The 6 Best Roofing Materials for Longevity

Composite Shingles

Lifespan: 15-50 Years

Even though composite shingles are the most popular roofing material, they last the least amount of time. They are the least expensive to purchase and install, which has led to their popularity.  The lifespan prediction range is so wide due to the huge variations in quality of the material. Premium manufacturers offer higher quality products that include warranties based on the product you choose.

How to make it last longer:

  • Purchase quality shingles
  • Never power wash your composite shingle roof
  • Immediately eliminate any moss that grows


Wood Shingles

Lifespan: 25 years

Not to be confused with wood shakes (see below), wood shingles are sawn from the log, so they are thin and flat. Wood is an organic building material, so at the end of its life it can be recycled into mulch and chips, but it’s also prone to weathering and decay.

How to make it last longer:

  • Keep in mind that wood roofing materials need more maintenance than other materials
  • Replace split and cracked shingles immediately
  • Control moss growth


Standing Seam Metal

Lifespan: 30 to 50 years

Metal roofing is resistant to fire, mildew, insects and rot. It is also lightweight compared to other roofing materials with similar longevity.

How to make it last longer:

  • Check for fasteners and sealant failures
  • Check for distressed, bent, or migrating panels


Wood Shakes

Lifespan: 30 to 50 years

Not to be confused with wood shingles (see above), wood shakes are either split or sawn from the log. They are thicker and can stand up to weather and UV rays better than thin wood shingles.

How to make it last longer:

  • Keep in mind that wood roofing materials need more maintenance than other materials
  • Replace split, curled or cupped shakes right away
  • Immediately remove any debris that falls on the roof
  • Eliminate moss


Clay (Spanish) Tile

Lifespan: 100 years

Clay tiles are very durable. There are Spanish tile roofs from the old California missions in the late 1700s that are still going strong, and some that are even older throughout Spain and South America.

How to make it last longer:

  • Avoid walking on your roof as much as possible
  • Replace cracked and broken tiles



Lifespan: 100+ years

Slate is the most durable roofing material available. There are roofs from Shakespearean times still working efficiently. Slate is real stone, laid down thick on the roof, so an adequate truss strength is required to hold up this heavy load.

Make it last longer:

  • Replace any broken tiles immediately
  • Make sure all flashings are correctly installed and in good working order – When your copper flashing has turned black, it’s time to replace it.


Call Blackstone Exteriors if you have any questions about your available roofing materials options, or would like a free estimate.

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