What is The Longest Lasting Roof? | Eagle Watch Roofing (2023)

The longest lasting roofs are generally made of materials that decay very slowly, such as concrete, clay, and slate. Roofs made of metal are also very long lasting. Asphalt shingle and wood shingle roofs tend to have the shortest lifespans.

Long Lasting Roofing Materials

When determining the longest lasting roof, one major factor is the quality of the roofing material. Cement and clay have been used for roofing and shelter for thousands of years. Many ancient buildings boast clay or concrete roofs that are centuries old. Slate shingles, which are made of stone, are also very long lasting.

Metal has also been in use for roofing for centuries. Historically, copper was a common metal for roofing. It reacts well to the elements and doesn’t need any extra coating to keep it from rusting. It is also soft and relatively easy to work with. In addition to its long lifespan and ease of use, builders have always used copper roofing for its beauty, both in its raw and weathered states.

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What is The Longest Lasting Roof? | Eagle Watch Roofing (1)

Slate Roofs

Slate is a type of stone that is laid directly onto a roof. It is heavy and incredibly durable. Slate is also impervious to pests and rot. It is a beautiful roofing material often chosen for it’s looks, especially for traditional or historic designs.

One thing to take think about when using slate shingles is the weight of the material. Slate, being stone, is very heavy. Not every house can support a full slate roof. Slate roofing may require extra trusses to support the weight of a stone roof. However, when it comes to longevity, slate roofs are about as good as it gets, easily lasting over 100 years.

Concrete Tiles

People have used concrete as a building and roofing material for thousands of years. You can find many cement structures built centuries or even millennia age still standing.

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Modern concrete tiles come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and colors. They can mimic the look of many other roofing materials. Some can be made to look like slate. Other styles replicate the look of traditional clay tiles. Cement can be made into tiles in the Spanish style or the mission style common in the American Southwest. Some modern clay tiles are even produced to look like organic materials such as wood shake or shingles.

Concrete tiles have many advantages. They generally have an A fire rating, meaning they are the most fire resistant. They also resist damage from insects and animals. However, there are some drawbacks. A cement roof can be heavy. A lot also depends on how the cement roof is installed. Water from blowing rain or snow may be able to penetrate the spaces between shingles. That can making the uderlayment especially important. The tiles themselves are often given a watertight coating.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are another traditional roofing material with a long history and great longevity. Baked clay as a structural material is about as old as civilization itself. It’s use as a roofing material goes back thousands of years, and many clay tile roofs are still standing centuries after they were installed.

Modern clay tiles take a number of styles, from the traditional to the modern. Both the Ancient Greeks and the Spanish missions made use of the barrel tile. The barrel tile is so called because of its curved shape. It is usually red and has a very traditional look. Its red color reflects the natural color of the terra cotta material. Barrel tile is often chosen for its specific look in addition to its longevity. Flat clay shingles provide a traditional European look. Like barrel tiles, many builders choose these tiles for their unique look. Modern styles of clay tile can mimic the look of shake, slate, or even wood. Many manufacturers also produce interlocking clay tiles, reducing the time and cost for installation.

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Metal Roofs

Copper roofs have been around for centuries, but modern steel roofing is a relatively recent innovation. Like modern cement and clay roofs, metal roofing mimics a number of other more traditional styles. Metal roofing can refer to a number of different materials. Coated steel is most common metal roofing material. Other metal roofing materials include aluminum and various alloys. Some roofs are even made with stainless steel, though it tends to be a much more expensive option.

Metal roofs have a long lifespan. They are often warrantied for 50 years, and can last even longer. The ultimate lifetime of a metal roof depends a lot on the type of material and how well it is installed. Eagle Watch Roofing hires expert craftsmen who provide excellent service and will get your job done right the first time, ensuring maximum durability for your roof.

Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingle is the most common roofing material, though it is hardly the longest lasting roof. It’s price and ease of installation makes it incredibly popular. However, compared to stone, clay, or metal, asphalt shingle has a relatively short lifespan. Most asphalt shingle needs to be replaced every 20-30 years. Some premium asphalt shingle is warrantied for 50 years. Because it is a manufactured material, its durability varies significantly by manufacturer and product.

Asphalt shingle uses tar adhesive to bond the overlapping shingles together. When installed in the right conditions, this adhesive bond is very strong and resists leaking. The lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof can be extended with proper care. Individual shingles should be replaced any time they shows signs of wear. Similarly, an asphalt shingle roof should be inspected after a severe storm or other severe weather and repaired as necessary. Regular maintenance and repair can greatly extend the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof.

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Shake and Wood Shingles

Wood is an organic material and is susceptible to pests, insects, and rot. Shake tends to last longer than regular wood shingles, but any wooden roofing material will have the shortest lifespan among common roofing materials. A good wooden roof will probably need replacing after 20 years.

The advantages of wooden roofing are both aesthetic and practical. Many homeowners prefer the look of wood shingles or shake. Also, wood shingles are relatively simple and cheap to install.

The Importance of Underlayment

Many homeowners have never even heard of underlayment. But underlayment is very significant to the longevity of your roof. Underlayment is a material laid directly on the roof and underneath the shingles. Generally, the two types of underlayment used on homes are felt and synthetics. Underlayment is water resistant, not waterproof, but it serves as a good emergency barrier in the case of damage to the shingles above it. In the case of asphalt shingles, it prevents shingles from bonding directly to the plywood roofing, making it easier to remove when the time comes to replace the roof.

Not all roofs require underlayment, but it is important to consider, as it can be the achilles heel of even the longest lasting roof. A low quality of underlayment can limit the longevity of otherwise long lasting roofing materials. But when you look at historic buildings that used slate, clay, and concrete tiles, none of them used underlayment. Yet they still function today. This just demonstrates that underlayment is important to consider, but not necessary in every situation.

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Do You Need the Longest Lasting Roof

The choice of materials for your roof is a balance between longevity, cost, structural concerns, and aesthetics. Just going for the longest lasting material may not always be the right choice. At Eagle Watch Roofing, we can help with your roof repair or your complete roof replacement. Our experts will be happy to discuss your options and install the best roof for your home.


What is The Longest Lasting Roof? | Eagle Watch Roofing? ›

It is heavy and incredibly durable. Slate is also impervious to pests and rot. It is a beautiful roofing material often chosen for it's looks, especially for traditional or historic designs.

Which roof covering lasts the longest? ›

Roofing material that lasts the longest are concrete, clay or slate tiles. These materials significantly outperform other natural products like wood shakes or any manufactured roofing materials including asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Although these materials have a good lifespan, they are not as durable.

What type of roof shingles last the longest? ›

Of the 3 types of asphalt shingles, the longest lasting are luxury (or premium) asphalt shingles. Luxury asphalt shingles are larger and thicker than 3-tab or architectural shingles, which makes them more durable.

Which type of roof is most durable roof? ›

Corrugated galvanized steel is one of the strongest, most durable roofing materials, since it lasts longer, is more resistant to wind, and absorbs less heat than asphalt shingles.

What is the most durable metal roof? ›

A copper roof will last for 60 to 100 years with proper maintenance, and its fire resistant quality makes it the best roof choice in warm, dry regions. Copper roofs cost between $14.10 to $25.40 per square foot on average, and are considered one of the highest quality metal roofing types you can install.

What is the most reliable roofing material? ›

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Relatively lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to install, asphalt shingles are the best choice for most houses. They come in sheets that are layered on a roof to give the illusion of more expensive single shingles, such as cedar and slate, that are installed one shingle at a time.

What is the best roof to get? ›

The most durable types of roofing are slate and clay tiles but they're more expensive than materials like metal or wood. Functional roofing alternatives like green roofs and solar shingles are among the most expensive types. Replacing an old roof is one of the best and most profitable ways to invest in a home.

