Built To Last: Roofing Materials Ranked By Longevity

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It's time for a new roof - but what kind of material should you use? If your choice isn't driven purely by price, you'll want to consider material by how long it will last for you. Here is a ranking of the average of the most common materials used for roofing, from shortest to longest. 

Composite Shingle Roof: 15 to 50 Years

Many people are surprised that the most popular form of roofing for their home has one of the shortest lifespans.

Your composite shingle roof might only last around 15 years, but the material is relatively inexpensive to install. Longevity estimates vary widely for composite shingle roofs because of the quality of the material used. High-end shingles now come with warranties of up to 50 years. Just make sure you understand that the manufacturer is not guaranteeing that your roof will last that long. 

Wood Shingle Roof: 25 Years

Wood is an organic material, which means that it is prone to weathering and decay. Even so, the wood selected for roof shingles is dense and naturally prone to weather-related damage before it is harvested. They’re thin and flat, and they don’t add much weight. 

You can make your wood shingle roof last longer by keeping an eye out for split shingles. Replace then immediately and be sure to control the growth of moss. 

Standing Seam Metal Roof: 30 to 50 Years

These roofs are as beautiful as they are durable, and they´re no longer extremely expensive. Although they’re going to be a more expensive investment than, say, a composite shingle roof. The color is often a baked enamel coating, which often designed to attractively fade. Otherwise, the exterior is the metal itself. Copper metal roofs are extremely beautiful, but you’ll want to consider the extra effort it will take to keep that color. Otherwise it will burnish over time. 

Clay or Spanish Tile Roof: 100 Years

If you use a tile roof, it’s likely to be the last roof you put on your house if you live there the rest of your life. Unlike composite and wood shingles, you won´t have to worry about decay. You will have to be concerned, though, if a tile cracks. This is usually rare, and the cause likely is that someone has walked on them. While they are extremely durable - a single human misstep can ruin them. 

Slate Roof: 100+ Years

You can find slate roofs on buildings that were first installed during the time of Shakespeare. Slate is actual stone, and it is even more durable - at least to being walked on - than clay or Spanish roof tiles. This type of roof tends to be relatively expensive, not only because of the cost of the slate tiles but also because you’ll need additional truss to support the weight of all that stone on your roof. 

Roofing replacement gives you plenty of options to change the look of your home, and now you have some ideas to help you decide how long you can expect that look to last.