Depending on the material, the life of a roof can be anywhere from 15 to 50 years; however the average life is about 20 years. Many different materials including wood, metal, or ceramic can be used for roofing. However, they are the least common because they are less durable and more expensive than the more common options. Asphalt is the most common material used today. It is widely used because it is a great value. Most manufacturers can make the shingles in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and will guarantee them for up to 30 years. Architectural shingles are an upgrade to the asphalt and have gained popularity over the last few years because they are heavier and more weather-resistant. This material is designed to last for at least 40 years, although some manufacturers will give them a lifetime guarantee. Slate is the most durable of these options, although it is more expensive, and therefore less common; this material is typically guaranteed for up to 50 years. Durability is the most important factor for choosing a roofing material.
Roofing materials are made to withstand weather conditions in order to protect the home’s interior. Accelerated wear can be expected in areas with extreme weather conditions. Heavy snow can cause a roof to cave in, while strong wind can cause the shingles to tear off and leave parts exposed to the elements. Homeowner’s living in these areas should be conscious of weather patterns which can cause damage, making small repairs early can prevent the need for a complete replacement later. Slate tends to withstand some of these extreme weather conditions better than any other material because it sheds ice and snow. Furthermore, contractors will use different techniques and adhesives to replace the roof, which can have some effects on its longevity.
Proper roofing on a home has a number of advantages besides just protecting the home from poor weather conditions. Homeowner’s can save thousands on their energy bills when the home is properly insulated, and some older homes might be due for an upgrade in order to patch areas where heat or cool air might escape. Knowing when to replace the roof can save thousands because the it is protecting what is inside the home.