How Long Will My Roof Last?

how long will my roof last?

For anyone who has needed to replace their roof, one of the biggest concerns is whether a different type of roofing will last longer and ultimately be more worth the investment. When a homeowner ends up replacing a roof on more than one occasion, the question becomes even more pressing. This leads people to ask about more long-lasting types of roofing, such as metal, slate and clay.

The Lifetime of Metal Roofs

For houses of all ages in a vast range of architectural styles and regional settings, metal is one of the most durable roofing options for the residential homeowner. As an incredibly strong material, metal can withstand the elements throughout all four seasons, year after year, even in today's increasingly harsh climate trends.

Metal is also a flexible roofing option that can be molded into a variety of shapes and used to complement an array of architectural design styles. Throughout the United States and abroad, homeowners are turning to metal as a roofing opting because of the following benefits:

1. Longevity

A metal roof can outlast the more conventional roofing materials by decades. Asphalt, for example, only lasts for up to 20 years, and sometimes it expires within half that time. So how long do metal roofs last? Metal roofing can last for half a century or more, and it doesn't require much maintenance for a metal roof to last its full life expectancy. As such, metal roofs outlast the average residential occupancy. On a lot of homes, a metal roof will last through several generations of owners.

Thanks to its durability as a material, metal is a lasting investment that will pay itself back over the span of a residential occupancy. With asphalt roofing, you would have to perform periodic maintenance to keep the material in good shape. Even then, you'd likely need occasional repair work and perhaps a new roof altogether during your residency if you go with the asphalt option.

The costs that could add up over time with an asphalt roof would far exceed the initial investment in a metal roof, which — due to the perceived higher value of metal roofing over asphalt — can also give your house greater value on the resale market.

longevity of metal roofs

2. Weight

Compared to other roofing options, metal roofs are relatively lightweight. As such, metal roofs are generally easy on the structures of homes. If you upgrade your roofing from asphalt to metal, for instance, you won't have to add extra structural support to hold the roof in place.

Overall, you don't have to modify your home architecturally when metal roofing is applied, which makes metal one of the most flexible roofing options. These qualities make metal especially advantageous as a roofing choice for older, classic homes, where preservation of the original structure is key to the property's market value.

3. Safety

Due to the strength of metal, houses with metal roofing are better equipped to withstand the threat of windstorms and forest fires. Metal can withstand winds of up to 180 mph, which can keep your home protected if a hurricane passes through your area. Metal is also fireproof and therefore impervious to falling embers from burning trees. Moreover, metal doesn't get chipped or damaged from hail or falling tree parts. 

4. Reflectivity

Metal roofing can boost the insulation of your home and trim as much as 25% off your annual HVAC bills. When properly coated, a metal roof will reflect the solar rays of the sun. In doing so, a metal roof protects the attic from insulating excess heat in the summer. Overall, it is easier to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year with metal roofing.

5. Recyclability

As a biodegradable material, old metal roofing can be recycled and used for other purposes. As such, metal roofing is better for the environment than certain other roofing options, because it won't take up space in a landfill upon being discarded. In fact, today's newly installed metal roofs consist of roughly 95% recycled materials.

The Longevity of Slate Roofs

Roofing made of slate — a fine-grain rock material comprised of metamorphosed shale, mudstone and assorted clay minerals — provides strong, durable protection to houses in a range of climates. With its mixture of minerals, slate varies in color and texture and is therefore suited to homes of various design schemes. Key benefits of slate roofing include the following:

1. Long-Term Aesthetic Appeal

Depending on the mix of minerals contained in a piece of slate, the rock can appear grey, off-white or a wide array of pastel hues, such as soft green, faint blue or light brick. As such, slate lends a distinctive look that can complement homes of various design styles and color schemes.

As a natural product, slate lends a timeless appearance to new and old homes alike. As a rock material, slate can blend in with natural surroundings much more effectively than any synthetic roofing product. The timelessness of slate roofing makes it a suitable option for everything from 19th century homes to newly built properties.

Slate material is often used for roofing on mansions and is therefore widely associated with high-class properties. Due in part to this association, slate roofing can make conventional homes look more attractive to potential buyers on the real estate market. As such, slate has grown in popularity as a roofing choice for suburban homes and village bungalows.

Slate roofing is also used for buildings, schools and churches. In towns across North America, some of the most distinctive structures are topped with slate. When restorations are made on century-old buildings, slate roofing is often chosen for its classic appearance, which aids in the authenticity of new additions to old structures.

slate roofs over time

2. Versatility

Slate roofing is cut from minerals extracted from the ground, and the material can be carved into a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. If you'd like your roof to have a brick-like appearance, slate roofing can be chosen in styles that have the texture and/or color of bricks. Likewise, if you would prefer to have a slate roof that blends in with the conventional roofing of other houses in your neighborhood, you could opt for slate roofing in smoother cuts and neutral tones.

