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What Is The Longest Lasting Roof

Rolled Roofing Things To Know

What type of roof shingles last the longest?

If you have a flat roof on your home or building, chances are youve heard about rolled roofing as a method of putting a new roof on your home. The words rolled roofing are pretty ambiguous, however, referring to not one, but several different types of roofs that are available to you.

Residential & Commercial Roofing, Siding, Gutters, Windows and Doors.

A Roofing Material With A Life Expectancy In Excess Of 50 Years

Due to its durability, all of the EPDM flat roofing materials we offer have a life expectancy in excess of 50 years. This makes them both highly cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Not only that, EPDMs long-lasting abilities do not even end when it can no longer be used as a roofing material. With the ability to be recycled, EPDM sheets can be recycled after use as the rubber mats used in childrens playgrounds, or can be used as fuel to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

EPDM roofing was first laid in the 1960s in the USA by CarlisleTM Syntec. Impressively showcasing the materials long-lasting abilities, the original EPDM roofing installations are still protecting the roofs today.

Since then, many internationally recognised companies have chosen EPDM flat roofing materials for their buildings. These companies include Honda, Microsoft, Staples and Barclaycard. In addition to this, the Playhouse Theatre in London has a roof with an EPDM covering, as do many schools, shopping centres, railway stations, hospitals, commercial and residential properties across the globe. In fact, over 1 billion square metres of material have been installed worldwide!

Different Types Of Roofing Materials

But to get more specific, weve come up with a list of materials and have compiled how long they are expected to last under normal conditions.

Asphalt shingles last approximately 20 years, but they do come in varying degrees of qualitypremium asphalt shingles can last up to five decades. They are the most widely used roofing products in North America and are readily available in a variety of colours and styles, and have a wide range in price and quality.

Architectural asphalt products are made from engineered polymer composites that imitate the look of cedar wood shakes or slate tiles and last about 30 years on average.

Wood shingles and shakes are made to last around 30 years, but if the house is in mild weather that does not swing to extremes, these products can last much longer. However, if the wood is under conditions that are wet, or that cause the wood to constantly expand and shrink, they will quickly warp.

Metal roofing products can last between 40 and 80 years, and include metal shingles, slates, tiles and vertical panels. One benefit to these products is that they weigh about half as much as asphalt shingles and are 75 percent lighter than tiles. Copper roofs can last 70 years or more.

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Which Durable Roof Is Right For Your Home

There are many varieties of roofs on the market today, including other high durability options that were not listed in this article. Selecting a roof for your home will depend on a number of factors, such as your location and day to day climate, whether you are building a new home or refurbishing a pre-existing one, as well as your budget and how long you plan to stay in the home. You should also check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if there is a break on your monthly premium for a long lasting roof.

Sometimes homeowners associations will require a certain aesthetic look that you cannot deviate from, so be sure to check in with any local management you may need to report to.

If you want your roof to last a long time, it will directly correlate to your level of investment. Going with a material that is inherently durable is just as important as where you are sourcing those materials from. In addition to making your final decision, it will remain important that you place maintenance as a priority. Any roof left unattended to will begin to deteriorate eventually.

Roofs should be inspected once a year. If that is not feasible, an inspection should at least be scheduled within the first five years along with another checkup in the first ten years after installment. This is a big decision that can end up saving you money or costing you unnecessarily in the long run.

Pros And Cons Of Different Roofing Materials

Which Roofing Material Lasts the Longest?

Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing product in the U.S., the National Roofing Contractors Association says.They are relatively inexpensive, and there is a tremendous array of colors, patterns and styles from which to choose.

Architectural asphalt shingles are a relatively new product. Companies such as CertainTeed have introduced a material made from engineered polymer composites that imitates the look of cedar wood shakes or slate tiles. The good news is that they are much less expensive than natural products the drawback is that they lack a history of performance statistics.

Metal roofing materials, which include metal shingles, slates, tiles and vertical panels, weigh about half as much as asphalt shingles and are 75 percent lighter than tiles. Problems are the same as with other materials: leaks, punctures or tears and pooling water.

Wood shakes that constantly become wet in the winter typically become so warped from a lifetime of wetting and drying with the seasons that they jeopardize the integrity of the roof. They still are a popular choice in many parts of the country, though. The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau says pressure-treated shakes hold up better, and that thick-cut cedar shakes generally last longer than thinner cedar shingles.

The main drawback with slate roofing is weight. Slates 3/8-inches thick weigh as much as 1,500 pounds per square , and each additional 1/8-inch thickness increases the weight by 500 pounds per square.

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Top Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers


IKO Asphalt Roofing Shingles effectively protect for your home and family against inclement weather. High end options that can mimic the sought-after designer look and beauty of genuine slate tiles or wood shakes. Many have Class A fire ratings. Except for the Marathon and Cambridge, the rest have high wind resistance ratings.

