How Long Should a Roof Last?
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How Long Should a Roof Last?

Everything you buy in life has an expected lifespan. Some things are designed to last for decades while others are made to be tossed and replaced monthly, weekly, or even daily. Understanding the lifespans of things is a good way to ensure you repair or replace things when it’s time. It can also help you make the decision between two different choices with different lifespans.

Roofs, for example, have a very different lifespan depending on the materials and techniques used, the area in which you live, and of course, some natural occurrences that are out of your control. Here’s how long you can expect the various types of roofs to last, as well as some of the pros and cons to each variety.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt or composite shingles are the most common type of roofing you’ll see in residential homes. These shingles are rectangular in shape and made of a composite of asphalt and fiberglass. The biggest benefit of asphalt shingles is the fact that they’re low cost and relatively easy to install. In general, asphalt shingles last around 20 years. However, some asphalt shingles are designed to last longer, so you should check the product details before you make a purchase.

 Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is one of the cheapest roofing options, and it also has the shortest lifespan. It comes in large rolls that can easily be applied to roofs of buildings where beauty isn’t quite as important, such as sheds. Because rolled roofing is a cheap, easy roofing option, it only lasts about 5 to 8 years.

Metal Roofing

You may think of metal roofing as commercial, but it can be used for homes, too. Although metal roofing is more expensive than your typical composite shingles, it will prevent frequent roofing repairs. Depending on which authority you ask, metal roofing should last between 40 and 80 years. It’s also a sustainable material, is resistant to fire, and is uninviting to insects and other intruders.

Slate Shingles

If you really want the best for your roof, there’s no better option than slate shingles. Although they can have their issues if they aren’t installed properly, they’re arguably the most durable roofing material, plus they look great. The downside is that they’re very expensive, and you’ll need a highly qualified roofer to make sure the installation goes off without a hitch. The upside? A good slate shingle roof can last for up to 100 years.

Wood Shakes

Wood roofing is an attractive option for people who want a more natural look. The good news is, wood roofing should last for at least 20 years, even in suboptimal weather conditions. If you live in an area where the climate is very mild, your wood roof may last even longer. The downside to choosing wood for your roof is the cost and the fact that it will require regular maintenance to keep it in prime condition.

Other Factors

Of course, your roof may last longer or need replacing sooner depending on the weather in the area where you live. If you live in an area where it’s very moist or where it snows heavily every winter, your roof will be subjected to more wear and tear.

Additionally, storms can damage your roof in a variety of ways. When wind gusts reach a certain threshold, they can rip shingles from the roof and leave vulnerable spots. Fallen tree branches can also cause damage to your roof, whether by damaging the shingles or the infrastructure of the roof itself.

The more extreme the weather in the area you live in, the shorter the lifespan of your roof is likely to be.

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