A Guide to the Lifespans of the Different Roof Types and Materials

Oct 30, 2019 | Roofing Materials

Looking to install a new roof? Hoping to install a material that will last the long-haul? If so, you’re in the right place. Below, we’re going to review the lifespans of different roof types, helping you to choose the material that’s right for you. Let’s get into the specifics, shall we?

3-Tab Asphalt Shingle Roofs

The most common of the different roof types for residential roofing, 3-tab asphalt shingles are known for their low cost, their ease of installation, and their low-maintenance upkeep. Available in a variety of different colors, they fit in with homes of all shapes, sizes, and kinds.

However, when it comes to durability, 3-tab shingles are limited. Generally, regardless of what is done to maintain them, they will last around 15 years. After 15 or so years have passed, they will be warped and curled by rain and sunshine and will need to be replaced.

Architectural Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Architectural asphalt shingles are a slight step up from 3-tab asphalt shingles, sporting superior construction quality as well as a superior aesthetic. Low-maintenance and easy to install, they’re available in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Due to their superior construction quality, architectural shingles last longer than 3-tab shingles. Made out of fiberglass, ceramic, and asphalt, they do a better job of withstanding wind, rain, and sunshine. As such, whereas 3-tab shingles last around 15 years, architectural shingles last around 20-30 years.

Wood Shingle Roofs

Next, we’re going to discuss wood shingles. Generally made out of pine or cedar, these thin, wedge-shaped roofing materials are as attractive as any residential roofing materials you’re going to find, capable of enhancing a home’s entire aesthetic.

However, while beautiful, wood shingles come with a number of catches. For one, they’re difficult to install; For two, they’re expensive; And for three, they require a substantial amount of maintenance.

For these reasons, most homeowners avoid wood shingles. Considering they only provide 25 or 30 years of use — even with regular maintenance — they’re not necessarily worth the trouble of their installation. That being said, if you want to provide you home with a unique look, they will accommodate you.

Wood Shake Roofs 

A thicker alternative to wood shingles is wood shakes. Sporting a unique, layered, and disorganized appearance, wood shakes will bring a quirky aesthetic to any home upon which they’re installed.

However, like wood shingles, they require a great deal of maintenance. Not only do they need to be cleaned regularly, but stained and repaired as well. That being said, wood shakes are much more durable than wood singles; Generally, if well-maintained, they will last around 40 years.

It’s important to note, however, that the added functionality of wood shakes comes at a price. In most cases, the purchase and installation of wood shakes will cost 150% of the cost of wood shingles. Over the entirety of a roof, this can equal thousands of additional dollars.

Metal Panel Roofs 

Growing increasingly more popular as of late are metal panels. Highly resistant to fire, water, and sunlight, metal panels offer great durability at a reasonable price.

In most cases, they will last around 50 years. However, if properly maintained, they might even offer up to 75 years.

While they do take on rust, it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, oxidation on metal roofs is so slow that it could take decades to present itself.

As such, the only regular maintenance needed for a metal roof is cleaning and inspection. As long as you remove leaves, ensure that the panels are connected, and scrub down other debris, your metal roof will thrive for years to come.

Note, metal roofing is relatively expensive. However, when you factor in its longevity, it’s one of the best budget roofing buys you have at your disposal.

Tile Roofs 

Now we’re going to get into the durability champions, starting off with clay tile. Aesthetically unique and low-maintenance, tile is built to last for well over 100 years. So, while it’s definitely more expensive than other materials, it’s usually well worth its price.

Keep in mind, most roofs are only as good as the underlayment. So if you use a cheap waterproofing underlayment your roof will fall short of its life expectancy.

Note, however, that tile is heavy. It’s so heavy, in fact, that it can cave in on traditional roofing structures. For this reason, it must be installed by seasoned roofing professionals.

Slate Roofs 

The last roofing material we’ll discuss is also the most durable. This roofing material is, of course, slate. Made out of thick stone, slate can last for over 150 years.

Note, however, that slate roofing isn’t an ideal option for most homeowners. Extremely expensive, it’s most typically found on the tops of luxury homes.

That being said, if you can spring for it, it would be worth the purchase price. Due to its minimal maintenance needs, it comes with very few add-on costs. So, you’re essentially paying $50 to $75 a square foot for two centuries of roofing.

This is a deal that can’t be beaten. The only problem is obtaining a substantial amount of money needed for installation. For most homeowners, it’s not an economically feasible option.

Choose from a Variety of Different Roof Types

Now that you know a thing or two about roofing material lifespans, you might be ready to install new roofing. If so, and if you’re in the Sarasota area, SonShine Roofing is the company to call.

We offer a variety of different roof types, including all of the materials discussed above. Regardless of the type you’re looking to install, we will accommodate you in an efficient but professional manner.

Contact us today to discuss your roofing needs!


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