  • Traditional 3-Tab
  • Cambridge: Basic architectural shingles with straight, not angled, cuts.
  • Dynasty: Dimensional shingle with a high wind rating and algae resistance.
  • Nordic: Dimensional shingle with a high wind rating, algae resistance and class 4 impact resistance.
  • Crown Slate: Performance designer shingle that mimics slate.
  • Armourshake: Performance designer shingle that mimics wood shake.
  • Royal Estate: Performance designer shingle that mimics slate

Owens Corning

Owens Corning currently offers nine lines of shingles with varying wind resistances. All except the 3-tab come with a limited lifetime warranty. Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration laminated architectural shingles start at $35 and can cost as much as $50, depending on color and style.

  • Duration: mid-priced architectural shingles
  • Woodmoor: Same as Woodcrest but thicker and heavier.
  • Supreme: Standard 3-tab.


Ready to start your asphalt shingle installation?

Batten And Trim Installation

Inspect areas of your roof with a gutter to know where you will need to install a batten to extend your roof deck towards the gutter. This directs excess rainwater drips to the gutter and not behind the gutter. Doing this prevents damage to the fasteners and supporting wall underneath the gutter. The trim enables the batten to smoothly direct the flow of water to the gutter with a curve and is attached above the batten.

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Wood Shakes And Shingles

Usually, a wooden shingle roof lasts for about 30 years with warranties that run up to 30 years. In order for wood shingles and shake roofs to last, however, you need to perform regular maintenance. Wooden roof upkeep includes yearly cleanings, as well as repainting or staining every 5 years.

Wooden shakes can last for decades if properly maintained. Image source: Westshore Roofing

The type of wood that you use will also determine how long the roof will last. Cedar shakes, for example, last longer than other types of wooden shingles because cedar is rot and insect-resistant. Cedar shakes are also able to withstand winds up to 245 miles per hour, which makes them a popular type of roofing material for coastal homes.

Signs you need a wooden roof replacement: Splitting shingles, rotting shingles, pest damage, mold, and/or algae growth.

The Weight Factor Of A Slate Roof

Metal Roof Shingle Review

Slate roofs are incredibly heavy due to the weight of the slate itself. Because of this, your home has to be able to hold the weight of a slate roof.

If your home cant handle the weight of slate the way it is, youll have to retrofit it. Retrofitting must be approved by a structural engineer and must be done before the roof can even be installed.

Be aware, its really going to add to the cost of your new slate roof if you have to do retrofitting or new framing. If youre seriously considering a slate roof, ask your roofing contractor about the weight factor and how retrofitting your home impacts the final price of a slate roof.

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Which Roofing Material Should You Choose

Due to the great variety of roofing materials available in the market, it becomes difficult to choose the one that is the longest-lasting.

Several different factors need to be considered when buying a new roof or replacing the old one.

These factors include:

  • The weather condition of your area
  • Your homes design
  • The price of each material
  • How much routine maintenance is needed
  • The overall quality of the roofing material

Long Lasting Roofing Materials

When determining the longest lasting roof, one major factor is the quality of the roofing material. Cement and clay have been used for roofing and shelter for thousands of years. Many ancient buildings boast clay or concrete roofs that are centuries old. Slate shingles, which are made of stone, are also very long lasting.

Metal has also been in use for roofing for centuries. Historically, copper was a common metal for roofing. It reacts well to the elements and doesnt need any extra coating to keep it from rusting. It is also soft and relatively easy to work with. In addition to its long lifespan and ease of use, builders have always used copper roofing for its beauty, both in its raw and weathered states.

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Cedar Shingles And Shakes

Comparable in cost to metal roofing, cedar shingles and shakes are a common roofing option for beach homes and Cape Cod style houses. Cedar shake roofs are designed to last 25 to 30 years on average. With regular maintenance and staining, however, a cedar shake roof can last around 30-40 years.

A cedar single roof can have a wind uplift rating of up to 173 MPH, while a cedar shake roof can achieve a wind uplift rating of up to 245 MPH with a proper installation. Wood roofs are extremely resilient and durable in providing protection from hurricanes and heavy snow load.

Tell-Tale Signs Its Time to Consider Replacement Cracked wood shingles or leaks that dont respond to simple repairs.

Slate roofs are notoriously expensive, heavy, and long-lasting. A quality slate roof can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, depending on the slate tile thickness and grade.

Slate roofs are commonly installed on premium homes and fancy McMansions.

Slate roofs have excellent wind uplift properties, but a few pieces of slate flying off a roof during a hurricane can be extremely dangerous due to their weight and sharp edges.

More info on performance of slate roofs during hurricanes can be found here:

Tell-Tale Signs to Consider Replacement: Cracked, missing, or loose slates, or leaks that dont respond to simple repairs.

What Is The Longest

What Type of Roof Lasts the Longest? Our Top 3 Longest ...

