The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) classifies slate as the most durable roofing material, with a life expectancy of more than 150 years, followed closely by clay and concrete with approximately 100 years. The roofing material that lasts the longest is concrete, clay or slate shingles. These materials significantly outperform other natural products, such as wooden beams or any material made for roofing, including asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Although these materials have a good lifespan, they are not as durable as the others. The best roofing materials for most residential structures that emphasize longevity are composite shingles, metal with vertical joints, and recessed roofs (BUR).
Wooden shingles and whipped ceilings add natural beauty to the home. Clay or cement tile roofs can last 50 to 100 years, while slate lasts 100 years or more and is one of the most expensive. For DIY enthusiasts, asphalt rolled roofs are an inexpensive, convenient and quick way to add roofs to a shed or install a porch roof. If homeowners wanted to opt for the most durable roof, they should absolutely consider clay, concrete or slate. However, wooden beams and metal roofs are rapidly gaining popularity among average homes because of their long lifespan, along with a lower cost than more premium options. The Bill Ragan Roofing team has been helping homeowners like you find the perfect roofing material for replacement for over 30 years.
That's why we'll determine if one of the most durable roof systems is right for you. The first roofing material is luxury asphalt shingles. Luxury or premium asphalt shingles are designed to imitate slate shingles. The reason they are on this list is because they are larger and thicker than the other types of asphalt shingles. Because of this, you should expect up to 30 years of life with luxury asphalt shingles. Next on the list are Cedar Shake shingles.
A beaten cedar roof is a premium roof system made of natural cedar shingles and other natural wood (cedar) materials. It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing roofing materials you can choose for your home. Like luxury asphalt shingles, you can expect about 30 years of life with a cedar shingle roof. If you regularly maintain your roof, invest in quality materials, and live in the right climate, you could live up to 50 years.
While the lifespan may be the same as that of luxury asphalt shingles, the difference in cost is drastic. Just know that cedar shaken shingles crack, curl and lose their color over time. While this won't happen right away, it's something to keep in mind if you're interested in a cedar paneled roof. The next material is a metal roof with a vertical seam. A vertically stitched metal roof system is a series of metal panels joined together at the seams or mechanically stitched together.
Because of this, metal panels can freely expand and contract when metal undergoes thermal expansion. If you choose commonly used steel panels, there's no reason why you shouldn't spend 30 years with a vertically stitched metal roof. While metal itself is a durable material, the durability really comes from the Kynar 500 finish on the metal panels. The painted finish protects the metal from the elements and prevents the color you choose from fading. While the Kynar 500 has a 30-year warranty, it doesn't mean it's going to disappear once it hits the 30-year mark. This means that it can last up to 50 years with a metal roof with vertical joints in the right conditions.
What makes them stand out is that they are designed to look exactly like a cedar beaten roof or slate roof. But what makes them unique is their Class 4 impact index, which is the highest grade a material can receive. Because of this, a composite shingle roof will last 40-50 years. While synthetic whipped cedar shingles and synthetic slate shingles have the same lifespan, they have different prices. The last and most durable roofing material on this list is a slate roof.
A slate roof is a roof system made primarily of natural slate shingles and other slate roofing materials. The truth is that installing a slate cover is a very slow and expensive process. Your house must also be built, framed, or modernized to support the weight of slate tiles because they are so heavy. Since 1990, the Bill Ragan Roofing team has provided high-quality roof replacements to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding areas of Middle Tennessee. No matter what type of roof you choose, you can count on it to last for decades. And we back that up with a lifetime warranty on our workmanship. One of the most important factors that can affect the lifespan of a roof is the local climate.
For example, in areas with strong sunlight and high temperatures, some roofing materials can crack and degrade over time. Asphalt shingles are particularly vulnerable to this. In colder climates, freeze-thaw cycles can affect the roof structure and cause ice dams to form. Proper attic ventilation and insulation contribute significantly to the life of the roof, as they maintain a constant temperature in the attic and help prevent damage from extreme weather conditions. For example, poor ventilation can cause heat to build up which can cause asphalt shingles to age prematurely.
Adequate ventilation and insulation are also critical to the overall energy efficiency of the roof. Asphalt shingles are by far the cheapest option on the market; however they have one of shortest lifespans - needing replacement every 12-20 years - so homeowners looking for durability may want to explore other options. If price is all you consider then asphalt shingles with three reeds for 15 years outperform any other material without doubt; however if durability is most important then permanent solutions such as vertically stitched copper could be at top of your list - but these things aren't only considerations. Think about style and aesthetics too; luxury asphalt shingle roofs imitate slate roofs while cedar shake roofs add natural beauty - but both have similar lifespans - so it's important to weigh all factors before making your decision.