What type of roof lasts the longest? It’s a tough but important question many homeowners have or will ask. If you’re looking to reroof your house or are building a new house, the roof you choose will have a big impact on the future value of the property, the aesthetics of the home and the quality of your home life.
With an investment as large as a new roof and for an element so fundamental to your home; what type of material lasts the longest is an important question to ask. However, it can be a hard question to answer.
There are so many different factors that go into what type of roof lasts the longest. Of course, the material is the biggest factor that goes into the lifespan of your roof. Still, the design, environmental factors and the build quality are also important factors that need to be considered. Once you have found your roofer and are confident, they are the right team for the job; your next step is to consider your roofing materials. Different roofing materials will carry varying lifespans that need to be considered in your decision.
How Many Years Does a Slate Roof Last?
If you’re wondering what type of roof lasts the longest, a slate roof will outlast any other roofing material on the market. So, how many years does a slate roof last? Anywhere between 60 to 150 years when installed and cared for appropriately.
A slate roof can last 100+ years longer than other roofing materials, which has made it a popular roofing material for many years. Slate lasts so long due to it being a naturally occurring stone. The nature of slate means the impact by deterioration, corrosion, insects (termites), fire and environmental factors like heat from the sun and rain is dramatically reduced or altogether avoided. The same characteristics that make it so durable and give it it’s long lifespan also means that slate is very energy efficient and requires little roofing maintenance.
Slate is a very dense material, so it keeps your house cool in the summer by keeping hot air out and warm in the winter by trapping the warm air inside. The density of slate is what also what allows the material to be so low maintenance.
Clay and concrete tiles can be manufactured to mimic the benefits of slate tiles, meaning they have a similar life span. Clay and concrete are just as durable, and with advancements in technology, they are only improving and becoming cheaper as time goes on, making them a good substitute for slate roof tiles.
Galvanised Steel Roofing Life Expectancy
Galvanised steel is the most common type of metal used as a roofing material. Galvanised steel is created by coating steel with zinc which slows down the corrosion process increasing galvanised steel roofing life expectancy. Adding the zinc to the steel materials also aids in protection from rusting scratches which add to the corrosion of the roof.
When it comes to what type of roof lasts the longest, as a roofing material, galvanized steel can last up to 50 years and sometimes longer, but it does have its weaknesses. Even with the additional zinc coating on this type of steel, galvanised steel roofing is not entirely resistant to saltwater corrosion, making it less than ideal for the coastal properties that are plentiful in Australia. Regular galvanised steel also doesn’t offer as much in insulation and energy efficiency as slate roofing materials.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Metal Roof?
What is the life expectancy of a metal roof? Well, the answer will depend on the type of metal used as the roofing material.
• Aluminium – Aluminium lasts for roughly 40-50 years. As a roofing material, aluminium needs to be carefully considered. It is expensive in comparison to other materials, but it is resistant to saltwater, so it can be beneficial to those living on the coast. Aluminium is very malleable, which is great for structural strength, but it means it doesn’t always last as long when exposed to hail and high winds.
• Copper – Copper can last up to 100 years if well cared for. Copper is already an expensive material, and the large volume needed for a roof makes it the most expensive roofing material. It has a really long lifespan as it doesn’t rust and is corrosion resistant (although it does corrode), but copper is also lightweight and malleable. Even though Copper has a long lifespan and many other benefits, the cost of copper means it is rarely used to roof an entire house.
• Colorbond Steel – Colorbond can last up to 70 years. Colorbond steel is manufactured as a specific roofing material; therefore, you can expect it to provide a myriad of benefits and last a long time. Colorbond is made up of 5 different layers that give it its long lifespan, among with many other advantages. Tested in Australia, it is built with the specific purpose of being a roofing material. Although Colorbond won’t always last as long as copper, it is much cheaper and requires little maintenance in comparison, giving Colorbond roofing the best bang for your buck when it comes to roofing materials.
Which Roofing Materials Lasts the Longest?
So, what type of roof lasts the longest? There are a lot of factors that go into which roofing materials lasts the longest, but as a general rule, with proper maintenance and care any reputable roofing material should last up to 40 years or more. However, there are still some materials you should avoid if you want to invest in a product that will last. Asphalt, cellulose fibre, rubber, simulated slate and wood are a few examples of roofing materials that have a short-lived life in Australia and will require constant upkeep and replacement if the roof is expected to last as long as the rest of a house or building.
Metal roofs are relatively long lasting. Depending on the metal used, and with modern advancements in the manufacturing process, metal roofs are only becoming more impressive and prevalent. Metal will corrode and rust over time when exposed to the elements, which has meant that traditionally it wasn’t the best roofing material for Australian homes. However, today, metals can be treated and coated with alloys that dramatically slow the corrosion and rusting process, giving metal roofs a long-life expectancy. Colorbond roofs are likely the preferred choice of metal roofing materials as Colorbond will last up to 70 years with the right care, making them a cost-effective investment for your home.
However, slate, concrete and clay roof tiles will often outlast most roofing materials they can easily last up to 100 years or longer. Concrete tiles will last between 50-100 years depending on maintenance and other factors, but both slate and clay roof tiles can quite easily last 100-150 years if well taken care of. These types of materials all have their own pros and cons when it comes to cost, styling and energy efficiency, so it’s important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages for the type of roof you require for your property.
When it comes to what type of roof lasts the longest, the life of a roof can be extended or shorted dramatically depending on how it is treated throughout the installation and maintenance stages of its life. With a trusted installation and regular inspections, repairs and maintenance, you can prolong the life of any roofing material. Still, it’s important to think about the ongoing costs of this when deciding on the roofing material for your roof.
At Vertec Roofing, we are the leading experts in excellent roofing care and are committed to helping others keep their properties safe from the harsh Sydney weather that their roof has to deal with. At Vertec Roofing, we specialize in roof replacements, reroofing and roof repairs all across the greater Sydney area. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your next roofing project, get in touch with one of our team members today.