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Which Roof Type Has the Longest Lifespan?

Which Roof Type Has the Longest Lifespan?

The roofing materials you decide on may greatly affect your home’s lifespan. Whether you want to minimize your future maintenance by installing the longest-lasting roof possible or need a low-maintenance option for your short-term living arrangement, there’s a roof type that will work for you.

Which Roof Type Has the Longest Lifespan?

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles last up to a century and are impervious to weather, fire, moisture, and ultraviolet damage. These highly durable roofs require little maintenance to keep them beautiful and functional.

Clay tile roofs reflect more sun rays, keeping homes cooler and cutting energy costs. They are available in various styles to match any architectural design, from traditional to modern. They are heavy, so if you plan to use them in your home, make sure the framing and structure support this weight. If your house is suitable for this choice, a qualified Denver roofing contractor can assist you in making that determination.

Slate Roofs

So what is the cheapest, longest lasting roof? Slate roofs are one of the longest-lasting roofing options, lasting up to 200 years. They can resist fire and excessive moisture. Natural slate offers a timeless appeal and complements both older homes and modernist ones. The material is quite expensive, and homeowners may need to pay a premium for maintenance work. It is also brittle and can break if someone steps on it or drops something heavy. Soft slate is less durable than hard slate and offers a different resistance to weather or fire. However, it can be cheaper and is available in various colors, including greens, reds, purples, grays, and blacks.

Asphalt Shingles

The most common type of roofing chosen by homeowners is asphalt shingles. They’re easy to install, offer various colors and styles, and can add value to a home. However, they have a shorter lifespan and are more susceptible to damage from extreme weather. There are three different types of asphalt shingles to choose from. If you’re looking for longevity, opt for dimensional or architectural shingles. These are thicker and more weather-resistant than standard shingles. If you want a premium roof, consider luxury shingles. These are the heaviest shingles and can mimic the look of quarried slate or wood shakes. They’re also the most expensive and can cost double that of 3-tab shingles.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are popular because they offer a classic, natural look that complements most architectural styles and siding materials. They also provide a sturdy, weather-proof covering for your home. However, they may be susceptible to damage from insects such as termites and wood borers. Like shakes, wood shingles can be hand-split for a rustic appearance or machine-cut for a uniform appearance. They are often made locally, which boosts local economies and reduces the embodied energy needed to transport them. Plus, they provide superior insulation for your home, saving you year-round money on your utility bills. They can last up to 30 years if properly maintained.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs have long been a staple of industrial and commercial structures, but they’re now moving onto more residential houses. They’re strong and resistant to hurricane-force winds, and they save energy by reflecting solar radiant heat. If properly installed and coated with Kynar 500 paint, steel and copper roofs can last 100 years or more. They’re quieter than asphalt shingles during rainstorms and don’t attract termites or mildew. Light-colored metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat so homeowners can see energy savings in their utility bills during peak hot-weather months. They’re also fire and hail-resistant, so many insurance companies offer discounts for those with metal roofs.


Concrete and clay roof tiles have been used for centuries and offer a long lifespan. However, they are also among the most expensive roofing materials. Concrete is an artificial composite material that combines a binder (typically cement) with a dispersed aggregate filler (such as rocky material or loose stones) to form a synthetic conglomerate. The ratio of these components determines the strength of the final product. A roof made of concrete will last a long time with little maintenance and can withstand the elements and even fire. It is an especially important feature because many house fires start when a burning ember lands on the roof and then spreads throughout the home.