How Long Does a Roof Last? A Guide for Homeowners

Oct 24, 2018 | Roofing Materials

How long does a roof last?

If it’s been a long time since you’ve had to replace the roof on your home, you might be asking yourself that question right now. After all, the last thing you want to do is wait too long to replace a roof and experience the consequences.

The problem is that there’s no definitive answer to the question. The lifespan of your roof ultimately depends on what the roof is made out of, how well it was installed, and, maybe more importantly, how often you inspect, maintain, and repair your roof.

Let’s take a look at the average lifespans of some of the most common types of roofs to help you determine if it might be time to replace yours soon.

Asphalt Shingle Roof


The majority of American homes have asphalt shingle roofs on them. Asphalt shingles offer homeowners the most affordable option when it comes to roofing.

But with that being said, asphalt shingle roofs need to be replaced a lot more often than other roofs. In general, they’re designed to last for between 10 and 20 years before roof replacement needs to be done.

If you want to get a little more life out of an asphalt shingle roof, consider going with architectural shingles that can last between 15 and 25 years. They’re slightly more expensive than regular shingles, but you won’t need to replace them as often.

There are also some premium shingles that can last for as long as 30 years. You will, again, have to pay more money to have them installed. But the cost could be offset by the fact that you won’t need to replace them anytime soon.

Tile Roof


Although they don’t look right on all homes, tile roofs are, like metal roofs, perfect for those homeowners looking for a roof that is designed to last. You can have either a clay tile roof or a concrete tile roof installed on your home if you want.

Clay tile roofs are very heavy and can, at times, be difficult to install. You’ll need to hire an experienced roofer to get the job done.

But when they’re put on properly, clay tile roofs have been known to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. They’ll stay put in windy conditions and won’t require much maintenance over the years.

Concrete tile roofs, meanwhile, are a slightly more affordable option when compared to clay tile roofs. But they’re just as durable and will also last you between 40 and 75 years.

Cedar Shake Roof


Cedar shake roofs have become very popular among those who live in beach communities. Those with Cape Cod style homes also like the look of cedar shake roofs. These types of roofs add a warmth and depth that you don’t always get with other roofing.

On average, a cedar shake roof will last you anywhere from 20 to 35 years. But if you’re willing to put in the time to maintain them, you could potentially get up to 45 years of life out of them.

Metal Roof


Metal roofs are some of the most expensive roofs on the market today. But they’ve become more and more popular over the years because of their durability and their longevity.

When a metal roof is installed properly, it can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. And if you decide to use a premium metal on your roof, it could last significantly longer than that.

There are some types of metal, including zinc, stainless steel, copper, and titanium, that can be used to craft metal roofs that will last for more than 100 years. They’ll stand up to thunderstorms, wind, fire, and more.

You will, of course, have to pay a pretty penny to put a metal roof on your home, especially if it’s made out of a premium metal. But you’ll be blown away by how well it performs and how long it lasts.

Slate Roof


Those homeowners who like the look of shingles on their roof but don’t necessarily want asphalt shingles often choose to go with natural slate roofs instead. Slate roofs have become the go-to roofing choice for those with homes that are on the expensive side.

Slate has earned a reputation for being a heavy and very expensive roofing material. But at the same time, it’s also established itself as one of the most durable types of roofing. It’ll last you for a long time when you have it installed right by the professionals.

A slate roof will stay put for anywhere from 50 to 100 years. You may have to replace pieces of slate every now and then, especially if you live in an area prone to hurricanes. But slate roofs are designed to withstand almost anything while adding to the beauty of a home.

Composite Roof


If you want to achieve the look of a cedar shake or natural slate roof without paying a fortune for it, composite roofs are an excellent option. They’re known for being strong, lightweight, and beautiful when you pick out the right design.

They’re also known to last for a really long time following proper installation. You can expect for composite roofing to last between 30 and 50 years. Composite roofs are able to deal with wind and other inclement weather admirably.

You do want to keep an eye out for roof leaks when you have composite roofing, as they can be tricky to fix. But with regular maintenance, a composite roof should stay put for many years to come.

How Long Does a Roof Last? It All Depends on How You Treat It

As you’ve probably noticed, just about every roof on this list has an expected lifespan that spans over a large number of years.

You can increase your chances of hitting the higher end of the lifespan by inspecting your roof regularly and doing the right amount of maintenance on it. You won’t have to wonder, “How long does a roof last?”, all the time when you care for your roof the right way.

Take a look at our blog to learn more about doing roof maintenance and replacing your roof.

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  1. Alvin

    Proper maintenance should be given in order for the roof to last. Homeowners should be aware of the kind of materials to be used. Most especially homeowners should hire a professional roofer to avoid roof mistake.

  2. Darrien Hansen

    It’s good to know that slate roofing can last for decades but may require some components to be occasionally replaced. Ever since it started raining, I have noticed that a few pieces of my slate roofing have started to fall off which is causing the flooring in my attic to get damaged by water. Maybe I should find a repair service that can help me remove any leaks that my home may have.

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