What Roof Material is Most Durable and Long Lasting - metal roofing - Peak Roofing

What Roof Material is Most Durable and Long Lasting?

There are quite a few options for a great roof material, from ceramic solutions to metal roofing. Since each type of material has different advantages and disadvantages, it is a good idea to become familiar with your options before signing a contract with your local roofing contractors.

Climate and Weather

The two worst enemies of every roof are moisture and heat. The former promotes decay and provides mold with a suitable place to grow. The latter causes roofing materials to expand and contract again when things cool off. This perpetual growth and shrinkage is a powerful force that can dislodge roofing nails and tacks, tear asphalt shingles, and more. Even the strongest roofing material will eventually succumb to the weather, including ceramic tiles. Metal roofs fare well in fluctuating temperatures, but even those need to be inspected periodically to tighten screws that have worked loose due to weather and winds.

Building Design

The style of the building design will play a part in determining what the best material for roofing it will be. Asphalt shingles, especially 3-tab shingles, are well suited for steep roofs, but they do not perform well on shallow or flat roofs. For a flat roof, a membrane material is more appropriate because that type can capture and channel water instead of allowing it to stand. Using the wrong type of roof will eventually lead to damages to the building itself as leaks and damages slowly emerge.

Product Quality

Another major factor that needs to be considered across all types of roofing is the quality of the material– and the contractors who perform the job. Top-quality shingles that are put on by a mediocre roofer aren’t going to provide the same finished result as a well-built roof using industry-leading materials. Ceramic tiles are a great example of a situation where the quality of the tiles is vital to the longevity and durability of the roof. And be careful of cutting other corners, as well. The rafters and sheeting beneath your roofing material is important for everything from noise cancellation to reducing wear and weathering.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are probably the most economical type of roof, with a variety of styles and colors to choose from. The problem is that asphalt shingles can be damaged by exposure to heat and wind. Once the wind has found a way to get beneath your shingles, they will be weakened a little more in each major storm. This type of material is only expected to hold up for 15-20 years before repairs or reroofing need to be considered. 

Architectural 3-Tab Shingles

A little thicker and designed for greater strength, 3-tab shingles can be installed in several styles and colors. High-quality 3-Tab roofs may last for up to 30 years, with 20 being the industry standard. This type of roof is moderately more expensive than asphalt shingles, but it does provide more durability in adverse conditions.


Metal roofing is generally easier to install and more durable than many common roofing materials. Metal is also one of the more versatile types of materials and metal roofs can be made to resemble other types and styles. With an expected longevity of 25 to 30 years, a well-built and well-maintained roof can realistically last for 50 years or more. Special insulation is typically placed beneath the metal sheets or tiles to increase noise reduction and temperature conduction. Metal roofs can be painted, but there are quite a few colors available that take a lot of the expected upkeep of the roof out of the equation.

Roof Tiles

Tiles are available in metal, vinyl, and ceramic, to name a few. Ceramic tiles are popular and last for decades, but they are heavy and require a sturdy base for installation. Also, baked tiles can be brittle if the roof has to be accessed frequently. Vinyl tiles are lightweight, but they won’t last much longer than shingles and may fade after a few years in seasonal harsh sunlight. Second only to metal roofing, ceramic tiles are versatile, are available in multiple styles and colors, and require very little maintenance under normal conditions.

Solar Tiles

Solar Tiles are a relative newcomer to the roofing industry and require roofers that are trained and licensed for both roofing and electrical services. Solar roofs are typically warranted for 20 to 25 years but will require periodic servicing and repair. The big advantage of a solar roof is that they provide an excellent insulating barrier, and the sunlight captured by a solar roof is instantly converted to household power. That is a return on the investment that is not available with other roof types, but the initial cost may be prohibitive.

Green Roofing

A green roof is a roof that is built to support the weight and equipment needed to roof with organic material. Green roofs can be used to grow food, and provide exceptional insulating properties. The main disadvantage of a green roof is the amount of weight that will have to be supported. A green roof will generally last for 20 years or more, and a well-maintained organic roof has the potential to go for many decades.

Other Types of Roof Material

There are plenty of honorable mentions for roofing. Rolled roofing is similar to shingles but can be applied faster and is often used in re-roofing situations when the old roof remains in place. Cedar shingles are relatively high-end and wear out in as little as 10 to 15 years. Cedar roofs are popular for their aesthetic value, but the cedar slats are fragile and the roof will require a substantial amount of maintenance over the years.

Metal roofs provide one of the best values in roofing materials, with an appealing finish and a long life. However, it is a good idea to talk to your roofing contractor before you make your final decision. Different materials are better suited for roof styles, harsh climates, and other factors, so make sure you have your heart set on the best material before committing yourself.

Peak Roofing & Exteriors

If you’re looking for an honest and experienced team that can handle your residential roofing project in Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Louisiana, or West Texas, look no further.  Peak Roofing & Exteriors can take care of your home or business with quality and integrity. Contact us today and book a FREE inspection!