Homeowners in need of a roof replacement have multiple roofing materials available to them today with varying lifespans. Aside from their longevity, the different roofing materials each have their own characteristics—both positive and negative—that can have a significant impact on your investment. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular roofing materials preferred by homeowners.
Asphalt 3-tab shingles have held the title of the most popular roofing material for decades. This durable material consists of an asphalt/fiberglass base shingle covered with protective granules to add extra durability— as well as color. They are popular with homeowners due to their affordability and ease of installation. The most common types of asphalt shingles last approximately 20 years. Higher-quality shingles are available that can last up to 50 years.
Architectural shingles are similar to asphalt shingles as they are composed of the same materials, and are also recyclable. An extra tab or layer is added during manufacture to provide both increased durability as well as aesthetic appeal. The average life span of an architectural shingle roof is 30 years.
Wooden shingles or shakes have been used for centuries and are still popular today. This durable roofing material is often manufactured using hardwoods or composite wood materials. In moderate climate zones, wooden shingles and shakes can last approximately 30 years.
Metal roofing materials can last between 40 to 80 years depending on regional climate conditions. Traditionally, metal roofs consisted of simple, corrugated panels that offered little in aesthetic appeal. Today, metal roofing products are available to fit most any architectural style. The attractive panels are often manufactured using steel, aluminum, or copper. A metallic coating and painted finish are added to steel panels during manufacture to prevent rust and increase aesthetic appeal. Aluminum panels do not require the metallic coating as they naturally resist rust and corrosion.
Slate, concrete, and clay roofing tiles—according to the National Association of Home Builders—are the most durable roofing materials, with life expectancies of 100 years or more.
An experienced roofing contractor will also be able to explain the pros and cons to different roofing materials, and which are best suited for your home and climate conditions. Choosing a reliable contractor is the most important aspect of any roofing project.