IL (847) 278-2272
WI (414) 662-9550
Luxurious house with metal roof

What Is the Longest Lasting Roof? (Material Analysis)

Choosing between different materials can be overwhelming. We discovered that most homeowners are unsure of which type of roof will stand the test of time.

Our extensive research has compiled a list of top-performing roofs based on their lifespan and other critical factors, such as: 

  • Durability đź’Ş
  • Cost-effectiveness đź’°
  • Environmental impact 🌍

Stay tuned to uncover which roof reigns supreme in terms of endurance so that you’re ready when it’s time to upgrade your roofing system.

Long-Lasting Roofing Materials

black asphalt singles on house

In the realm of roofing, durability is paramount. Choosing the right materials can ensure a roof that stands the test of time, offering not only protection but also peace of mind. In this section, we explore the most common roofing materials renowned for their resilience and lasting value.

Cedar Shake

A cedar shake roof, or cedar wood shingle roof, can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. 

Wood shingles are known for their natural beauty and rustic appeal, but they do require regular maintenance to reach their full potential lifespan. Proper maintenance includes periodic inspections, cleaning to remove debris and prevent moss or algae growth, and addressing any issues such as damaged or missing shakes promptly.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of wood roofing can be influenced by regional climate conditions. In areas with more severe weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, snow, or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, the lifespan of the roof may be on the lower end of the range.

Composite Shake

A composite shake roof is designed to offer a prolonged lifespan, typically ranging from 40 to 50 years, and often even surpassing these expectations with proper care and maintenance. 

These roofs are crafted using a blend of advanced synthetic materials that mimic the appearance of natural wood shakes, while also delivering enhanced durability and resilience against environmental factors.

Composite Slate

Composite slate tiles are the most common roofing material. These durable tiles can offer approximately 40 to 50 years of service if installed correctly, making them a reliable choice for any homeowner. However, it’s essential to replace any broken slate tiles right away.


With understanding installation costs, slate roofing has the potential to last up to 100 years, providing exceptional longevity and value. It’s important to note that understanding the average installation cost is key to ensuring the roof’s durability and lifespan.

By choosing a composite slate roof, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their roof will withstand the elements and maintain its beauty for decades to come.


Asphalt shingle roofs tend to last 15 to 30 years and stand as one of the prevailing choices in today’s market. Their prevalence extends to over 80 percent of new residential constructions, owing to their economical nature.

These shingles consist of an asphalt layer enveloping a foundation composed of either fiberglass or organic materials like cellulose. This construction imparts robust shielding against UV rays, wind, and precipitation. 

Under the sun’s warm embrace, the asphalt coating on the shingles begins to soften, gradually bringing the shingles together and forming a strong, watertight bond. This process creates a protective barrier that enhances their ability to keep out water and enhance their waterproofing strength.


A properly installed and well-maintained copper roof can have an exceptionally long lifespan, making it one of the most durable roofing materials available. Copper metal roofs are known for their longevity and ability to withstand various environmental factors. On average, a copper roof can last anywhere from 50 to over 100 years.

Copper roofs are prized for their aesthetic appeal, durability, and eco-friendly characteristics. While the initial cost of a copper roof may be higher than other roofing materials, its long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements can make it a cost-effective choice over the long term.

Comparison of Different Roofing Materials

When comparing the right roofing material, the factors are:

  • Durability and lifespan
  • Low cost
  • Environmental impact

By examining these factors, homeowners can decide which roofing material is the best fit for their needs.

Durability and Lifespan

copper roofing material on house roof

Copper and composite slate tiles are known for their exceptional durability and long lifespan. These materials can last up to 100 years.

Cedar shake and composite slate roofs also offer impressive longevity, with life spans ranging from 30 to 50 years, depending on the material used. In comparison, traditional asphalt shingle roof materials typically have an average lifespan of around 15 to 30 years.

So if you’re looking for a roof that will stand the test of time, consider investing in copper or composite slate.


When considering the cost-effectiveness of roofing materials, it’s important to look at upfront costs and long-term savings. While natural materials like slate and copper metal roofing can be quite expensive initially, they are known for their durability and longevity, meaning you may not have to replace your roof.

On the other hand, wooden shingle roofs offer a more affordable option without compromising quality, while an asphalt roof provides good value but won’t last as long as other options.

Ultimately, weighing the initial investment against future savings is essential when deciding on the relatively low-cost type of roofing for your home.

Environmental Impact 

Choosing a long-lasting roof surface benefits your home and the environment. Cedar shake is an environmentally sustainable option, as it is made from natural materials that you can recycle at the end.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles have a negative environmental impact due to their petroleum-based composition. You can reduce waste by opting for durable roofing material like a metal roof or synthetic composite slate shingles.

Making an informed choice about your roof can go a long way in protecting your home and the planet.


Regarding longevity, composite slate and copper roofs take the crown as the longest-lasting roof materials. With lifespans of up to 100+ years, they outshine shake and asphalt. Not only are they incredibly durable, but they are also fireproof, providing extra peace of mind.

Cedar shake and composite shake boast impressive lifespans of up to 50 years. While asphalt shingles may be more affordable in the short term, investing in cedar shake or composite shake will give you a cost-effective and attractive long-term solution for your residential or commercial structure.

So, call the experts at Shake Guys to learn how to protect existing shingles or to get insights into installing a new roof. 

Schedule a Free Inspection & Consultation