Slate roofing can also be cut in a range of thicknesses. For a lighter roof on a small home, thin slate roofing is an ideal option. For a larger, heavier roof, slate can also be chosen in thicker varieties.

3. Durability of Slate Roofs

As a solid stone, slate offers maximum protection to homes in the harshest climates. Thanks to its highly porous quality, slate makes it easier for houses to store warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.

In terms of longevity, slate roofing is one of the greatest upgrade investments homeowners can make. So how long do slate roofs last? A slate roof will last for up to a century or more, and will often outlast the home the roofing is laid upon. As such, slate roofing can raise the market value of a home.

With all these potential benefits, the initial investment in a slate roof can easily pay itself back over the span of a residential occupancy.

4. Eco Friendliness

Given how a slate roof will last for a hundred years on average, the discarding of slate is a rare occurrence. This makes slate a far friendlier material to the environment than asphalt roofing, which is discarded to landfills after only 10 to 20 years of use.

As a natural material mined from the Earth, no chemicals are involved in the production of slate roofing. Therefore, the process that transforms freshly mined slate into roofing material leaves no imprint on the environment.

5. Fire Resistance

As a stone material, slate is fireproof, which makes it one of the safest roofing options for homes that are surrounded by lots of trees or situated in woodsy settings. The fire-resistant nature of slate also makes the material a smart option in areas where summers — a peak time for wildfires — are long and where rainy days are few and fleeting.

The solid quality of slate also allows roofing made of this material to serve as a sound barrier. As such, slate roofing is a good choice for homes and buildings situated in or near urban areas and alongside major thoroughfares, which can generate plenty of noise during peak hours.

Clay Roof Longevity

Clay roofing has been used on homes and public structures for several thousand years. Some of the earliest structures known to man are roofed with clay tiles. In parts of the Far East, examples of clay roofing are purported to date from as early as 2500 B.C.

The use of clay tiles on houses and buildings gradually spread across Europe, where growing urban populations came to value the material's strength. As pilgrims flocked to the Americas, clay became instrumental in the development of cities, where the fireproof material was often the safest part on buildings of otherwise dubious standards.

As anyone who has owned an antique clay vase or fixture would know, clay is an incredibly strong material that can last through the ages. The benefits of clay tile roofs include the following:

1. Durability of Clay Tiles

Clay has remained popular since early civilization in large part because of its durability as a material, which can hold its form against numerous odds in various climates. So how long do clay tile roofs last? A good clay roof in a typical modern-day setting will easily last as long as metal roofing, and a whole lot longer if well maintained. With such longevity, a clay roof will last longer than the average occupancy of several consecutive owners at a given property.

lifetime of a clay roof

2. Strength of Clay Roofing

Hardened clay is one of the strongest roofing options. The global popularity of clay roofing is largely due to the material's ability to withstand extreme patterns of weather, from the harshest winds to the heaviest downpour. Clay roofs have even shown to be resilient in the face of natural disasters, such as when hurricanes or tornadoes rip through an area.

One of the reasons why clay lasts so long as a roofing material is because it's not susceptible to mold or rot. No matter how wet the fall and winter seasons become, clay maintains its integrity from the surface to the core. Clay is also impervious to fire, which makes the material one of the safer roofing options, especially for homes and buildings that are situated in dry areas that could possibly fall prey to wildfires.

3. Aesthetic Appeal of Clay

As one of the oldest roofing materials known to man, clay has a timeless appeal that has spanned the ages throughout the East and West. As such, clay roofing is seen today across North America on everything from refurbished vintage homes to houses built within the past few decades. Due to its ability to retain its original color as the years pass, clay doesn't visually age.

Clay roofing tiles can also be produced in a variety of colors and shapes. With so many possible style options, clay has endured itself as the roofing material of choice among conservative and edgy homeowners alike.

clay roof aging

4. Value

The strength, timelessness and aesthetic appeal of clay make it an attractive roofing material in the eyes of prospective home buyers. When a homeowner replaces asphalt roofing with clay shingles, the upgrade can boost the home's value on the resale market.

As such, the initial cost of a clay tile roof can easily pay itself back in two ways: A clay roof will last longer and require little, if any, maintenance over the long run, and a clay-roofed house will often sell for more than a comparative yet conventionally roofed home.

5. Easy Maintenance

Clay roofs are easy to maintain and rarely require any serious work. In situations where clay shingles get chipped, partial replacements can easily be made at a small fraction of the cost of a new clay roof. With proper maintenance, the lifetime of a clay roof can be prolonged indefinitely.

Get New Roofing and Roof Restoration From Huber & Associates

A roof is one of the most vital investments you can make in the comfort, protection and structural integrity of your home. Regardless of the age of your house, there is no reason why your roof cannot be robust, immaculate, leak-proof and attractive to the eyes of onlookers.

If you are ready to trade up from an ailing, conventional roof to something a whole lot classier, contact Huber and Associates. To learn more, browse out product pages or contact us for a quote.