Average Life Spans of Different Roofing Materials

A roof’s actual service life depends on several factors, such as the local climate, the quality of the roof installation service and adherence to scheduled maintenance. But, the most important factor that decides a roof’s expected life span is the material itself.

Average Life Spans of Different Roofing Materials

Here’s a closer look at common residential roofing options and their expected lifespans.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles remain the most popular roofing material, thanks to their relatively low cost and maintenance requirements. A typical asphalt shingle roof has an expected lifespan of about 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance. In addition to the traditional three-tab shingles, manufacturers like GAF and CertainTeed® offer dimensional shingles. These products are made with multiple layers of material per shingle, which increases the roof’s durability, adds a handmade aesthetic and lasts substantially longer.


The most common metal roofing option offered by local roofing companies is standing-seam sheets made of galvanized steel. Other options include stainless steel and copper. The upfront cost is higher than typical asphalt shingle roofs, but your home benefits from its durability, strength and energy efficiency. Most metal roofs last about 50 years while copper roofs can last up to 100 years.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes and the slimmer wood shingles are typically made from treated cedar. Despite the increased cost and maintenance requirements, many homeowners are willing to put up with it because of the aesthetic value. Quality wood shakes typically last about 30 years with proper care and maintenance.

Slate and Tile

Slate roofing is made from quarried slate while tile is made of concrete or, more traditionally, clay. Both materials are extremely long lasting and have been known to reach over 100 years. Both tile and slate are very heavy materials, though. If you are considering either for your roof replacement project, your existing roof structure may need to be reinforced or rebuilt to support the additional weight.

To learn more about various roofing materials or if you would like to know more about our services as one of the leading roofers in Michigan, call Rapid Roofing today at (734) 234-5900. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free estimate. We serve Ann Arbor and nearby areas in Michigan.