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Many homeowners wonder how long their roof should last. No one wants to spend money replacing a roof, but there are times when it becomes necessary.

A quality roof keeps your home structurally sound and protects you, your loved ones, and your belongings from the elements. Many factors determine how long your roof should last. Discover those factors today to better understand how much life your roof has left.

Materials Impact Roof Lifespan

Roof Lifespan

One of the most important factors in determining a roof’s lifespan are the materials. In the world of roofing, you often get what you pay for. While no roofing materials are “cheap,” those that are more affordable don’t last as long as more expensive options. Here is a look at some of the most popular roofing materials and their average lifespans.


While there are different types of shingles, the most popular is asphalt. There are three main types of asphalt shingles, each with its own life expectancy.

  1. 3-tab shingles, the most affordable type, have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
  2. Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, have a life expectancy ranging between 20 and 30 years.
  3. Premium shingles, the most expensive asphalt shingles, have a life expectancy of 25 to 40 years.

Architectural shingles are now the most popular choice for homeowners across the United States. While they are a bit more expensive than 3-tab shingles, the ability to double the lifespan of their roof prompts homeowners to choose them.

If you notice that some of your shingles are curling or missing, contact a roofing contractor to repair or replace your shingled roof.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is one of the most popular options for homeowners. Not only do metal roofs last for many years, but they are available in a variety of colors, which gives homeowners the ability to create an aesthetically pleasing exterior.

Metal roofs last anywhere between 40 and 70 years and many come with a 20-year warranty. These standard warranties make metal roofs an even more popular choice.

As with all roofing types, there are different types of metal on the market. More expensive metal roofs, such as those made of copper, can last as long as 70 years.

The presence of rust is one of the best indicators a metal roof is at the end of its life. You can also look for signs of metal roof decline inside your house. Signs of water damage such as mold and mildew in your attic is an indicator that your metal roof is no longer protecting your home.

Wood Shakes

A wood shake or wood shingle roof can last up to 30 years, and many wooden shingle manufacturers provide 40-year warranties. These warranties mean you may have protection for the entire lifespan of your roof. While wooden shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, their durability and warranties make them a great investment.

The only downside of wooden shingles is the amount of maintenance they require. You need to repaint or restain them every five years. To get the most out of your wooden shingles, you should have them professionally cleaned annually.

If you notice that the shingles are showing signs of rot (discoloration is the primary sign), splitting, or pest damage, you should make plans to have your woof shake roof replaced.

Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tile roofing is among the most durable in the industry. Clay is waterproof and resistant to fire damage and pests. The durability of clay tile roofing is why many manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty on their products. Even if your clay tile roof doesn’t have a lifetime warranty, it might have a 30-year warranty.

Based on national averages, clay tile roofs last between 50 and 100 years. So, if you install a clay roof, you may never need to replace it while you own your home.

Annual cleaning is necessary to get 50 to 100 years out of a clay tile roof. Moss accumulates on uncleaned clay tile. When moss builds up on your tiles, its roots penetrate and damage them.

Slate Roofs

Slate roofs, among the most expensive types of roofs, also have the longest life expectancy. A slate roof can last anywhere from 75 to 200 years if properly maintained. Since slate is a stone, it is waterproof and fireproof, so slate tile manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 50 years to a lifetime.

Slate roofing requires little maintenance. While you should have the roof cleaned every two to three years, that is to ensure the roof looks its best.

Slate roofing is the heaviest roofing option. One hundred square feet of slate roofing weighs around 1,000 pounds. You should ensure that your home can support such excessive weight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What is the longest-lasting type of roof?

Slate roofing is the longest-lasting type of roof. It can last up to 200 years and usually comes with a lifetime warranty.

How much does it cost to replace a roof?

The price of roof replacement depends on your roof type. Based on national averages, a new roof costs between $4,500 and $16,500. More expensive roofing types, such as slate, cost more than that.

What should I expect during roof installation?

Several factors dictate what roofing installation will look like on your home: size, pitch, and the type of roof you choose all impact the process.


There are a variety of factors that dictate how long your roof can last. Choosing durable materials and scheduling routine roof maintenance ensures you get the most out of your roof.

If you’re on a tight budget, a material like a 3-tab asphalt shingle will be the most affordable but only lasts between 15 and 20 years. If you’re looking for a roof that will last at least 50 years, consider metal, slate, or clay tile.
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