What Are The Longest Lasting Roof Materials?
close view of longest lasting roof metal shingles material installed on roof

What Roofing Material Lasts The Longest? (Durability Guide)

If your roof needs replacement, you may consider using a different roofing material than the common asphalt shingles.

While shingles are the least expensive roofing material, they also need to be replaced more frequently. However, some other materials, such as slate, can give you the longest lasting roof.

Learn about your options for roofing materials that will eliminate the need to replace your roof again in your lifetime.

Longest Lasting Roofing Materials

Slate roofs are one of the most durable types of roofs and can last 75 to 150 years. While they are not among the most common roofing materials, their long life expectancy makes them an appealing option if you can afford the upfront cost and don’t want to worry about replacing your roof again.

Compared to the 15 to 20-year lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof, slate roofing seems to last forever.

close-up of longest lasting roof slate material on roof

As one of the most durable roofing materials, slate also comes with a high cost per square foot compared to shingles or metal roofs. However, considering that it’s a one-time cost versus every 20 years, like with asphalt shingles, it can still be a cost-effective option.

Other Types of Tile Roofs

Slate shingles aren’t your only option for a long-lasting roof. Concrete and clay tile roofs are also options for replacing existing shingles and gaining a roof with a long average lifespan. They both can last over 100 years with proper maintenance.

Like slate, they come at a higher cost per square foot and require extra care to be installed properly. However, they are fire resistant and can withstand severe weather conditions better than an asphalt roof.

Not all roofs are suited for these different materials, though. Slate, clay, and concrete are all quite heavy and can require extra reinforcement to bear the weight. If you are building a new house and want to use this type of roofing, make sure the structure can support your chosen material.

More Affordable Durable Roofing Materials

The cost of tiles can be a limiting factor for most homeowners, even though they’re expected to last beyond the owner’s lifetime with proper care.

Another material that’s more affordable than tiles but still high in durability is metal roofing. With a lifespan of 40 to 80 years, you can have a roof on your forever home that will likely outlast the time you live there.

Homeowners have many choices regarding the type of metal for their houses. While steel is becoming a common roofing material, aluminum, tin, zinc, and even copper also offer advantages over traditional shingles.

Metal roofing also comes in many styles and looks. You can choose anything from the standard standing seam to metal made to look like other types of roofing, including slate, shingles, and even shakes.

Comparing Durability

Compare the strengths and weaknesses of different types of roofing to know which is best for you.

Slate Roof

Slate tiles are a dense material that offers the best protection for your home. It can resist fire, stand up to high winds, and handle rain and UV rays. Slate roofs are even resistant to fungus and mold. They don’t require much in terms of regular maintenance and still manage to be the longest lasting roofing material.

Threats to slate roofs include powerful storms or the simple act of walking on the roof. While slate is very strong, it is susceptible to direct pressure, like the weight of a person on an area the size of their foot. When professionals work on a slate roof, they use various equipment that allows them to disperse their weight across the roof and not damage it.

Concrete Tiles

close-up of long lasting concrete tile installed on roof

Concrete tiles outperform luxury asphalt shingles in durability. They are non-combustible since they are made from a mix of cement, sand, gravel, and water. Weather is not a concern for concrete tiles. They can withstand sun, wind, rain, and snow.

The threats include large hail and falling objects. If your house has many large, old trees around it, a strong windstorm could bring down large branches and damage your concrete roof.

Clay Tiles

Clay doesn’t weather as quickly as some other materials. The tiles are resistant to fire and wind up to 200 miles per hour. It is also more resistant to impact than other types of tile and can withstand hail stones up to 2 inches in diameter. Clay also resists rot and insect damage.

Like slate, you can damage clay tiles by walking on them, so leave any repairs to the professionals. Certain types of clay tiles, like terra cotta, can also sustain damage in climates with rapidly alternating freeze and thaw cycles.


Metal roofs can withstand gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour if installed correctly. They resist corrosion and cracking and are more resistant to impacts than tiles.

A metal roof is only as durable as its fasteners, which have various expected lifespans. If these fasteners become damaged or out of place, the roof is susceptible to wind and weather.

Also, depending on the type of metal used, a nick in the sealant could lead to rust.

Choosing the Longest Lasting Roof

When choosing the right roofing material for your home, a stone roof will last much longer than even a premium asphalt shingle one. Whether you choose slate, concrete, or clay, you will have a durable roof that will last the entire time you own your home.

If those materials are out of reach financially, consider a metal roof. It is still much more durable than asphalt shingles or wood roofing and comes at a lower cost per square foot than tile roofs.

Whether you’re building a new home or putting a new roof on your current one, talking with a roofing contractor can shed more light on the costs and pros and cons of the longest lasting roof materials versus the asphalt shingle roof many homeowners choose.Your roof is a major factor in the value and curb appeal of your home as well as how much maintenance it requires. Whether you choose the longest lasting roof or go for a low cost per square foot, knowing about each type of roof can help you make the best choice for you and your home.

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