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What Roofing Material Lasts The Longest?

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What Roofing Material Lasts The Longest?

Posted by Best Roof Hatches on 2021 Nov 15th

Your roof stands as the last line of defense against harsh weather elements. Why would you even toy around with the thought of using cheap and substandard roofing materials? We get it. High-quality roofing can make quite a dent in your pocket. Let's face it, though its cost has a direct impact on its longevity.

Note: Installation can make or break your roof, and as much as DIY projects can be exciting and cost-saving, avoid doing it unless you have some experience in roofing (or the help of a professional).

It's best to consult a roofing expert about materials that last longer, given that this is a long-term venture. You should also consider regional and seasonal changes in weather since they will affect your roof. For example, if you were roofing in Oshawa, ON (Canada), most building owners opt for asphalt shingles because it's cold for more than six months of the year.

The contents of this article will help you make an informed choice on what roofing material is the best option for you based on your needs.

  • Asphalt shingles come with a 20-year lifespan. However, higher-quality shingles come with a warranty of 50 years. You'll have to fork more for such quality.
  • Architectural asphalt has an average lifespan of 30 years.
  • Wood shakes and shingles come with an average lifespan of 30 years but can push it further under moderate weather conditions.
  • According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, metal will last between 40-80 years. It hits 40-60 years, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance.
  • According to both NAHB and NACHI, each of these products can hit 100 years plus for clay tiles, concrete, and slate.

Top Roofing Materials Used For Durability

It's pretty clear that clay, metal, and slate top the rest in terms of longevity. Here's why:


Clay roofing can hold to a minimum of 50 years in the right setting. They aim to last even longer with advances in concrete tile technology. Nowadays, concrete gets reconstituted or reformulated in various ways to produce lighter, tougher, and more durable tiles. They are practically indestructible under normal weather conditions. Most warranties will cover the product for 50 years.

Metal Roofing

You can expect to get around 50-80 years of service from your metal roof. They are slightly more expensive than their wood or asphalt counterparts since they are made from zinc, aluminum, copper, and steel. They are impact-resistant, handle adverse weather conditions well, and require less maintenance than other roofing materials.

Advances in metal technology such as alloys and additives have improved roofing metals' overall durability. More research is underway to find the perfect metal roofing material depending on weather conditions and other variables.

Slate Roofing

Slate, a popular roofing material composed of stone particularly in Europe. Though expensive, it lasts for the better part of the century (75-150 years). It's not subjected to corrosion, deterioration, damage from water or sun, and fire. Simply put, Slate outdoes the structure it adorns since it is considered the best roofing material.

Since slate is a naturally occurring material, it's one of the densest roofing materials, a factor making it last longer and improving your building's insulation. Other roofing materials include:

Plastic Polymers

Plastic Polymers come packed with a 50+ year service. They resemble wood or slate shingles needing less maintenance. They come with a higher hail rating and can handle adverse weather conditions, plus they are highly energy-efficient since they reflect rather than absorb energy. They ensure your building is cooler during summer and warmer in winter.

Solar Glass

It lasts the entire lifetime. Currently, many companies offer solar panels, but Tesla offers solar glass roofs. It comes packed with higher hail ratings and a lifetime warranty. Though expensive to install, you may qualify for tax rebates depending on your location.

Wrapping it up

Most building owners opt for asphalt shingles since they are pocket-friendly. You could opt for clay, metal, or slate if you have the budget. The latter is aesthetically pleasing, offering you the much-needed longevity and durability you're looking for in a roof. You can also incorporate roof hatches for easy access during maintenance or repair. For more information, call us today at 1-800-431-8651 or visit