So you need to replace your roof and you’re wondering how long the new roof will last. What’s the best way to get the most attractive and good-looking roof, as well as assuring you won’t have to replace it again anytime soon? The truth is that there’s no easy answer for that question. What you decide to replace your roof with will generally determine the lifespan of the new roof, and it can vary by decades–almost a century in one case. Here are some general roof lifespans based on the type of materials you use to make your new roof:
Roofing Material Options
The materials you use to replace your roof (as well as weather conditions) will determine the lifespan of your roof. The better the quality of the roofing material, the longer you can expect your roof to last.
So let’s look at some of the types of shingles you have to choose from:
These are by far the most common form of shingles in the United States, but just because they’re common doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them. In fact, they’re common because they’re an all-around quality product.
These are called architectural shingles because, while they are attached and sealed in the same way as asphalt shingles, they have styles that mimic other kinds of roofs: wood, slate or tile. They’re up to three times thicker than asphalt. While the warranty depends on the type and the manufacturer, these last around 30 years. Architectural shingles have the addition of a nice architectural look, which customers appreciate!
Wood shingles, or “shakes” are another option that are very attractive. Though they start with a clear wood finish (they’re usually cedar) they gray in the weather and are very pleasing to look at, matching with certain architectural styles of homes very well. They will last for approximately 30 years, but they do require a lot of upkeep: wood splits and cracks and warps, and it won’t be long before a shake is out of place and needs replacing– regular maintenance is key to maintaining your wood shingles.
Clay tile roofs are certainly indicative of a specific area: namely the southwest and California. If you like the look of them, they’re a surprisingly long-lasting roof. Warranties will put these tiles at anywhere between 30 years and a lifetime, and a good rule of thumb is that clay tile roofs will last for about 50 years.
When buying a metal roof, you want to talk to your roofer about the quality of the material. Some metal roofs can be short-lived while others are very long-lasting. A lot depends on the construction: the thicker the metal, the longer the life, and the type of material (aluminum or steel) also contributes. A low-end metal roof will last 20 to 25 years while better metal roofs can have a lifespan of fifty years and potentially much longer.
Slate roofs have been used for centuries–a stone tile that looks beautiful. They’re certainly high-quality, but seldom used because of scarcity of the material–they’re a specialty item that is not commonly stocked at your local hardware store. But they’re very strong and very sturdy.
Warranties will be anywhere from 50 years to a lifetime. Though the tiles need to be replaced if they break, they don’t require quite the same upkeep as wooden shakes, and can easily be fixed. The big downside to slate can be the weight. Our team will guide you to understand your best roof options and to determine if your roof beams are strong enough to carry the load.