Roofing Experts

How Long Does a Roof Last?

Whether you’re wondering how much longer your current roof will last or you’re trying to decide which one to get, it’s essential to know how long a roof lasts.

Of course, the answer can vary drastically depending on a number of factors, especially what type of material your roof is made out of.

Today, we’ll cover different factors that impact your roof’s lifespan, as well as the expected lifespan of different types of roofs based on the material they’re made out of. By the end, you should have a good idea of how long you can expect your roof to last.

Which Factors Impact the Lifespan of a Roof?

There isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all answer to how long a roof will last. Below, we’ll go into some different factors that impact the answer.

Material Type

One of the biggest factors that impacts how long your roof will last is what material it is made of. Later in this article, we’ll break down roofs further based on different types of materials and an idea of how long you can expect each to last. One thing to remember is that it’s not uncommon for the cost of the material and how long it lasts to have a correlation.


The workmanship of the contractor installing your roof can impact how long your roof lasts. Before choosing who to entrust this important job to, ensure you take a closer look at who you’re considering.

Investigate things like qualifications, reviews and testimonials, and insurance and liability coverage. And, importantly, make sure you go with a trusted and licensed professional.


Your roof is exposed to the climate and the sun’s rays, and these can play a significant role in how long your roof lasts. If you live somewhere with extreme weather and frequent storms, expect that to take a toll on your roof’s lifespan. Likewise, if you live in a location with a harsh climate or extreme weather, it’s wise to remember this when deciding on roofing material.

Temperatures regularly going from hot to cold can result in cracks and splits in shingles. Hail, tornadoes, wind, or other storms can result in even greater harm by leaving divots in. your roof, removing the protective granules from shingles, and causing a build-up of moisture that can lead to roof leaks and mold.

Finally, it’s wise to make sure that nearby trees don’t have branches that could rub away at your shingles and ensure that you get rid of debris and leaves that build up in your gutters.

Material Quality

We’ve already talked about what an impact the type of material your roof is made out of can have on its longevity, but the quality matters, too. There’s going to be a high-quality and low-quality version of each, and higher-quality options typically last longer.


Another crucial component of your roof replacement is the underlayment – a layer of waterproofing protection in case the exterior roof sustains damage. Having this additional protection prevents the build-up of moisture and issues with mold; it’s critical to prevent your materials from rotting away.

Material Color

Believe it or not, the color of your shingles might also have an impact on how long your roof lasts. Particularly in climates on the sunnier side, it’s best to stick to a lighter material. This is because dark products absorb more of the sun’s heat, and overheated shingles have a greater likelihood of experiencing wear and tear, and it makes it more difficult to ventilate your roof.


Appropriate methods of ventilation are essential for your property’s health and the life expectancy of your roof. A lack of proper ventilation can result in expensive damage.

Your Roof’s Slope

Drainage is impacted by the pitch of your roof, and good drainage is necessary to keep your roof in good health. If your roof has a lower slant or if you have a flat roof, you might want to be more cautious in checking your roof for water accumulation, as this could lead to fungus and mold growth or cause more serious issues leading to a leaking roof.

Roof Maintenance

Like most things, taking care of your roof will make it last longer. It’s essential to perform regular maintenance if you want your roof to last as long as possible.

Roof inspections, which we offer in both Denver and Boulder, are a fantastic resource to help identify warning signs that you might need a major repair or even a new roof. Finding a problem can help you to resolve it before it becomes more serious.

How Long Roofs Last by Material

As mentioned, material is an essential indicator of a roof’s lifespan. Below, we’ll break down different materials and talk about how long they typically last. Of course, it’s possible that your roof might last longer or shorter than what is listed here, depending on other factors, but this should give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Synthetic Cedar Shake

Brava’s synthetic cedar shake tiles are designed to offer the rustic charm that comes with natural cedar shakes. With a blend of advanced polymers, resins, and recycled materials, this product offers that stunning cedar look with better resistance to harsh weather and longevity. Brava’s cedar shake tiles boast an impressive 50-year limited warranty.

