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The Average Lifespan of a New Roof in North Carolina

Choosing the right roofing material has a dramatic effect on the lifespan of a particular product, and North Carolina homeowners have several options for their next project. Because the area gets its fair share of rain and stormy weather, it is essential to pick a residential roofing material that is especially designed for local conditions. Asphalt shingles are an ideal North Carolina residential roofing material, and there are a range of different quality levels available. Metal roofing is another great choice and comes in a range of different styles, sizes and thicknesses. Cedar shakes and terra cotta tiles are other choices that are ideal for residential roofs in the Tarheel State. Choosing the right material is often a matter of budget and expectations, and many of the longer lasting products are more expensive. However, when the total price is considered as a function of time, some of the higher quality products are actually more affordable.

Asphalt Shingles—20 to 40 Years
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common residential roofing materials and are known for their affordability, style and lifespan. Because there are a range of different thicknesses, some materials are backed with a 40-year warranty while others are only guaranteed for 20 years. The most affordable products are usually backed with a minimum 20-year warranty, and asphalt shingles are often chosen for their durability and low price. Asphalt shingles require little in the way of routine maintenance to ensure the longest life, but the roof should be kept clean and free of leaves, limbs and other debris.

Metal Roofing—20 Years and Up
Metal roofing is quickly gaining a foothold in the North Carolina residential roofing market and is one of the most durable products on the market. The affordable option is a panel that usually has a 20-year warranty on the painted finish alone. Because metal can be repainted, it easily lasts for decades with proper maintenance. It is not uncommon for North Carolina homes to receive 50 years of protection from their metal roof. Custom metal roofs are on the high end of the quality and price level, and homeowners have a wide range of choices that are usually backed with a long-lasting warranty of up to 50 years.

Terra Cotta Tiles-Up to 100 Years
Clay, cement and terra cotta tiles are some of the most durable residential roofing materials and are known for their strength and long lifespan. The products are actually made from a mixture or clay or Portland cement and designed to provide unsurpassed protection. Terra cotta tiles are also ideal because they are virtually maintenance free. While it is true that single tiles may break, entire roofs can easily last for 100 years. Clay tiles are expensive, but when the lifespan of the material is considered, it is one of the most affordable choices for North Carolina homeowners. This type of roofing material primarily only applies to the middle and eastern part of North Carolina. The mountainous western part of the state typically would not use Terra Cotta roof tiles.

Cedar Shakes—15 to 50 Years
Cedar shakes are another common material that was one of the most popular choices in the past. Because today’s cedar shakes are usually made from second growth trees, the current quality level is not as high as products of the past. That being said, cedar shakes have a great aesthetic appearance and are often chosen for their rustic look. Depending on the actual product that is installed, cedar shakes may last for anywhere from 25 to 50 years.

North Carolina homeowners have a number of choices for their home’s roof, and most products are guaranteed for at least 20 years. A wide range of quality levels is available in each different product line. Homeowners can expect asphalt shingles to last between 20 and 50 years, metal roofing to last for up to 50 years and clay tiles may last a century.


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