Roofing Types

Roof types and life spans

Roofing materials have evolved from a mere protective element to encompass features such as aesthetic, energy-efficiency, solar capacity, durability, affordability, and much more. Various roofing types have their pros and cons. Some options last long but do not convey the appearance a homeowner may desire. Others look beautiful but are less affordable. Some are very affordable but less durable. While other options combine the perfect blend of durability and beauty. Here are some of the most popular roofing materials.

  1. Composite Shingle

Composite shingle roofs are relatively cheap and easy to install. This roof type is the most popular roofing material and typically lasts for 15 years or more depending on a number of factors. Composite shingle roofs need occasional maintenance and while some manufacturers promise close to 50 years of warranty, there are disparities in the estimated lifetime due to the wide variations in the quality of used materials. When a composite shingle roofs begin to shed grains and grow moss, it’s time to call a professional for an evaluation and maintenance.

  1. Steel

Estimated to last for more than 50 years, steel is one of the more durable roofing material options. Steel’s longevity can be pinned on its natural ability to resist elements of damage and weathering including UV rays, rainfall, high winds and temperature extremes. Steel will last significantly longer than the average composite roof and can be considered a worthy upgrade choice, requiring maintenance less frequently than composite and some other roofing materials.

  1. Standing Seam

This type of roof can have a longevity between 25 and 50 years. They are highly durable and quite popular. Standing seam metal roofing is not average roofing that can be installed or maintained by just anyone. It must be installed by a specialist.

  1. Copper

Copper is very durable and can last for as long as 50 years. Copper roofing weathers more than its counterparts and will change in appearance as it ages gaining a blue-green patina.

  1. Wood Shake

Wood shake shingle roofs usually have a lifespan around 35 to 40 years. They requires regular maintenance that may involve the removing of debris, elimination of moss, and replacement of split, cupped, split, or curled shakes by a roof repair professional.

  1. Tile

Tile roofs are one of the most durable options available in the market today. This roofing material can last close to a century while staying in good condition both strength and appearance-wise. This roof type requires the utmost care to prevent cracking the tiles. With a tile roof, you don’t need to worry about decay or sloughing off of the grains, rather, avoid walking on the tiles to prevent them from cracking. Also, have a roofing professional occasionally clean them when efflorescence develops, apply some coating, and replace any broken or cracked tiles.

  1. Asphalt Roll

Asphalt roll roofs are not the most durable type of roofing material on the market. These may last for 5 to 10 years but should not be considered as a long-term option. If you already have this installed, you can prolong its lifespan by having a roofing professional occasionally clear the debris.

  1. Slate

Slate is arguably the most durable roofing material on the market. Slate roofs can last for over a century and its durability is down to the fact that it is made from real stone. This roof type can be made to last even longer by having a professional roofer immediately perform major and minor repairs such as removing and replacing broken tiles and checking that all flashings are effectively working. The key is to keep an eye on the flashing color. If your flashing turns black, it is due for replacement.

No matter your roof type, a number of tips can help you extend its lifespan.

For one, it’s a good habit for homeowners to inspect their roof every 6 months. Also, strive to clear out debris that can keep water stagnant on your roof; cut extending tree branches that can clog gutters and damage your roof; and finally, ensure that you quickly repair even minor damages.

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