What Material Offers the Longest-Lasting Roof? [Material Guide]

If you have to install a new roof on your home, you’re probably wondering what the longest-lasting roof material is. There are a dizzying number of choices for your new roof! Metal roofing, wood shingles, slate roofing, stone roofing, and many other materials.


You want to know the suitable roofing material for your house. Fear not; we’ll walk you through some of the most common roofing materials and their life expectancy.

What Roofing Material Lasts the Longest?

This is an important question! Materials like the asphalt shingle are prevalent but aren’t nearly as durable as other options. Most homeowners will be concerned with the price of their roof replacement. What type of roofing you purchase is essential, but materials may differ by house and location.


Homeowners living in an area with severe weather conditions will look at different materials than someone in a more mild climate. For example, a major factor in their roof replacement for California residents might be whether or not it’s fire resistant. Or how it holds up under UV rays.

Longest-Lasting Roofing Materials

When selecting the best roofing material for a roofing system, it is essential to know how well this material is constructed. Stone roofs are highly durable. Cement and clay have been used as roof and shelter materials for centuries. Several old buildings have clay roofs dating back centuries.


Metal has also been used as roofing material for hundreds of years. In the earliest periods of history, copper was used as a roofing material. It is very responsive and does not require coatings for corrosion resistance. The product has a highly soft appearance which is relatively straightforward to use. Copper flashing is still being used in construction to this day.

Longest Lasting: Slate Roof

longest lasting roof slate roof material

The slate roof has a classic elegance, with numerous colors available. A thick layer of slate can stand up and resist most weather conditions, e.g., snow, heavy winds, and fire if needed. Those who prefer natural beauty may choose this choice.


A hard slate roof will last around 25 to 40 years, but a slate roof can potentially last about 75 to 200 years. The stone is mold resistant. Almost everyone who gets a slate roof gets 100-year warranties because they’re made with very durable roofing materials.


In addition, slate roofs can dramatically improve property value as this style of stone roof is very attractive.

The Second Longest Lasting: Metal or Steel Roof

Metal roofs can be installed in any residential or commercial building and last a long time. Metal roofs resist environmental damage very well. A metal roof lasts up to 70 years on average. 


With proper care, they’ll stand up to the weather and be generally resistant to wind. Most brands provide warranties between 20 and 30 years. The finished product with paint also has a 30-year warranty.

Standing-Seam Metal Roof

Standing seam metal roofing can be fabricated from thick steel panels laid onto the roof deck with seams covering raised ridges, which run vertically on the roof slope and have been widely used. 


It is typically steel and aluminum, but copper and zinc are also utilized. This roofing can be virtually non-maintained and very durable. Unfortunately, the materials can’t be adapted for DIY installations.


With proper maintenance, the standing-steam metal roof is expected to last as long as any other steel roof.

The Third Longest Lasting: Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete roofs can be an incredibly durable roofing option. Unlike most roofing materials, concrete tile has less potential for uplifting in windstorms. 


Concrete tiles have an average lifespan of 50 years. These roofs are durable structures resistant to most harsh weather situations and capable of surviving an entire lifetime on any property and given routine maintenance.


The density makes this an attractive characteristic in a city. Another benefit of a concrete roof is that the price is relatively affordable compared to obtaining an expensive roof.

Composite Asphalt Shingle Roof

longest lasting roof composite asphalt shingle

Composite shingles are the most common roofing material, with almost 90 percent of all homes being built. Composite roofing is fabricated from either a polymer or a composite material, usually coated with asphalt on its bottom with sand and the exposed surface infused with small chips.


This roofing product’s widespread popularity mainly results from the relatively low-cost installation and good lifespan. Professionals typically construct this roof, and installation may be done quickly.

Asphalt Roll Roof

Asphalt roll roofs can be produced using a large roll of the same material used for the average roof. Roll roofs are usually installed on relatively flat roofs and are laid by overlapping slits lengthwise across the top.


Roll roofing materials are pretty easy to install, with most do-it-yourselfers capable of doing it. This roof can also be used in sheds, garages, and perhaps porches but is less efficient on the standard home roof.

Architectural Asphalt

These are higher-quality asphalt shingles made with a fiberglass base mat coated with a ceramic material to make them waterproof. They’re more attractive than the standard asphalt shingles and mimic a wood shake and slate tiles.


Their life expectancy is projected at 30 years, but even with proper maintenance, the true life span is closer to 15 years.

Wood Shingle Roof

Wood-shingle roofing is made with thin wedges of naturally formed wood like oak or yellow pine sawn with logs. These lovely roofs can be challenging to install and unsuitable for many people. 


In some regions, increasing flame hazards have led to legal restrictions on timber roof materials.

You may think your new roof would look great with wood roofing, but it’s possible it might not be the roof for you.

What’s Next?

Homeowners should be on the lookout for a free estimate! Roofing contractors can be hungry for business and will be happy to inspect your roof and offer advice. When they come to sell you a new roof, make sure to ask them questions.


What’s the cost? How much per square foot? Will there be financing options? What does regular maintenance look like? Do they seem knowledgeable about the material and whether or not what they’re selling is for the right setting?


Not all roofs are made the same. This is a significant investment, and not being knowledgeable about the quality of the roof could cost you. Keep in mind all the facts about the longest-lasting roof materials above, and you’ll be enjoying your new roof for years to come.

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