What is the Longest-Lasting Roofing Material?

What is the Longest-Lasting Roofing Material?

roofing materialIf you are considering re-roofing your home, you know that the cost of new roofing material directly correlates to how long your new roof will last. In this article, we will review the different types of roofing material, and the associated cost and value of each. Also, keep in mind that the weather conditions in your region make an impact on the life of your roof, as does the building construction and design, the frequency of maintenance, and of course the quality of the roofing material.

The longest-lasting roofing materials are normally the most durable. Concrete and slate tiles far outperform natural roofing materials like wood shingles. Manufactured roofing materials such as aluminum (and other metals) and asphalt roofing shingles have a substantial lifespan, but are not normally as durable as concrete and slate.

Here, we have a breakdown of roofing material life spans by the National Association of Home Builders. This life span estimate takes into account a normal wear of life under normal weather conditions.

  • Asphalt shingles – Normally, asphalt shingles last about 20 years. However, high-quality asphalt shingles can last (and have a warranty) up to 50 years. These high-quality shingles do come at a higher cost, but will more than double the life of your roof.
  • Architectural asphalt – This version of asphalt shingles tends to last approximately 25-30 years.
  • Wood shingles and shakes – The normal life span of wood shingles and shakes is 20 years. However, under normal and moderate weather conditions, they will last much longer.
  • Metal – According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, metal roofing is expected to last between 40 and 80 years. As well, the Metal Roofing Alliance gives a life expectancy of 40 to 60 years.
  • Slate, concrete and clay tiles – These durable roofing products are rated with a life expectancy of 100 years by the NAHB and NACHI.

As you can imagine, the cost of offing supplies is just as varied as the materials themselves.

Asphalt shingles normally start at about $0.80 per square foot. These are among the least expensive options in roofing material options. Architectural asphalt shingles are normally twice the cost of regular asphalt shingles and are twice as thick and heavy.

Metal roofing materials are considered a premium home product. The Metal Roofing Alliance states that metal roofing products normally cost about two to three times the price of normal asphalt shingles. This cost estimate is equal to tile and cedar wood shakes but is usually less than slate. You can plan on paying between $3.50 and $11 per square foot for these options. And remember, adding the needed breathable underlayment material will add to the cost.

According to the Durable Slate Company, which operates nationally, simple roofing projects cost approximately $15 per square foot, whereas complex and premium roofing designs with slate tiles can run up to $40 per square foot.

Roofing Material Pros and Cons

Just as varied as the costs of these roofing materials, each has its own set of pros and cons. Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing material in the U.S. according to the National Roofing Contractors Association. These shingles are the least expensive and come in a wide array of colors and styles for virtually any application.

Metal roofing comes in shingles, tiles, and vertical panels. Although this roofing material weighs about a third of what asphalt shingles weigh; punctures, tears, and pooling water are typical problems.

Wood shakes become wet in the winter months and can warp. If you choose this option, make sure you purchase pressure-treated shakes for a longer lifespan, and less maintenance and warping.

The main drawback of slate roofing is the weight. A standard slate roof can weigh up to 1,500 pounds per 10’ X 10’ square for 3/8” tiles.

Before choosing your roofing material, make sure you do your homework and consider the pricing, pros and cons, and “look” you want for your roof. Feel free to contact us with any questions or for more information on roofing material options at www.pacificwestroofing.com.

Recent Posts