly roof.

Disadvantages

It is essential to note some of the factors holding this roof type back. Here are some of its disadvantages:

  • Damage Susceptibility

If exposed to colder temperatures, clay tiles tend to crack easily due to thawing cycles and freezing patterns. Although this roof type can last for practically a century, a lot of maintenance is required to preserve its lifespan.

  • Heavy Weight

Most people do not go for clay roof tiles because of how heavy they are to operate. The heavyweight brought about by this roof puts a ton of pressure on your house.

As a result, possible collapsing of weak buildings may bound to take place. Reinforcing the structure’s base and the foundation is undoubtedly required to avoid potential disaster.

If these are not applied, your home may not last a long time.

Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete roof tiles have the same heavyweight feature clay tiles have. One significant difference is they cost much less compared to their clay counterparts.

Another separating factor is this type of tile roof will last anywhere between 45 to 70 years old. This is a far cry from the 100-year-old clay tiles.

These are some of the advantages of considering concrete tiles as the primary material for your new roof:

Advantages

  • Durability

Unlike clay tiles, concrete roof tiles are not susceptible to damage, regardless of weather conditions. They can withstand heavy rains, winds, and snow.

It also helps that this roof is very low maintenance. This is because concrete, in general, is such a sturdy material that hardly breaks. Therefore, the need to have a roof replacement is minimal to almost non-existent.

  • Eco-friendly

Concrete tiles are environmentally friendly. Concrete is made up of natural materials and organic components.

Even though it is non-biodegradable, its elements do not need production from factories. This reduces the threat of such material from being detrimental to the environment.

  • Other advantages

Concrete is usually fire-resistant. This is important to note because this reduces potential fires from damaging both your home’s interior and exterior.

Concrete tiles can also come on different shapes, patterns, and colors. This is a major plus for the designers out there who want to create multi-colored arrangements on their roofs.

Disadvantages

  • Weight

Just like clay roof tiles, concrete tiles also have a significant amount of weight. If anything, they are 40 percent heavier than clay materials. Concrete tiles can weigh between 820 and 1.100 pounds ( 100 square feet).

This will be detrimental to the overall roof structure. It may not be able to support the weight of these concrete roof tiles. As a result, your roof may not last long enough.

  • Water Absorption

Concrete tiles feature a water absorption level of around 13 percent. This may lead to a couple of problems. One of these issues is the formation of mildew and stains on the side.

In addition, absorbed water puts more weight on such roofs. This is a bad sign because concrete-based roofs are already heavy, to begin with.

  • Color Longevity (or lack thereof)

The original color of concrete tiles may not last a long time. This is because of the color-thru technology used in the majority of these concrete roofs.

As a result, the original color of these tiles will fade over time. It also does not help that stains can be formed on the side due to the concrete’s porous nature.

Other Roof Types

Natural Slate

This type of roof is in a league of its own. Slate roofs are crazy expensive (even their cheaper alternative, synthetic slate, can break the bank)costly to begin with.

A single slate roof tile can go from $11,000 to $24,000. It is no secret that most premium homes and mansions install this type of roof.

Its lifespan can go from bout 50 to 100 years, so at least you will be getting your money’s worth with this kind of roof.

Indeed, you won’t need to look for another roof replacement if you can go for this high-quality roof type.

Composite Roofs

Composite roofs and shingles are created to bear some semblance of natural slate tiles and cedar-based shakes.

Composite roof tiles are sturdy and very lightweight.

They carry a lifespan of around 30 to 50 years if installed correctly. In terms of cost, its price is similar to that of the standing seam metal roofs.

EPDM Rubber

EPDM rubber is one of the commonly used materials when it comes to homes with a flat roof. Unfortunately, it is not heavy-duty or sturdy due to its seams, the house’s weakest point.

Rightfully so, it has the shortest lifespan among all roof types. EPDM Rubber will only last for 5 to 15 years, barring any natural disasters.

PVC and TPO Membranes

PVC and TPO Membranes offer a better and long-lasting alternative to EPDM Rubber.

These types of roofs can go for approximately 20 to 30 years.

Its lifespan is twice as long as the EDPM Rubber due to the thickness of their reinforced membranes and hot air welded seams.

How Long Does a Roof Last – Conclusion

This article gave you an overview of the different roof types, advantages, disadvantages, and everything else.

Indeed, it is crucial to go for a roof that will get the job done in terms of safeguarding your home from unpredictable weather and natural calamities.

Hopefully, this article answered the question, “How long does a roof last.”

More importantly, hope this article sheds light on the different components, materials, and makeup of each roof type.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

Just remember that when buying a new roof, invest in the one that will provide safety and comfort for you and your family while providing you with a long lasting roofing warranty.

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