Your roof’s lifespan gives you an idea of how long it will last. Aside from these general averages, other factors include climate, maintenance, and quality of the original material.
Average roof lifespan
Here’s a look at the average roof lifespan from longest lasting to shortest lifetime.
Slate Roofing: 100+ Years
Slate, a natural stone, is one of the most durable and longest-lasting roofs, often exceeding one hundred years. A slate roof is most common for high-end luxury homes as it’s expensive and heavy.
Clay Tiles: 100+ Years
Clay tiles are a sustainable roofing material formed from clay and baked at extreme temps. You can find clay roofs on Spanish and Mediterranean-style homes, popular in hot and coastal locations.
Synthetic Slate: 50 – 100 Years
Synthetic slate is an engineered material made of rubber and plastic. It imitates the look of natural slate but is lightweight and better suited for homes that can’t bear a heavy load.
Concrete Tiles: 50+ Years
Concrete tiles can take on many looks imitating stone, asphalt shingle, or wood shake. Concrete tile is a long-lasting material when well-maintained. But because it’s porous, it requires sealant periodically.
Standing Seam Metal Roofs: 40 – 70 Years
The average standing seam metal roof lasts 40 to 70 years, but this durable roofing material can exceed 100 years in mild climates.
Metal Shingles: 40+ Years
Metal shingles come in many styles, some imitating the look of stone or wood. Most metal shingles will last at least 40 years.
Wood Shingles/Wood Shake: 30 Years
The average wood shingle roof lasts about 30 years, but depending on the type of wood may require restaining and resealing. Cedar is one of the most popular wood shingle materials since it’s naturally insect and rot-resistant.
Solar Shingles: 25 – 30 Years
Solar shingles are small solar panels that can cover a roof like regular shingles. They only last about 25-30 years, but technological advances may increase the lifespan of future versions.
Asphalt Shingles: 15 – 30 Years
Inexpensive and reliable, asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material but also one with the shortest lifespan. On average, an asphalt roof will last 15-30 years, but some high-end products last up to 50 years.
Built-Up Roofing: 15-30 Years
Built-up roofing is a system for flat or low-sloped roofs, most common in commercial and apartment buildings. These systems, composed of alternating layers of material, can last up to 30 years.
In general flat roof lifespans are much shorter than pitched roofs. A flat roof can last 5-30 years, depending on the material.
Membrane Roofing: 7-15 Years
Rolled Roofing: 5-8 Years
Rolled roofing is a type of asphalt material for flat or low-sloped roofs. It’s intended for non-residential structures and lasts up to 8 years.
Top Factors that Affect How Long Your Roof Will Last
Most roof lifespans come with a range of averages. The two most significant factors influencing these averages are your climate and maintenance.
- Climate. Your climate is one of the biggest factors affecting roof lifespan. Those living in mild climates can expect a longer-lasting roof than those with extreme wind, hail, or snowstorms. The environment will shorten the lifespan of a room if you pick a material that doesn’t do well in your region. For example, if you live in a coastal home and choose asphalt shingles, the chance of them being ruined in a storm is high.
- Maintenance. Some roofs, like wood shingles, are high maintenance, while others, like standing seam metal roofs, require almost no maintenance. If you don’t maintain your roofing material, it won’t last as long as it could.