In some cases, shortcuts and hacks can be a great way to save time and money. Not with your roof. When it comes to roofing, quality is key. Materials that are sturdy, durable and long-lasting run circles around cheaper alternatives and always promise better value for money.

So, what should you choose for your next project? Read on for an introduction to some of the most durable roofing materials on the market.

Welsh slate

In terms of durability, nothing compares to Welsh slate. While contemporary materials like concrete tiles offer a lifespan of around 50 to 60 years, Welsh slate boasts an impressive 200+ years of performance.

Laid directly onto the roof, slate is unwavering to rot which plays a major role in its durability. The heavy nature of slate makes it incredibly resistant to high winds. In the UK, slate also wins points for its timeless aesthetic, which makes it a winning choice for both historic and contemporary buildings.

It’s no surprise that Welsh slate continues to endure as one of the most hard-wearing roofing materials on the market, with the fine-grained metamorphic rock quarried and mined in the country since Roman times.

Today, you’ll see centuries-old slate at Caernarfon Castle, a historic fort that traces its history to 1283. Depending on your project, you can invest in new or reclaimed slate for a traditional look or opt for modern and more affordable alternatives such as synthetic or reconstituted slate.

Sheet lead

Another material that’s been used in the UK for centuries, sheet lead offers exceptional longevity. It’s often used as an outer layer to protect delicate materials like stone and is 100% watertight, as well as resistant to corrosion, UV damage and rot.

Extremely flexible, lead sheeting can be moulded and stretched to cover unconventional shapes and surfaces. Think church steeples, domes, gabled roofs and other historic buildings. It’s also a popular choice for modern builds and looks especially striking against masonry work.

Lead sheeting expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures which makes it a great option for withstanding the unpredictable and often harsh British climate. Depending on the thickness, lead sheet roofing can last for more than 100 years. Looking for an environmentally friendly option? A high recycling rate and low melting point give lead sheet roofing an eco-conscious edge and low carbon footprint.

Concrete and clay tiles

While they don’t hold up as well as Welsh slate and sheet lead, concrete and clay tiles are still an excellent choice if you’re prioritising longevity. Both have been used in construction for thousands of years and offer lifespans of 50 to 100 years, as well as benefits such as resistance to fire and rot. Choose a traditional look or take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques that produce concrete and clay tiles in a myriad of shapes, colours and styles.

The best material for you

If you’re all about doing it right the first time, upgrading to materials like Welsh slate, sheet lead and concrete or clay tiles is well worth the outlay. At DPR Roofing, we help clients choose the best material for them in terms of their budget, preferred appearance and longevity. Our Barnsley-based team has over 30 years’ experience installing new roofs, so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.