How Long Does a Roof Last?

March 09, 2020
flowers hanging off roof

Whether you’re buying or selling a home — or you want to make sure you’re taking great care of the one you already own — the age of the roof is something that’s important to keep in mind. While a roof is designed to last years, it won’t last forever. Knowing how long a roof should last is something that’s important for every homeowner.

All roofs aren’t created equal, though. The lifespan of your roof depends on what kind of materials it’s made from. Of course, weather events can also affect how long (and how well) it lasts, so those are things to take into consideration, too.

Life expectancies for different roofing materials

Shingles have the important job of protecting your home, but there are many different types of roofing materials on the market. The type of roofing material can affect how long your roof lasts, and the region you live in will have a lot to do with what materials you might select. For example, organic asphalt shingles, which are also called felt mat asphalt shingles, are somewhat vulnerable to moisture saturation. So, they’re not ideal for areas with high levels of humidity or places that often experience freezing temperatures.[1]

Some common types of roofing materials are:[2]

  • Asphalt
  • Metal roofing
  • Tiles
  • Clay
  • Concrete
  • Slate
  • Wood

A general rule of thumb says that most roofs last, on average, about 30 years.[3] But that doesn’t apply to all roofs. For example, the National Association of Home Builders say that slate and tile roofs commonly last more than 50 years, while asphalt roofs have a lower life expectancy of about 20 years.[4]


There are many different types of asphalt shingles, and the quality of the shingles changes with the pricing. Don’t assume that your asphalt shingles are going to go the distance. A low-cost, basic asphalt shingle, for example, may only last 10 years[5], while a premium asphalt shingle, which is thicker and more durable, could last as long as 30 years depending on the climate the home is located in.[6]


Metal roofs are among the most durable types of roofs. One popular type of residential metal roofing, the standing seam metal roof, can typically last 30 to 50 years.[7] However, if you invest in a premium metal like stainless steel, titanium, zinc or copper, your roof can last more than 100 years.[8]


Tile roofs can be made of different materials, and this also affects the longevity of your roof. Stone-coated steel tiles, which are popular in hurricane-prone environments like Florida, can withstand harsh weather and high winds. They can last between 40 and 70 years.[9]

Clay tiles are typically heavy but not as durable as stone-coated steel. They can last as long as 100 years with proper maintenance, although tiles are vulnerable to becoming cracked or loose during high winds like hurricanes.[10] A less-expensive alternative to clay tiles, concrete tiles, can last 50 years or longer.[11]


Slate roofs are beautiful to look at and often have one of the higher price tags you’ll find for roofing. However, that investment can pay off. Slate roofs may last 50 to 100 years.[12]


Although wood shingles were one of the early types of roofing materials, today they’re less common. According to the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, you can expect your wood roof to last about 30 years — as long as you take care of it properly. Wood roofs require a certain amount of maintenance to stay in top condition.[13]

When it comes to your roof, know its material, how old it is and what kind of wear and tear it’s been through. That can help you determine about how long your roof will last. Of course, you want to make sure you always have the right kind of insurance coverage to protect your entire home. Contact your agent today to ensure that your home has the level of coverage  you’re comfortable with.














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