When it comes to the topic of roofing, no one looks forward to a five figure plus build. As a result, longevity plays a crucial role for most of the homeowners we do business with when it comes to renewing or re roofing their home.
It’s only natural to want to get the longest value for the money invested today, so we’ve laid out the top 5 roofing materials to get the absolute longest life span to help you make your decision.
Number 5: The Classic Composite Shingle Roof
Average Life: 15 to 25 years, depending on install and shingle quality.
There’s always a race between cost and longevity. Shingles are relatively cheap to manufacture and are quick to install and as a result have a great balance between how long they’re going to last and how much they cost.
As a result of this mix, shingle roofs are easily the most popular type of install you’re going to see across America. But this also means that if you’re looking to get the maximum life span out of shingles, you’ve got to invest a little extra into a more premium brand such as GAF, Owens Corning or Certainteed, who will usually back up their materials with up to a 50 year warranty.
Cheaply manufactured shingles on the other hand, could fail within as little as 10 to 15 years, and improperly installed ones can fail within 5 years.
You can increase the longevity of your shingle roof by investing in at least a medium grade shingle and by avoiding acts like power washing your roof (something that happens commonly when people are trying to remove moss), while also making sure to regularly inspect and perform basic maintenance on your roof.
You can check out more detailed information about asphalt shingles here.
Number 4: Wood Shake Shingles
Lasts anywhere between 35 and 40 years.
Compared to asphalt shingles at number 5, Wood Shakes last significantly longer on average because they are much thicker than the average asphalt shingle. The thicker the shakes the longer it will last and the more it will resist damage from the sun from harmful UV rays (which degrade materials steadily over time and are the leading cause behind materials degrading).
However, one drawback is you can’t really sit there and forget about your shake roof. It will require more maintenance and it has a tendency to like to be babied. You’ll have to regularly remove any debris that accumulates between shingles and eliminate moss as soon as it appears, plus replace any that happen to split immediately.
Number 3: Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Average life: 40 to 50 years
Standing seam metal roofs have gained a lot of popularity because of their strength of build, long-lasting life, different look appeal (increasing home values) and the fact that many of them can be produced sustainably and are highly recyclable after the roof has worn out in half a century (versus taking up more space in the dump with a high degrade time like asphalt).
However, metal roofs come with a specialty kind of install and not all roofing companies are able to properly install standing seams, so you’re going to have to pay extra attention to your vetting process of your contractors and make sure they have proper credentials and a good history of installation.
Once a metal roof is in place, it doesn’t require as much maintenance as other options, though it will benefit from you walking on the roof somewhat regularly to check for any sealant failures and checking for any bent or damaged panels. Just make sure you don’t walk on the roof too regularly, because this can cause problems as well.
Number 2: Clay Tile Roofs
Average Lifespan: 100 years
Tile roofs have been used for centuries and are iconic to the southwest and there are many historic spanish tile roofs that have been standing for over 100 years that are still in good shape.
However, stylistically Spanish clay tiles often don’t fit much with the North eastern aesthetic (although there are shingle style options available), being more heavy on the wood, metal and steel architectural styles. Clay tiles are best suited for homes that are designed to be Mediterranean, Mission, Spanish-style or Southwestern style. Plus, they are a very heavy install – weighing much more than metal or shingles, this often means that you’ll have to invest a few extra bucks to reinforce the frame (add additional framing) of your home.
The one real drawback behind tile roofs is that they can crack, which is what usually spells the end for the longevity (at least for the affected tiles). So you’ll have to keep on top of replacing cracked and broken tiles, and you won’t want to spend much time walking on them.
Number 1: Slate Roofs
Topping the list is the iconic slate roof, especially if we’re talking about homes around the Capital Region. They fit the aesthetic of the area, are extremely well suited to Colonial, European and French Chateau designed homes and they have an extremely beautiful, distinctive appearance.
But the real kicker is you get all of that on top of the biggest benefit:
Average Lifespan is over 100 years!
Slate is so incredibly durable that it makes it seem like every other roofing material is like having a tarp over your head. There are still slate roofs working properly and in good condition from the 1600s!
That truly makes slate the only true “forever roof.” that currently exists.
One of the reasons why it’s so durable is that Slate roofs are actual real stones that are laid down very thickly on top of the roof.
However, just like with slate you will have to invest in extra framing to make sure that your home can support the tiles properly and not buckle underneath the added weight, which is especially important considering the extra weight that regular snow storms add to a given roof any given year around Albany and Saratoga.
The biggest disadvantage to a slate roof isn’t necessarily the materials itself, but rather the cost. It can easily be $600 a square in material cost, so a lot of the time it’s not well suited to a strict budget.
Follow this link to our main site to explore more Albany roofing options.
Tyler Johnson says
That’s good to know that slate is a really long-lasting roof material. Having a roof that lasts as long as I live sounds pretty good to me, so that would probably be a good choice. I’ll make sure to ask about slate roofing if I choose to get a new roof installed.
Infinite Roofing says
Great! we are so glad our blog helped you out