In the United States, most roofs are made of asphalt shingles, slate, metal, or wood shake. Asphalt shingles are easily the most popular but an asphalt shingle roof only lasts about ten years. Some improved shingles last about 20 years. However, if you want to avoid creating more waste and you want to avoid remodeling your roof every ten or twenty years, you should consider some other types of roofing. If you want the least hassle possible, you need the longest lasting roof. Which material is that?
Metal or Slate?
Cedar shake, asphalt shingles, and ceramic tiles all have great benefits, but if you’re buying based on longevity, the choice comes down to metal or slate. They’re the two longest lasting roofing options. Slate comes in a couple of varieties. The two basic categories are hard slate and soft slate. Soft slate roofs are generally expected to last about 75 to 150 years. Hard slate roofs are expected to last over 200 years.
The biggest concern with slate is that it’s fairly brittle; slate is a natural stone that is very hard and very resilient. Because it’s a stone, it doesn’t degrade very easily. However, blunt force can crack slate tiles. So, if you have trees that could drop branches on your roof, you might not want slate. In that case, you might want metal.
Metal roofs typically aren’t rated to last as long as slate. Typically, they’re rated to last from 50 to 100 years. Metal resists blunt force damage much better than slate. If you have branches that might drop on the roof or if you need to walk on the roof to do repairs, metal will be the way to go.
Longevity alters the way you think about the price of your roof. For example, if roof B costs you twice as much as roof A but it lasts you twice as long, they’re essentially the same price over the long term.
The cost of buying materials and installing them will change based on the specific materials and on the installers. However, there are some general rules of thumb. Slate tends to be more expensive than metal. It can be as much as three times more expensive than metal. However, a hard slate can last more than three times longer than metal.
Metal will likely cost less for installation as well. So, if you want the longest lasting roof, you should choose hard slate. If you want a durable option that’s not as expensive, you could choose metal.