Life Expectancy Of Different Roof Types

December 28, 2021

Life Expectancy Of Different Roof Types

Every roof is unique. Each one has weathered different storms, is made of different materials and has had different owners throughout the years. But, what is the life expectancy of each different roof type? Here at Houston Roofing, we have experience repairing and replacing many different types of roofs. We can help you choose the best one and help you understand why there are different life expectancies for each type.

What Roof Types Are Available

Typically, the climate in your area dictates what type of roof you will need for your home, but not every homeowner has the same type of home and wants the same type of roof. Because of the design qualities of a home, from a craftsman to tudor to a farmhouse and beyond, you may want something that is more custom to the design of your home while also considering the weather conditions.

Here are the roof types available

Wood Shingle

A wood shingle roof can last 25-30 years and is made of natural wood. Wood shingles create a beautiful look for your home and are typically made of yellow pine or cedar. Any roof that is made from wood has the potential for fire, so keep this in mind if you are in an area that is prone to wildfires. Now, sometimes these wood shingle roofs can last for even longer if they are well-maintained, but you want to make sure to keep them free from debris as these roofs can actually take on moisture and grow moss.

Asphalt Roll Roof

An asphalt roll roof is a lower-cost, but popular choice, with short-term longevity. Typically lasting from 5-10 years, they are made with asphalt rolls that are turned into shingles. They are typically best on flat roofs but can be used on external buildings that are not attached to your home, such as sheds, and are installed by laying the strips across the roof and then overlapping them.

Wood Shake Roof

The wood shake roof is unique and can last for 35-40 years. Shakes are made of shingles and the wood shake roof is a higher maintenance roof than most. With this type of roof, you will want to ensure that no debris is ever left on the top, and if there are issues, you want to repair them immediately.

Clay or Cement Roof

A clay or cement roof has a very long lifespan which can last from 50 to 100 years. Because these roofs are made from terracotta or ceramic tiles, they are installed by overlapping layers of tile. There is also an option of concrete roof tiles, which can help with longevity and less maintenance as well. You want to make sure that your home has a significant framing structure for a roof like this, as these tiles can be very heavy. There is less decay with a clay or cement roof, but sometimes tiles will break because of storms and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Standing-seam metal

Through the last few years, the standing-seam metal roof has gained popularity and it is because they are made from steel panels. The steel panels are excellent if you are in an area that sees wildfires consistently as these panels overlap along the slope of the roof. With an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years and with rising wildfires here in the Texas area, it’s important to take a look at these roofs because they are durable and do not require much maintenance.

Built-Up Roof

A built-up roof is also referred to as a BUR and alternates fiberglass, roofing felt, and hot tar and are typically only seen on flat roofs. However, roofs with very small pitches have also taken on the BUR roof because they can last from 20 to 30 years and can be quite inexpensive in comparison to other roofs. Not to mention they are fire-resistant.


A composite roof is one of the most popular roofs out there and is made of asphalt shingles and has a lifespan of 15 to 40 years. Some of these roofs can last even longer if taken care of and most homeowners actually choose these roofs because of the warranty that comes with them, the ease of repair, and the installation takes less time than other roof installations.


Slate is just a beautiful addition to any home. The pricing on these roofs can fluctuate as there are so many options available, but some homeowners choose slate because it can last for up to 100 years or more. There is a solid level of maintenance because of broken slate tiles from storms and flashing issues. Even still, this can be a beautiful addition to your home.

Houston Roofing can help you through the process of selecting the best roof for your home and will look at the style of your home, the weather conditions and give you an estimate of the cost and lifetime of your roof. Our reputation is known in the Houston area, and we realize how important it is for our customers to know that we are truly local, love our community, and want to serve it the best we can.

Ready to learn more about installing a new roof?   If you’re in or directly around the Houston, TX area, feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions you may have and we will be happy to walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Take a look at our roofing gallery to see how we can improve the appearance of your roof, install a new roof, and even come out for a free inspection.  It’s a great time to get started on your roofing project, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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