With a roof being a large investment, you want to get the most out of it. So, of course, you and other homeowners are looking for the longest-lasting roofing material.

Unfortunately, it isnt the commonly used asphalt shingles. Or the rising star in the residential roofing industry, metal.

So, what is the longest-lasting roofing material available? The answer will probably surprise you.

For the last 30 plus years, Bill Ragan Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners find the right roofing material for their replacement. We believe in giving you unbiased information, so youre able to make the best decisions.

Thats why this article gives you an honest look at the longest-lasting roofing material on the market. After learning which material it is, youll also learn 4 things every homeowner needs to know about it, such as cost, warranties, and more.

If it isnt, or you just want to know more options, we give you a little something at the very end that helps you find the right one.

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What Are The Longest Lasting Roofing Materials

When it comes to choosing the right roofing material, longevity and durability are key components that you need to consider. With such a wide range of different roofing products available on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down the search and find a long-lasting material that you can rely on.

Although very affordable materials may seem like a good idea budget-wise, you need to consider whether they are going to generate costly repairs as soon as 5-10 years down the line. Investing in a high-quality roofing material that is built to last, will mean you wont be out of pocket and can enjoy your roof decades into the future.

In this article, we have compiled a range of comparisons to give you the clearest idea of which roofing materials will last and which wont. If you are on the hunt for the longest lasting roofing materials for your next project, take a read through.

Are These The Best Long Lasting Cars

Longest Lasting #10 Toyota Corolla, Subaru Forester, and Toyota Prius: 0.9%

Two of these cars are what come to mind when I hear the words commuter car the Toyota Corolla and Prius. The third car at #10 comes from another brand known for their longevity, Subaru, with the Forester. I think it would be safe to say none of these vehicles are a surprise for the list. Except maybe the PriusTo say almost 1% of Pri-i on the road have over 200k on the odometer is a testament to how far battery technology has come. It also cements what the future of automobiles will look like, though Id rather see more LaFerraris than Pri-i.

Longest Lasting #9 Subaru Outback: 1.1%

Dropping three spots from the last longevity test in 2014 is the Subaru Outback at #9. Again, this isnt much of a surprise. Subaru touts their longevity in nearly every commercial they have. Not only do Subaru owners get long lasting vehicles, they also have insanely good resale value!

Longest Lasting #8 Dodge Caravan: 1.2%

Sorry Dodge fans, but I wasnt expecting to see a dodge on this list at all. Trucks are one thing but over the last decade or so, Dodge hasnt had the best reputation with reliability. That being said, the Caravan has always been an outlier as it was on 2014s list as well sitting just one spot higher at #7. So if you have a large family and love Dodge the Caravan is a great choice for longevity at #8 this year.

Longest Lasting #7 Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Quest: 1.3%

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Number : Wood Shake Shingles

Lasts anywhere between 35 and 40 years.

Compared to asphalt shingles at number 5, Wood Shakes last significantly longer on average because they are much thicker than the average asphalt shingle. The thicker the shakes the longer it will last and the more it will resist damage from the sun from harmful UV rays .

However, one drawback is you cant really sit there and forget about your shake roof. It will require more maintenance and it has a tendency to like to be babied. Youll have to regularly remove any debris that accumulates between shingles and eliminate moss as soon as it appears, plus replace any that happen to split immediately.

The Importance Of Underlayment

How Long Does A Roof Last? (Homeowners Guide)

Many homeowners have never even heard of underlayment. But underlayment is very significant to the longevity of your roof. Underlayment is a material laid directly on the roof and underneath the shingles. Generally, the two types of underlayment used on homes are felt and synthetics. Underlayment is water resistant, not waterproof, but it serves as a good emergency barrier in the case of damage to the shingles above it. In the case of asphalt shingles, it prevents shingles from bonding directly to the plywood roofing, making it easier to remove when the time comes to replace the roof.

Not all roofs require underlayment, but it is important to consider, as it can be the achilles heel of even the longest lasting roof. A low quality of underlayment can limit the longevity of otherwise long lasting roofing materials. But when you look at historic buildings that used slate, clay, and concrete tiles, none of them used underlayment. Yet they still function today. This just demonstrates that underlayment is important to consider, but not necessary in every situation.

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You Must Hire A Roofing Contractor That Has Experience Installing Slate Roofs

Speaking of your local roofing contractor, hiring one that has experience installing and working on slate roofs is crucial. Each individual slate tile has to be carefully handled because theyre easily breakable.

The installers also need to know how to walk on a slate roof without breaking the tiles. Because of this, it takes real skill and proper training to handle and install a slate roof.

If the installers dont have experience working with slate, the slate tiles will break, youll have problems , and your long-lasting roofs life will be cut short. No matter if you need repairs or a full roof replacement, your contractor plays a huge role in the life you get out of your slate roof.


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