Written by JBS Roofing

History of Residential Roofs in AZ 

In Arizona, roofing systems have always played a vital role in the aesthetic appeal and functionality of any standing shelter. The evolution of materials used and roofing techniques has been driven primarily by what functions best in our unique desert environment. Until the mid-19th century, materials like clay, wood and slate were the most popular choices for roofing in the southwest.

Around the turn of the 20th century, new materials such as asphalt were used for low- and steep-sloped roofs. Asphalt shingles were a U.S. invention first used in 1901. Since then, asphalt shingles have remained the most popular type of roof for houses. Within each of these initial shingles, slate granules were incorporated to protect the surface from UV rays, water and dust. Not only do protective materials like this keep the surface intact and functional, but they also help to maintain the aesthetic appeal, preventing edge curling or cracks along the surface.

While asphalt shingles have been the primary residential roofing choice for over a century, the manufacturing and application process has been dramatically refined over time, increasing the lifespan to 30 years. For Arizona homeowners, however, the brutal desert sun decreases that maximum lifespan to 20 years.

Many other types of shingles are easily understood when categorized by lifespan in years. For example, composite shingles have a 20-25 year lifespan, and architectural shingles (or laminates) have a 30-35 year lifespan.

At JBS Roofing, we offer a variety of alternative roofing options to meet all our customer’s needs. In some cases, these options significantly increase the lifespan of residential roofs. Cement tile roofs are in a league all their own with lifespans of up to 30-40 years.