Residential vs. Commercial Roofing Materials Lifespan: The Complete Guide

May 6, 2021

When building a new residential or commercial property, it would be wise to examine all the available options for your roof. Today you may find premium roofing materials that are suitable for any type of use. People should be informed about the lifespan of all these different materials available in the market and make the right decision. Roofing service should always be available to answer all your inquiries.

Competent and durable roofing materials can protect your property for many years to come since your roof remains one of the most vulnerable parts of your building. Let’s see the options for your residential and commercial property roofing materials and their qualities.

Commercial Properties Usual Roofing Materials and Their Lifespans

Here are the most common residential roofing materials most people use to build their houses:

3-tab Asphalt Shingles

They are some of the most affordable materials for home roofing. Made from asphalt and fiberglass fibers, they are extremely easy and fast to connect. Their external parts directly touch the surrounding environment and are usually covered with small slate, schist, ceramic, or quartz granule chips. Their average lifespan could come up to 40 years. However, if you have poor material quality, it could be no more than 18 to 20 years.

Concrete Tile Roofs

Houses from the 19th century still have concrete tile roofs visible to their visitors. The tile quality and durability to external weather conditions could give them an expected lifespan anywhere between 50 and 100 years. A thorough inspection every year could reveal some cracked and compromised tiles you need to replace the soonest possible to ensure the longevity of your roof.

Wood Shake Roofs

These roofs are made from wooden parts that are durable against rain, moisture, and solar radiation. They can preserve the internal house heat during winter and give you an efficient shade when summer comes. That happens thanks to their powerful insulative abilities. Wood is also a sensitive material, and you need to constantly check your roof for broken parts you should replace swiftly. Depending on the type of wood, these roofs can last up to 40 years before a total replacement.

Stone Slab Roofs

Stone slab roofs represent an old way of building sheds and roofs for residential properties. Light stones get cut to the right size and shape to match each other like a puzzle. They easily retain heat inside and can reflect the sunshine in summer. That kind of roof needs the least maintenance and can last up to 100 years. 

Synthetic Stone Slab Roofs

If you live in a place where stone slabs are not that frequent, synthetic ones can do the same job for your roofing. They can ban UV radiation from entering and warming your place. These slabs are more lightweight than the actual stones and could give you the chance to recycle them when you renovate your house. Their life expectancy would be close to 100 years.

Tar and Gravel Roofing

It has been one of the most popular types of roofing for North American homes because of its easiness to build and its incredible durability. It is made from concurrent layers of materials, including tar, bitumen, crushed stones, or gravel. All these materials create a solid mixture that is waterproof and prevents energy losses from your property. You can expect it to last for at least 20 to 30 years before a total replacement.

Asphalt Roll Roofs

Asphalt rolls usually are the roofing style of trailers and cheap homes. They can be applied over plywood being on top of your ceiling and connected through a flame. It’s the cheapest type of residential roofing and can last no more than five to ten years tops.

Commercial Roofing Materials Lifespan

EPDM Roofing

It’s a common type of roofing for commercial properties, like warehouses, supermarkets, factories, etc. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer and is one of the most insulative materials on the market. It creates the so-called rubber roofs that are easily visitable by mechanics and maintenance workers. EPDM comes in various layers. The thicker it is, the higher its longevity. These roofs offer waterproof protection, are more affordable than others, and last approximately 25 years. 

TPO Roofing

One of the latest trends for commercial properties has been TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin, a crude oil-based substance), which is better suited for flat roofs. Many commercial buildings cannot have a triangle roof due to special requirements and the space they need to support their HVAC units.

This roofing material is easy to apply and can protect the building from algae, bacteria, and dirt formation. It may also reflect all the solar radiation your roof accepts and lower the heat burden transferred in your building. It may usually last up to 25 years without any severe maintenance.

Green Roofs

It’s an upgrade for the EPDM and TPO roofs. You need to place soil and plants with an intelligent irrigation system to create a true roof garden over the remaining roof layers. The vegetation on the roof can absorb all the rainwater and heat during the summer months and create a perfect environment in your commercial building. Its lifespan can be anywhere between 30 and 50 years.

Factors Making Your Roof To Last Longer

No matter the materials you use to build your roof, there are also other factors to consider and increase its lifespan:

  • Color: It remains one of the substantial factors for your roof’s longevity. Dark colors can attract more sunlight and compromise your roof’s integrity sooner than pale colors do.
  • Orientation: When your roof looks to the south, you should expect it to last less than others with a northern orientation. It would be better to check with your civil engineer the manufacturing patterns for your roof to have an optimal orientation.
  • Slope: It’s a significant factor showing the ability of your roof to remove snow and water falling on it. A small angle slope can retain much water on your roof and create a messy situation. Such roofs have a lower lifespan.

To get more information you can visit us at 

Bourdeau Contracting LLC

2902 N St Peters Pkwy

St. Charles MO 63303

(855) 570-4930

Find us on social media:

You May Also Like…

Roof Maintenance Tips

Roof Maintenance Tips

The roof is one of the most critical components of a house, but you need to maintain it to enjoy its maximum utility....