Home Construction: Top it Off

When it comes to roofing materials, thanks to modern technology, times have changed. For example, several years ago T-Lock roofing shingles were largely discontinued by the year 2005. The reasons were lack of demand, less effective material, cost of production and manufacturers ceased production of the T-Lock shingle.

Modern roofing options include asphalt shingles, wood shingles and shakes, metal roofing, concrete, clay, plastic, and fiber-cement tiles, natural and faux slate, and Tesla solar tiles. Many style options include traditional metal roof style and roofing material which look like shingles, shakes, and tiles. Metals used include aluminum, lightweight steel, and zinc. Roof materials made of copper are appealing but they are expensive.

Additional materials include solar tiles, stone-coated steel, slate, rubber slate, and green roofs.  What are green roofs or living roofs? Green roofs are partially or fully covered with vegetation which grows over a waterproof membrane. Additional layers contain soil, a root barrier, and drainage and irrigation systems. Other green roofs use rooftop ponds which treat grey water which is clean waste water from baths, sinks, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and other kitchen appliances. Grey water does not include sewage water or other contaminants. Older versions of a green roof are traditional sod roofs (turf roof) which were commonly used in northern Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Iceland, and other parts of the world and they have been around for centuries. During the Middle-Ages period, from the 5th to the 15th centuries, most houses had sod roofs. About the early 19th century, tile roofs and other roof materials became popular. In the 21st century, they are reappearing as an alternative green roof. People are exploring all types of green roof alternatives. Modern turf roof construction uses bitumen roofing felt combined with dimpled plastic drainage membranes which provide a drainage layer. Turf material is laid over the drainage layer. In Norway, turf roofs are still used.

Mercer Island Home Builders

Examples of long lifespan roofing materials are shown below.

  • Asphalt Roll Roof has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.
  • Asphalt Shingles: This type of roof material lasts about 15 to 30 years. More than 70% of U.S. homes have asphalt shingles. But, take into consideration severe weather damage which necessitates roof repair and replacement. Any type of roof material can suffer from severe weather damage such as hail.
  • Composite Shingle Roof will last anywhere from 15 to 50 years and it is a popular roof material.
  • Wood Shingle Roof: This type of material will last up to 25 years.
  • Standing Seam Metal Roof materials have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.
  • Wood Shake Shingle Roofs can last from 35-40 years.
  • Clay (Spanish) Tile Roofs are reported to last up to 100 years. Though, tiles can crack and need replacement. Factor in the type of severe weather, i.e., hurricanes that can cause severe damage to any type of roof material.
  • Slate Roof material is reported to last up to 100 plus years. Again, factor in severe weather damage.