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Average Lifespan of Roofing Systems

When you’re building a new home, roof covering is one of the biggest choices to make and deserves some careful thought.

How long different types of roofing will last is a very important part of this decision.

Weather conditions also have an effect on how long roofing will last.

Here in Texas, the damage that the sun and storms have on your roof is something to consider.

So just what is the average lifespan of a roof?

Below are some of the more popular roofing materials and how long you can expect them to last on average.

What is the average lifespan or the most popular roofing systems


Asphalt shingles.

This type of roofing is obviously very popular, with the three-tab shingles leading the pack. These are overlapped to prevent moisture from getting in and nailed to the roofing board on top of insulating material. They usually last from 10 to 20 years. Thicker variations, such as architectural shingles, last 15 to 25 years. Be aware that asphalt shingles are more affected by strong sunlight than other types, so they may not last as long in those climates as they would in others. The roof should be inspected regularly for cracks caused by heat-related problems.


Slate roofing is an attractive material, and depending on the climate can last 50 to 100 years with proper care. It is a more expensive option, however. Care needs to be taken with the underlying roofing structure to make sure it will hold the weight. when switching from lighter roofing material to slate the existing rafters and bracing may need to be beefed up. Regular inspection is essential, as broken or damaged slate shingles need to be replaced as soon as possible. One word of caution: while slate tends to stand up well to various weather conditions, tiles can fly off in high winds, and cause injury due to their sharp edges and weight.

Clay or concrete tiles.

These tiles add a classy look to a home. In the Southwest, clay tiles are popular due to the cooling effect they have in that hot climate. A clay tile roof can last for 50 to 100 years, while tiles made of concrete have a lifespan of 40 to 75 years. As with slate, sufficient support is required to hold the tiles, and they also can be hazardous during high winds. Inspect regularly for broken or missing tiles and replace them promptly.

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Metal roofing.

Metal roofing, made of stainless steel, copper, titanium, or zinc, wins the prize for lifespan, as these roofs can last for 50 years or more. The quality of the metal also affects age expectations. The lower the gauge the thicker the metal and the longer it will last. They may cost more than some other choices in the beginning, but this longevity means eliminating the worry of roof replacement when considering the purchase of a home with a well-maintained metal roof. It also adds value to the home when it’s time to sell. They are energy-efficient, especially the ones with a grid above the underlayment because the additional airspace is additional insulation for the attic. If you get snow or ice, metal roofs don’t hold the frozen stuff as many other roofing materials do.

Standing Seam Roofing

Standing seam roofing, the most common type of metal roofing construction, usually lasts at least 30 years and commonly much longer. Another benefit is that solar panels can be mounted right on this type of roof without even drilling holes in the roof. Ribbed metal panels are preferred for homes with gabled roofs or those with steep pitches. They last 25 to 40 years, partly contingent on whether the roofing fasteners are hidden or exposed. They are less expensive, as are metal shingles, which cost about 25 percent less than standing seam roofing.

Although these roofs may seem indestructible, they do require a bit of maintenance to prolong their lifespan. Be sure to wear soft-soled shoes and stick to the areas around the decking. Avoid the ribs and laps, and if you feel debris underfoot be careful not to grind it in. A few of the needed tasks include removing debris, washing the roof, repairing scratches, checking for corrosion or rust spots, and fixing loose or separating panel seams and flashing materials.

Roofs are like anything else – they need regular maintenance to do their best and last their longest. If you have questions, contact MHT Metal Roofing New Braunfels, or go to the contact page at

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