Often it really is a race between tortoise and hare: not who can go fastest but who can last the longest. And for many homeowners nervously contemplating four and five-figure re-roofings, longevity looks pretty good. You can rate roofing materials from many different angles–aesthetics, lowest cost, resale value, DIY-ability–but if longevity is your priority, you should look to these types.
7. Asphalt Roll Roof
- Lifespan: 5 to 10 years.
- Why: Asphalt roll roofing is a piker: it is better suited as a weekend DIY roofing project for your wood shed. Do not consider using it for your home.
- Make It Last Longer: There is little you can do to prolong asphalt roll’s lifespan. Make sure that it is clear of debris.
6. Composite Shingle Roof
- Lifespan: 15 to 50 years.
- Why: Are you surprised that the most popular form of roofing material ranks so low on the list of expected lifespans? Try not to be shocked. While they might poop out in as little as 15 years, composite shingles are cheap to purchase and install. Longevity predictions for composite/asphalt shingles vary wildly because the quality of this popular material varies wildly. Premium composite shingles from manufacturers like Owens
- Corning, GAF, or Certainteed come with accordingly high-end warranties pushing a half century. But that does not mean that your roof will last 50 years.
- Make It Last Longer: Watch out for cheap composite shingles that start to shed grains even in the first year. Never power wash your composite shingle roof. Eliminate moss as soon as it begins to grow.
5. Wood Shingle Roof
- Lifespan: 25 years.
- Why: Wood is an organic material. As such it is prone to weathering and decay. Note that these are wood shingles, not shakes (see below). Since shingles are sawn from the log, they are thin and flat.
- Make It Last Longer: Replace split and cracked shingles immediately. Control moss growth.
4. Standing Seam Metal Roof
- Lifespan: 30 to 50 years.
- Why: Pre-formed standing seam metal roofing is mainstream now. After all, what can be stronger than metal overhead? But metal roofs are not for the average roofing company; make sure you contract with a company that specializes in metal roofing.