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What Type of Roof Material Lasts the Longest?

Sep 27

When deciding on a new roof, it is important to consider how long the material will remain a good condition. The most common materials are asphalt shingles and metal, but metal is not the longest lasting material.

Other long-lasting options include slate, clay, and copper.

You may be asking yourself how often should a roof be replaced? A quality local roofing professional can help homeowners choose the perfect material for their home.

What materials are used for roofing?

There are many different types of roofing materials, all with their own pros and cons. Choosing the right roofing material depends on the project and its needs.

The pros and cons of each material should be carefully considered before selecting a particular option. Asphalt shingles, for example, are the most common type of residential roofing material. They are economical and easy to install. Asphalt shingles are also available in a variety of colors.

Wood roofing is one of the most expensive types of roofing. While it can be costly, it can last up to 30 years when properly installed. It is also susceptible to moss and plant growth. In addition to their high price, wood shingles require more maintenance. But, they have a longer lifespan than most composite shingles. Besides, wood roofs can be painted and stained.

Cedar shingles are usually smooth and lay flat when installed. Different grades of cedar shingles are available. Another type of wood roofing is wood shakes. Cedar shakes are thicker and made from top-quality wood. They project a rustic look.

More expenisve, less common, and longer lifespan roof materials are outlined below. They include clay tiles, slate tiles, metal roofing, and copper. Each can last 80 years or long if properly maintained.

For more information, follow this guide outlining the best roofing materials for homes.

Clay tiles

When installed properly, clay tiles can last for 50 to 100 years. They are durable and resistant to fire, weather, and ultra-violet rays.

However, clay tiles are not indestructible, and proper maintenance may be necessary over the lifetime of the roof. Concrete roof tiles, by contrast, can last for 40 to 75 years. They are also dense, fire-resistant, and water-resistant.

While clay tiles are durable, they are not the cheapest option. In cold climates, clay tiles can break, crack, or chip. This can be a warning sign that you need to replace the roof. However, you can seal the tiles to protect them from the cold and damp. 

Slate tiles

Slate tiles are one of the most durable roof materials available. They are made from real stone and are laid down thickly. This means that they are resistant to extreme weather conditions and don't retain moisture. They're also the most expensive of all roof materials, and are often used on large, luxury houses.

Slate roofs can weigh more than a ton per square foot, so they require extra framing to prevent buckling of the tiles. Another drawback of slate roofs is that it's difficult to find replacements for them.

Slate roofs can run upwards of $600 per square foot, so they're not a good choice for those on a budget.

The service life of a hard slate roof ranges from 75 to 200 years. However, this depends on many factors, including weather conditions, materials, and amount of maintenance. Despite this, slate roofs last the longest of all types of roofs. Some manufacturers offer guarantees of 50 years or even lifetimes.

Metal roofing

Metal roofing can last decades if it is well maintained. You can extend its life by cleaning it regularly, checking fasteners, and cleaning out gutters and downspouts regularly.

Another reason to consider a metal roof is that it is fire, mold, and insect-proof. Moreover, most manufacturers offer warranties of 20 to 50 years on their products.

Metal roofing is also lighter than other materials, so you'll be saving money on engineering and installation costs. Metal roofing is expensive per square foot, but it can last quite awhile with proper maintenance.

Copper roofing

Copper roofing is one of the most durable materials available. Unlike other roofing materials, copper has high resistance to corrosion. It also has high recyclability, which means that it won't quickly exhaust its reserves.

Only about 10% of the copper resources in the world have been exhausted. Even then, around 75% of the copper produced is still in use. This makes copper an excellent choice for green roofing.

It also improves with age, as copper is highly resistant to the environment. Over time, it forms a protective film on its surface that other roofing materials can't replicate. Copper roofing can also be expensive initially, but it is worth it in the long run, because it lasts for many years.