Roofing 101: Understanding the Average Lifespan of Different Roof Types

Roof longevity is an important consideration for homeowners. After all, a roof protects your home and everything inside it from the elements. But how long can you expect your roof to last? This can depend on several factors, including the type of material used, the quality of installation, and maintenance efforts.

Materials and Their Effect on Lifespan

Different materials can greatly impact the expected life of your roof. Here are how different common materials effect the life expectancy of your roof

20 plus year roof longevity of owens corning asphalt shingles

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used in residential properties. On average, they can last between 20 to 30 years, but there are a variety of factors to consider. Some of the factors to account for include the climate, whether the roof is properly ventilated, and do you perform regular maintenance. Harsh weather conditions, like heavy rains, extreme heat, or build up of snow and ice can shorten the lifespan of asphalt shingles. Regular inspections and repairs can help prolong its lifespan.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are known for their durability and longevity. They can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years or even longer, depending on the quality of the material used. Metal roofs are resistant to many common roofing issues such as rot, insect damage, and fire, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting roofing solution. Metal roofs can expand and contract more during the year’s weather extremes than other materials, and can be susceptible to pitting or rusting over time.

Wood Shingles or Shakes

Wood shingles or shakes can last around 20 to 40 years. However, their lifespan is highly dependent on proper maintenance and regular inspections to prevent issues such as rot or insect infestation. Wood roofs require more maintenance compared to other materials, including regular cleaning and treatment to prevent moss or algae growth. The quality of the wood being used can play a high role in extending the life of these roofs, so it is important to know what materials are being used.

Slate or Tile Roofing

Slate and tile roofs are known for their exceptional durability and longevity. With proper care, they can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. These materials are resistant to fire, rot, and insects, making them an excellent investment for homeowners who want a long-lasting roof. However, it’s important to note that slate and tile roofs are heavier than other roofing materials and may require additional structural support. In areas where snowfall is expected to be higher, it may not be a good idea to choose slate roofs. The added weight from both the snow and materials can lead to structural issues for your home.

Factors Affecting Roof Lifespan

Apart from the material used, several other factors can influence the lifespan of a roof. These factors include:


Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rains, strong winds, long snowy winters, or prolonged exposure to heat, can shorten the lifespan of a roof. Understanding the climate in your area can help you prepare or react to these weather conditions to increase the life of your roof. Chicago is known for all of these weather conditions, and it is important to know how to prepare for them. Working with a roofing provider like Davis Roofing & Construction can help you take the best steps to give your roof the longest life possible.

Installation Quality

Proper installation is crucial for a roof’s longevity. Poor installation can lead to premature failure and costly repairs. When installing your roof, you want to make sure you have the proper materials for your needs and have it installed by qualified contractors to give it the best life. If you are using a product like Owens Corning, you want to trust that it will last as designed. The best way to ensure this is to use a certified installer like Davis Roofing & Construction.

Ventilation and Insulation

Proper ventilation and insulation help regulate temperature and moisture levels in the attic, preventing issues like mold or ice dams that can damage the roof. Improper ventilation from your attic insulation can lead to bigger problems within your home. If not properly sealed or if the air temperatures are not balanced, you can find water damage in your home near the vents. If you suspect that there is a ventilation issue, it is important to have them inspected before larger issues arise.


Regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs are essential for prolonging a roof’s lifespan. Promptly addressing any issues can prevent further damage and extend the roof’s life. Most people are not comfortable or able to crawl around their roofs to clean and inspect for issues. It is not recommended either, instead, you should hire a professional, like Davis Roofing Companies. By hiring a professional, you can be assured that the right things will be inspected, and that they will have the right equipment and training to move around your roof safely.

When it comes to understanding your roof’s lifespan, you need to consider several factors. To make sure you have the longest lifespan for your roof, you need to consider the best materials for your home, what weather conditions affect your area, the quality of the installation, and how you will manage a maintenance plan. If you are located near Arlington Heights, IL, Wheaton, IL, or Alsip, IL, contact Davis Roofing & Construction to help you make a plan to enjoy your roof as long as possible. Our Wheaton roofing experts can make sure you have the right materials installed properly for your home and provide you with a routine maintenance schedule to avoid any major issues from forming. Let us help you enjoy your roof for years to come.