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What Type of Roof Lasts the Longest? Our Top Picks

Nowadays, there are so many roofing options out there, that it can be hard to determine which one to go with. We went down the list to find out for you which materials are the most durable. Here’s what we found.

What type of roof lasts the longest?  The longest-lasting roof materials on the market today would be either is a hard slate roof with a life span of 75-200 years.  The precise lifespan of a roof is impacted by weather conditions, the quality of materials, as well as the amount of maintenance and upkeep,  performed on the roof over the years.

Now, let’s dive into what makes each of these options so durable and whether or not they might be a right fit for your roof. Here are a few pros and cons of our favorite long lasting roofing options.

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Hard Slate Roof
Soft Slate Roof
Metal or Steel
Tile Roof
Asphalt Shingle
Wood Roof
Single Ply

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75+ Years
50+ Years
50+ Years
50+ Years
15-30+ Years
15-20+ Years
25+ Years



1. The Longest Lasting Roof is a Slate Roof

Slate roofing has a lovely, classic look and comes in a variety of colors.  Many people will select this option simply because of its natural beauty.  This stone roof is highly durable.  Slate has high level of density makes it completely waterproof and resistant to other elements like snow, strong wind, and fire. Soft slate roofs will last only 50 to 125 years but hard slate roofs will last anywhere from 75 to 200 years.

Slate is also unaffected by mold and mildew. Many manufacturers will offer a 100-year warranty for a slate roof, attributable to its extreme durability.

Aside from this, slate roofs have the potential of significantly raising a home’s resale value. Besides what many consider to be its visual appeal, it will rarely need to be replaced. Roof material waste has been reported as being responsible for a large percentage of landfill waste in the US. You can avoid contributing to this by selecting a slate roof for your home.

Slate roofing does have a con. It can weigh in at up to 1,500 pounds per square. If you are building a new house, you will need to ensure that from a structural standpoint your new house will be capable of bearing the heavier load. 

Another con is that slate is breakable. When this happens, it can be difficult or impossible to find a perfect match as a replacement.  It will take a certified roofing specialist to handle your roof with care any time maintenance is needed.

Finally, slate is one of the most expensive roof options. A single square can sometimes cost upwards of $4,000.  This is definitely something to take into consideration, as well as the fact that once it is installed, you may never have to replace your roof again.

longest lasting roof is slate roof

2. The Second Longest Lasting Roof is a Metal or Steel Roof

When a metal roof is installed with proper care and quality materials, it should last just about as long as your home or business building. Metal roofs are highly resistant to deterioration of environmental factors. The average life span of a metal roof is 50-70 years. You can trust that water and snow will be sealed out and normally damaging winds will have little to no impact. 

Metal is also impervious to fire, mold, and insects. You can expect most companies to deliver a product warranty anywhere from 20 to 50 years. And finishing it off with a fresh coat of paint can also come with around a 30-year warranty. 

Metal roofing typically runs at about the same weight no matter where you source your materials. Generally running at about 750 pounds per square, this may seem like a lot. But just one square can cover a surface area of up to 100 square feet. 

This weight is lighter than others and can benefit you if you are building a new home by saving money in your costs for engineering. It’s also fairly easy to install, and an experienced contractor can get you fixed up in no time with a possibly lower labor cost when compared to other choices.

As far as cons go, metal roofs do tend to sport a hefty price per square. However, this should even out due to the simple fact that you will rarely have to replace your materials with such a long warranty. If you don’t plan to stay in your home for longer than a couple of years, you probably won’t find much of a return for your investment here. 

Along with that, routine maintenance can include checking for dents and leaks. Depending on which type of metal you select, some roofs are softer than others such as aluminum or copper. 

If this sounds like a hassle, try selecting a metal roof with a dent-free guarantee.  Leaks can also be a problem from time to time, but this can be avoided when a metal roof is installed properly by an experienced roofing professional.

metal roof with the longest life span

3. The Third Longest Lasting Roof is a Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete roofing is strong and long-lasting roof option. Concrete tiles are not as susceptible to uplifting in a wind storm as other types of roofing materials. Concrete tile roofs can last up to 50 years.

Because of the strength of concrete roofing to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions, it has the potential of lasting the entire lifespan of the home it protects. It also acts as a bit of a soundproof barrier because of its density, and this might be an attractive feature if you live in an urban area. 

Another advantage of concrete roofing is that the cost can be relatively affordable when it comes to purchasing a durable roof.  As with our previous options, you can ensure the value and length of service of your roof with proper installation by a professional roofing contractor.

You have the option of selecting many styles and colors, as concrete roofs are very versatile. Once installed, you can usually sign for a warranty as long as 50 years for a concrete roof. Upkeep is simple. You can easily rid your roof of stains and debris by power-washing it from time to time.

There are some cons to concrete roofing as well. Since it is very heavy, adding it onto a pre-existing home will take some examination to determine the structural load-bearing capacity. Another con is that concrete roofs will need to be sealed in order to repel water. 

They are not naturally waterproof. And lastly, concrete roofing can acquire a faded appearance over time due to exposure to the sunlight. When damages do happen, replacing only portions of a concrete roof will lead to an uneven look. It may easily take several years for all sections to fade back to the same color again.
concrete tile roof lasts 50 years

Which Durable Roof is Right for Your Home?

There are many varieties of roofs on the market today, including other high durability options that were not listed in this article. Selecting a roof for your home will depend on a number of factors, such as your location and day to day climate, whether you are building a new home or refurbishing a pre-existing one, as well as your budget and how long you plan to stay in the home. You should also check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if there is a break on your monthly premium for a long lasting roof.

Sometimes homeowners associations will require a certain aesthetic look that you cannot deviate from, so be sure to check in with any local management you may need to report to. 

If you want your roof to last a long time, it will directly correlate to your level of investment. Going with a material that is inherently durable is just as important as where you are sourcing those materials from. In addition to making your final decision, it will remain important that you place maintenance as a priority.  Any roof left unattended to will begin to deteriorate eventually.

Roofs should be inspected once a year. If that is not feasible, an inspection should at least be scheduled within the first five years along with another checkup in the first ten years after installment. This is a big decision that can end up saving you money or costing you unnecessarily in the long run. 

If you are having a hard time nailing down a choice, it is always beneficial to reach out for help.  Ask your friends and family for references and recommendations in addition to contacting local roofing professionals. They should be able to provide with any answers you are searching for, from styling suggestions to outlining your financing options.
Longest lasting roof

How Long Will a Roof Installation Take?

Roof installations on average shouldn’t take too much longer than a couple of weeks. If problems arise along the way such as structural dilemmas or inclement weather, then the installment process can potentially span over the course of 3-4 weeks. 

After your contract has been signed and filed away with your local roofing company, it may take a couple of days for labor workers to arrive on site.  Additionally, an inspector will want to stop by and take a look around in order to ensure that everything is up to code at the end of construction. The amount of time this takes will depend on where you live.

Sometimes, roof installations last no longer than a couple of weeks.  However long the process ends up taking for you, it’s important to remember to remain as patient as possible.  Because a brand new quality roof is adding a brand new layer of protection for both your house and your family.  If this ends up taking longer than expected, chances are it will be well worth the wait. 

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.