Synthetic Slate Shake

If you want the beauty offered by slate without the fragile and heavy qualities that come with it, check out Brava’s synthetic slate shake tiles. These are made from synthetic polymers and recycled materials, providing a beautiful slate appearance and enhanced resistance to cracking and durability. Brava’s synthetic slate shake tiles come with a long-lasting limited warranty of 50 years.

Synthetic Spanish Tile

The synthetic Spanish tiles from Brava offer a stunning barrel clay tile alternative. They resemble the look of traditional Spanish tiles but also come with better weather resistance and longevity, mitigating the need for costly structural support that’s needed for traditional barrel clay tiles. Like all of Brava’s products, these have a 50-year limited warranty.

Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles

This roofing type is commonly used in DIY roofing projects. This budget-friendly option has among the lowest lifespans as a result of its low wind resistance. They can be expected to last 15-20 years.

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

If you want to use shingles, then architectural asphalt shingles are an excellent choice. They come in a variety of types with more durable and thicker materials and can last 30 or even 50 years.

Wood Shingles

These are typically made from pine, spruce, or cedar. Wood shingle roofs have a more rustic and natural look and can last as long as 30 years – but the wood needs continuous care and may be vulnerable to fires, termites, mold, mildew, and more.

Metal Roof

The cost and lifespan of a metal roof depend heavily on how thick your metal of choice is. Thinner metal lasts around 20-25 years, while a thicker, quality metal can last over 50 years.


This synthetic rubber material is a common choice for commercial roofing. This affordable and easy-to-apply option can last 25-50 years based on factors like how well it’s maintained.


TPO, or Thermoplastic Polyolefin, is a flat roofing option that’s single-ply and with a seam strength stronger than EPDM. It has a lower price tag than PVC but isn’t as flexible and can be expected to last around 50-20 years.


This is another option for a flat roof, and it has a vinyl membrane. This option is the most energy efficient as it’s UV resistant and its white color reflects the sun. It’s an expensive option, but it’ll last more than 20 years.

How Can I Make My Roof Last Longer?

The best way to make your roof last longer is to be diligent about keeping an eye on your roof’s health. With annual inspections and proactive maintenance, you can become aware of problems and get them taken care of as quickly as possible.

It’s a good idea to check on your roof’s condition seasonally. Remember, each season brings with it different weather and can have different external causes of potential harm to your roof.

By uncovering and tending to small issues early, you can ensure that your roof lasts longer. Tend to the challenges that can come each season – for example, cleaning the debris and leaves from the gutters in the fall for better drainage.

Property managers are recommended to inspect their flat roofs in order to ensure the drainage methods work and that there isn’t build-up on top of the roof.

In wintertime, you can tell if proper ventilation isn’t in place or if damages are present if you see ice dams building along your roofline, or if you have leaks in your ceiling.

In addition to seasonal maintenance, it’s a good idea to consult a professional through an annual property evaluation. This can help you to spot and resolve issues before they grow into something more serious.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Roof Has the Longest Lifespan?

Slate is considered to be the roofing material that lasts the longest – with a shocking 150+ year lifespan! Next in line are concrete and clay, which can be expected to last about 100 years. Make sure to take into account factors like the quality of your materials when estimating your roof’s lifespan.

What Color Roof Lasts the Longest?

While you might find it surprising, the color of your roof can impact how long it will last. In sunnier environments, it’s best to opt for light-colored roofs because dark colors will absorb more heat from the sun. Overheated shingles have a higher likelihood of getting wear and tear, and they make it more difficult to ventilate your roof.

How Many Years Does a Shingle Roof Last?

Most asphalt shingles can be expected to last in the area of 15 to 30 years. This can be impacted by the type of asphalt shingle, your area’s climate and weather conditions, and more. You’ll need to check the expected lifespan of the specific shingles you’re considering.

Need a New Roof? Contact Scott’s Roofing Colorado!

As you can see, there are many different options for roofing materials, and regardless of the material you use, the lifespan of your roof can be impacted by a wide range of factors.

Whatever roof you have, the time will eventually come when a roof needs to be replaced. If the time has come for you to replace your roof, Scott’s Roofing Colorado can help with both residential and commercial needs!

For over 10 years, Scott’s Roofing has been dedicated to serving the roofing needs of Colorado. Get in touch today to see the difference it can make in your home’s roof!

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