What Are the Typical Life Spans of Various Types of Roof Shingles?

The life span of a roof is largely determined by the materials it’s made of, the workmanship of the people who install it, and the weather conditions in the area. When they’re installed by the best remodeling company in San Diego, many types of roofs can last for 15 years or longer, while some can hold up for 50 years or more. Unsurprisingly, cheaper shingles don’t last as long as more expensive ones, and there’s a broad range of prices among the various types. Keep reading to learn how long different types of shingles typically last so you can choose the right type of roofing material for your home. 

Asphalt Shingles Usually Last 15 to 30 Years

The most common type of shingles used on homes today are asphalt shingles. Because they’re affordable and durable, you’ll find them on more than 80 percent of new homes, and they’re often backed by warranties for as long as 25 years.

Asphalt shingles, which are made of fiberglass or organic materials such as cellulose and covered with an asphalt coating, offer a sturdy layer of protection against wind, rain, and UV rays. Both organic and fiberglass asphalt shingles have advantages and disadvantages. Organic shingles are extremely durable, thicker than fiberglass shingles, and coated with more asphalt. Fiberglass shingles, by contrast, weigh less and enjoy a better fire rating than their organic counterparts, which is one of the main reasons they’re the top choice for many homeowners. 

Wood Shingles Can Last Up to 30 Years

The preferred type of wood for shingles is cedar because it’s so resistant to insects and rot. Wood shingles work well on virtually any type of house, and they’re particularly popular with homeowners who have Tudor-style or cottage-type homes with steep roofs. 

Wood shingles require more upkeep than other types of roofing materials. A wood shingle roof needs to be inspected at least every year, and any split or damaged shingles have to be replaced right away. Depending on the quality of the shingles, a wood shingle roof that’s well maintained should last between 15 and 30 years.

Although wood shingles provide a natural look and are relatively inexpensive to install, they do have some disadvantages. They’re susceptible to discoloration, and over time, their warm brown color fades to a silvery gray hue, which some homeowners actually like. More worrisome, though, especially for homeowners in areas prone to wildfires, is that wood shingles are more vulnerable to fire. It’s possible to buy wood shingles treated with fire retardant, though, and some towns and cities actually forbid the use of untreated wood shingles. Because of this greater susceptibility to fire, your homeowners insurance could be higher if you install wood shingles on your roof. 

Clay Tile Roofs Can Last 50 Years or Longer

While they aren’t shingles, clay tiles definitely deserve a look if you’re replacing your roof, especially if you live in a warm climate. These tiles, which are best known for their bold terra-cotta colors, are one of the most popular roofing choices in the Southwest, and these low-maintenance tiles are so durable they can easily last for 50 years.

Clay tiles are an especially popular choice in hot, sunny climates where the sun’s intense heat can soften the bottom of asphalt shingles, thus weakening their adhesion and causing leaks. Although they’re called “clay” tiles, the name is a bit of a misnomer. Today, most clay tiles are composed of concrete that’s been tinted and molded into flat, curved, or interlocking shapes.

Installing clay tiles isn’t something homeowners can do themselves over a weekend. These tiles are brittle and heavy, and precise measuring must be done because they have to be installed in very specific patterns. In addition, because clay tiles are so heavy, using them to replace an asphalt roof may require reinforcing the structure of the home.

Generally speaking, a roof can last from 20 to 50 years, depending on the quality of the materials, the workmanship of the installers, and the climate. A huge variety of designs and colors are available that can suit any style of house, but choosing the right material for a new roof involves more than just aesthetics. It’s also essential to consider your climate and the slope of your roof, and it’s always best to have a roof installed by experienced professionals.

Whether their home improvement projects involve replacing a roof or a full home remodel, San Diego homeowners can rely on the team from Forever Builders for outstanding workmanship and exceptional service at affordable rates. From planning to completion, we’ll help you create the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of. To find out more about our exceptional roofing, renovation, and remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.

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