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What is the Longest-Lasting Roofing Material? (What to Know About It)

November 8th, 2021 | 6 min. read

What is the Longest-Lasting Roofing Material? (What to Know About It)

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With a roof being a large investment, you want to get the most out of it. So, of course, you and other homeowners are looking for the longest-lasting roofing material. 

Unfortunately, it isn’t the commonly used asphalt shingles. Or the rising star in the residential roofing industry, metal. 

So, what is the longest-lasting roofing material available? The answer will probably surprise you. 

For the last 30 plus years, Bill Ragan Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners find the right roofing material for their replacement. We believe in giving you unbiased information, so you’re able to make the best decisions.

That’s why this article gives you an honest look at the longest-lasting roofing material on the market. After learning which material it is, you’ll also learn 4 things every homeowner needs to know about it, such as cost, warranties, and more.

By the end, you’ll not only know what the longest-lasting roofing material is, but also if it’s right for you. If it isn’t, or you just want to know more options, we give you a little something at the very end that helps you find the right one. 

What is the longest-lasting roofing material?

While there are plenty of durable roofing options, the longest-lasting roofing material is slate. A slate roof is a premium roof system made primarily out of natural slate tiles and other slate roofing materials.

what is the longest-lasting roofing material

It’s hard to put an exact number on the lifespan, but there’s no reason a slate roof shouldn’t last around 75 years or even over 100. As long as your slate roof is properly installed and flashed properly, it’ll be the last roof you ever put on your home.

This means even your grandkids won’t have to worry about it. On top of being the longest-lasting roofing material, it also has one of the highest curb appeals

4 things to know about getting a slate roof

Homeowners like slate roofs because of the fact it's the longest-lasting roofing material. But the truth is, a slate roof won’t be an option for everyone. 

Before deciding if a slate roof is right for you, learn the 4 things every homeowner needs to know about this premium roof system. 

1. A slate roof is one of the most expensive roofing materials

Like I just said, a slate roof is a premium roof system. Because it’s a premium roof, you’ll have to pay a premium price. 

For labor and materials, you can expect a slate roof to start around $15.00 per square foot and has the potential to get up to around $30.00 or more per square foot. This makes a slate roof one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market. 

For comparison, you can actually expect to pay at least 4 times more for a slate roof than you would for the most commonly used asphalt roof. This won’t be an option for most homeowners, but a slate roof is well worth the money if you can afford the investment. 

2. The weight factor of a slate roof

Slate roofs are incredibly heavy due to the weight of the slate itself. Because of this, your home has to be able to hold the weight of a slate roof. 

slate roof

If your home can’t handle the weight of slate the way it is, you’ll have to retrofit it. Retrofitting must be approved by a structural engineer and must be done before the roof can even be installed. 

Be aware, it’s really going to add to the cost of your new slate roof if you have to do retrofitting or new framing. If you’re seriously considering a slate roof, ask your roofing contractor about the weight factor and how retrofitting your home impacts the final price of a slate roof.

3. You must hire a roofing contractor that has experience installing slate roofs

Speaking of your local roofing contractor, hiring one that has experience installing and working on slate roofs is crucial. Each individual slate tile has to be carefully handled because they’re easily breakable. 

The installers also need to know how to walk on a slate roof without breaking the tiles. Because of this, it takes real skill and proper training to handle and install a slate roof. 

If the installers don’t have experience working with slate, the slate tiles will break, you’ll have problems (leaks), and your long-lasting roof’s life will be cut short. No matter if you need repairs or a full roof replacement, your contractor plays a huge role in the life you get out of your slate roof. 

4. You’ll have no material warranty for your slate roof

Roof warranties are in place to protect your roof investment.  You should always have one from your roofing contractor on their workmanship. 

But the material warranty for a slate roof is a little different from other roofing materials. Because slate tiles are naturally made, there’s actually no manufacturer material warranty on the roofing materials themselves. 

Without a material warranty, you only have your contractor’s workmanship warranty to rely on if there's ever a problem with your slate roof. For this reason, it’s crucial to hire a high-quality local roofing contractor that stands behind their work. 

Just keep in mind that a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty can be anywhere from a tail light warranty (as soon as you see their company truck’s tail lights disappear, your warranty is gone), to a two-year, five-year, 10-year, or even a lifetime warranty. 

But to get the best protection possible for your slate roof, you should always look for a contractor that offers you a lifetime warranty or close to it (25 years). 

Don’t know if a slate roof is right for you?

After reading this article, you should have a good idea if a slate roof is right for you. Remember, a slate roof won’t be an option for most homeowners.

If it is right for you, that’s great, and you’re ready to reach out to a local roofing contractor. But what if you want to know the other roofing material options?

That’s where The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof comes in. The buyer’s guide breaks down all the main residential roofing materials, including their lifespan, how much they cost, and so much more. 

With this guide, you’ll be able to make all the right purchasing decisions for your upcoming roof replacement with no regrets. Don’t go into the replacement process blind; get The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof now.

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has proudly provided thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding areas with a beautiful new roof. On top of raising your home’s curb appeal, we also stand behind our high-quality workmanship with a lifetime warranty. 

Here’s your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof to help you find the right roofing material for you, hire a great roofing contractor, and so much more.

the complete guide to purchasing a roof

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