residential roofing guide  
 

Roofing Material
By Gary Ng
When choosing the material for your roof, take the material's lifespan into account because this dictates how long your roof will last before having to be replaced. And that impacts long term cost. A roof's lifespan depends on a number of factors, including style, materials, and the climate in the area where the home is located. It's generally best to select products that have nearly the same lifespan to avoid piece by piece repairs throughout a ten to fifteen year period. In most cases, materials last for about twenty years. This is if the roof has been maintained properly and there has been no significant damage to the roof from the weather. Some materials have a lifespan of as much as 50 years while some others last as little as 10 years. Here are some of the common materials and their lifespans. The average lifespan of asphalt is from 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Asphalt materials are one of the most common types of materials used throughout the nation because of the low cost of the materials and the ease of repairs. The average lifespan of fiberglass is from 15 to 20 years. Fiberglass requires little maintenance and can be manufactured in many different colors and styles to give the homeowner the desired look. Roofs made from this material are water resistant and mold resistant. Many homes in the northeastern portion of the nation use wooden shakes and shingles. These materials will generally last for about 15 to 20 years, and could last for as many as 30 years if the shakes and shingles are well maintained. Slate materials are some of the longest lasting products on the market,

with an average lifespan of 40 to 75 years. Metal can last nearly 50 years. Metal products come in a wide variety of different colors, finishes, and styles to resemble other types of materials such as tiles or wooden shingles. These products are nearly indestructible from weather and can be installed over the current roof. A less well known option is rubber roofing. It's easy to install, easy to maintain, and long lasting. It can be a single sheet cut to fit the roof or shingles. The very first rubber roof ever installed was in Wisconsin in 1980. It's still doing its job after nearly 30 years. So you see, there are many different materials each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
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