How Long a Roof Should Last

When you have a new roof installed on your home, you want it to last for a long time. New roofs are one of the most expensive investments that you can make in your home, and the longer the roof lasts, the better. The trick to making the roof last longer is to buy the right roof for your home. There are many different types of roofing material and each has a different life span. Use the guide below to help you choose wisely.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are, by far, the most common type of roofing material in the United States. They are relatively easy to install and work with. They come in a variety of colors to match just about any home's look and are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other roofing materials available. Asphalt shingles come in varying grades and can last anywhere from ten to 30 years depending on the material used. If you do not plan to live in your home forever, or can stomach the thought of another roof replacement in another couple of decades, asphalt shingles may be the most economical and practical choice for you.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are very different than their angled counterparts. Many flat roofs have an underlayment that consists of a foam covering. Atop that is a sealant covering that needs to be maintained every year. Whether it is simply sweeping off leaves and debris to make sure that the surface is free of pocks and holes, or re-coating the roof to make it last longer, flat roofs require more maintenance and time. In many cases, flat roofs have a life span of about ten to 20 years. During that time they need to be re-coated at least once to ensure that they remain in good condition.

Metal Roofs

There are many different types of metal roofing systems available for higher end homes. Copper and stainless steel are just two types of metal that are frequently used. With the proper installation and care, a metal roof can last up to 100 years and provide solid, consistent protection from the elements. The only drawback to such a roof is the price tag. It is much more expensive to install a copper roof than it is to install an asphalt shingle roof.

Natural Materials

Natural materials, such as grasses and wooden shingles, have varying life spans as roofing material. A home that is semi-submerged beneath the ground and that sports a grass roof, will have a better chance of the roof lasting longer than an apartment building in a large city that tries to copy the style. Likewise, wooden shingles may last longer in drier climates than they do in more humid and wet climates. Natural materials may seem like an environmentally friendly choice, but when the roof fails the cost to replace or repair it can be significant.
Regardless of the type of roof chosen, installation and the elements play a large role in how a roof holds up over time. Talk with your roofing contractor to determine which material is going to work best for your home and your budget.
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