Roofs today come in many sizes, shapes, colors and materials, so estimating a roofs lifespan isn’t a cut and dry answer. Depending on several factors, roofs can last as little as 10 years on the low end to over 100 years or longer! Yes, you read that right, you can have a roof you’ll never need to replace again in your lifetime, maybe even your children’s lifetime!
You Get What You Pay For
Cost plays a large factor in the longevity of any roof. As with most products, the higher the quality the higher the price, at least initially. The longest lasting roofs such as slate (pictured above), concrete, and clay tiles are extremely durable and quite expensive but having a roof that can last over a century is appealing.
On the lower end, (Asphalt shingles, etc), cheaper materials aren’t as durable as the high end materials are and, as such, may be cheaper at first but they don’t last as long before needing to be replaced.
Other factors that play a large part in the lifespan of a roof such as routine maintenance, initial installation procedures, and environmental conditions. In fact, it has been shown that properly installed and maintained roofs can extend the life of some roofs, even the cheaper ones, by years! No matter what material you go with, keep it in shape to maximize your investment.
Which Materials Last The Longest?
Assuming proper installation and maintenance throughout the life of the roof, the following are general projected lifetimes of some of the more popular materials in use today:
Asphalt Shingles (3-tab)
Lasting on average of 20 years for most but quality can vary with the low end lasting as little as 10 years and higher end shingles lasting up to 50 with proper care!
Around 30 Years
Wood shingles & shakes
Usually around 30 years but under favorable weather conditions can last much longer.
Metal roofing can last anywhere from 40-80 years. Some estimates top this out at 60 but as with any material, quality, maintenance, and environment will determine the actual lifespan.
Slate, Concrete, Clay Tiles
If you don’t want to replace your roof more than once in your life, this is the material you get, sure it’s pricey but they look great and these tiles have a life expectancy of over 100 years!
Your roof is likely to be one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your home and it’s important to get it right the first time to avoid unnecessary costs in the future. Choose your material carefully and be sure you understand the expected life span and are prepared to replace it when it’s time.