Roof replacement is a major investment for any homeowner. When considering such a significant home improvement project, there is a lot to think about. Thoroughly researching roofing options should be the first priority, including the type of roofing as well as the roofing product’s warranty, style and durability, as follows:
- Three-tab asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, inexpensive and look good on ordinary homes. However, they can be a poor environmental choice because they go to a landfill after 20 years, they perform only moderately well, and they don’t add any special design appeal to a home.
- Real wood shingles or shakes look good on some styles of homes and are moderately priced, however they have little or no resistance to fire or impact unless specially treated. They also attract insects, have relatively poor long-term performance and are generally considered a poor use of our natural resources.
- Real slate shingles also provide a good look on some styles of homes and can be considered very long-lasting when installed properly. However, they are very expensive and extremely heavy. During installation you can have a significant amount of waste from cracking and breaking of slate tiles.
- Metal roofs are perfect for some very specific home designs. They have a unique look to them, are lightweight and snow can easily slide off of them. Watch out when it rains or hails though … these roofs are noisy on the inside of the home during storms.
- Synthetic roofing tiles provide a high-performance option for homeowners. The tiles come in a variety of styles, including slate and shake, are lightweight and have long-term durability. These tiles are moderately priced and a good environmental choice. While the look complements many home styles, synthetic roofing tiles are moderately priced, so they’re affordable for everyone.
What are the life spans of different roofing materials? Generally, real wood will wear out the fastest, followed by three-tab asphalt shingles. You can maybe get 15-20 years out of each of these. Some metal roofs can last up to 50 years, depending on their warranty. Synthetic roofing tiles last up to 50 years and require minimal maintenance attention. Real slate also lasts many years on a home … some slate can last up to 100 years!