What color shingles last the longest? ›

The big benefit to using light shingles is energy efficiency. Lighter materials don't absorb sunlight as easily as dark shingles. Instead, they reflect that light back into the sky. This helps the shingles last longer and helps keep houses cool during hot summer weather.

Which is the strongest roofing sheets? ›

Corrugated roofing sheets

Because of their unique shape, they offer years of reliable utility and enhanced strength. Their corrugated design with ridges and grooves make them stronger than before.

What is the most cost effective roofing? ›

Asphalt is the cheapest of all roofing materials in the market and will last you between 15 to 30 years. This is the best option for homeowners facing budgetary constraints. It is also widely available and comes in a variety of colors.

What type of roof is most expensive? ›

The most expensive type of roofing material is slate.

For labor and materials, you can expect the cost of a slate roof to start around $15.00 per square foot and has the potential to get up to around $30.00 or more per square foot.

What is the strongest roof design? ›

Pros: Hip roofs are one of the strongest designs for a roof. The inward slope on all four sides of a hip roof makes it an excellent design for both high wind and snowy areas. These designs also allow for more ventilation and grand vaulted ceilings or attics.

What color metal roof lasts the longest? ›

Lighter colors of metal roofs tend to last longer than darker shades like reds and blues. This can be tied to several factors, including pigment concentration, whether the pigment is organic or inorganic, and matte versus glossy finishes.

What is the best color of metal roof for energy savings? ›

The most energy-efficient metal roof color is anything in a light shade. Lighter colored metal roofs reflect more heat than darker colored metal roofs, reducing your energy costs in warmer months.

What shingles do roofers recommend? ›

Ultimately, the test revealed that the top 10 shingle brands were:
  • Atlas – Pinnacle Pristine.
  • GAF-Elk – Royal Sovereign.
  • CertainTeed – XT 25.
  • Atlas – StormMaster Slate.
  • Tamko – Heritage.
  • Owens Corning – Oakridge.
  • Owens Corning – Duration.
  • Owens Corning – Berkshire Collection.

How much does it cost to roof a 1200 sq ft house? ›

Average cost to replace a roof based on house size:

1,200 square feet: $4,500 to $6,500. 1,500 square feet: $5,500 to $8,000. 1,600 square feet: $6,000 to $8,500.

What are the three types of roofs? ›

Three Common Roof Designs and Their Advantages
  • Hip. A hip roof has slopes on all of its sides. The roof doesn't have even a single vertical side. ...
  • Gable. A gable roof features two sloping sides that meet at the top to form a ridge. ...
  • Flat. A flat roof has an extremely low pitch and is almost horizontally level.

How often should you replace your roof? ›

In general, this is the recommended replacement schedule based on the material used: Composition Shingles: 12-20 years. Asphalt Shingles: 15-30 years. Wood Shingles: 20-25 years.

What color metal roof lasts the longest? ›

Lighter colors of metal roofs tend to last longer than darker shades like reds and blues. This can be tied to several factors, including pigment concentration, whether the pigment is organic or inorganic, and matte versus glossy finishes.

How long is a slate roof good for? ›

''Hard slate will last anywhere from 75 to 200 years, while soft slate will last only 50 to 125 years,'' he said, adding that as a result, a homeowner trying to decide whether to repair, restore or replace a slate roof should first determine whether the existing slate is hard or soft. Generally speaking, Mr.

How long does a stone roof last? ›

Stone Tiles

Clay and stone tile roofs can last anywhere from 40-60 years. Slate and concrete roofs are a bit heavier, leading them to have an average lifespan of 50-100 years.

What is a slated roof? ›

A slate roof is a premium roof system made primarily out of natural slate tiles and other slate roofing materials. It's one of the most beautiful and long-lasting roof systems on the market. Because of its aesthetics, shingle manufacturers make asphalt shingles to mimic the look of a slate roof.


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