When estimating the average roof lifespan, don’t go by the warranty!
Roofing material warranty lengths have little to do with how long the roof will last. That’s reality.
An asphalt shingle with a 25-year warranty will look terrible in 20 years. Some shingles come with a “lifetime” warranty, “lol”.
A better way to ask the question is, “how long will that roof look good?” And yes, “how long will it keep out rain?” is obviously worth considering. The answers will be about the same number of years.
This no-nonsense guide gives you the real-life answers to the question – How long do shingles vs metal vs slate vs wood shakes, etc., last? Keep reading for the answers.
Most Common Roof Types and their Lifespans
Here’s the overview followed by a deep dive on the longevity of all roofing materials and options within them, such as 3-tab vs architectural vs premium asphalt shingles.
- Asphalt Shingles – 12 to 30 years
- Steel – 30 to 60 years
- Aluminum – 40 to 70 years
- Zinc – 70 to 100+ years
- Copper – 100+ years
- Cedar Shakes and Shingles – 25 to 40 years
- Slate – 50 to “Forever”
- Clay Tiles – 50 to 100 years
- Concrete Tiles – 40 to 80 years
- Synthetic Composite and Rubber Shingles – 20 to 50 years
- Green or Vegetative Roofs – Up to 40 years
- Flat Roofs – 10 to 40 years