Roofs have many requirements. They must be safe for the people inside, durable, have a long service life, and also look aesthetically pleasing while having harmony with the overall architectural design of a house. Here are the most popular types of roofing with their average lifespans.

Asphalt Shingles

As these Delaware roofers say, most roofs in the United States are made of asphalt, which is a solid and waterproof material that’s guaranteed to protect your home from leaks and squally winds.

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Classic asphalt shingles with three layers of fiberglass are laid on a roof base in the traditional linear way. This is an excellent variant at an affordable price. However, it’s gradually becoming a thing of the past due to more advanced and long-lived materials.

Lifespan: 10 to 20 years

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural or laminated asphalt shingles are made by gluing two or more shingles of different sizes together. At the same time, the top coating is painted in various colors, creating a pattern that imitates shadow overflows of color. With this type of shingle, you can create an imitation of natural stone, ceramics, or wood.

Lifespan: 15 to 25 years

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are eco-friendly, lightweight, and fireproof. The smooth coating and absence of cross beams help snow quickly slide off during the winter. The average service life of a metal roof is about 50 years when properly installed and maintained. Premium metals such as stainless steel, zinc, and copper can last more than 100 years. 

Standing Seam

In this case, it’s a roof covered with solid metal sheets. This variant is quite easy to install, has high corrosion resistance, hardness, and durability. The disadvantage is the “noise” of metal coatings.

Lifespan: 30 to 50 years

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles are cut out of a metal sheet in the shape of traditional ceramic tiles, like waves, scales, or steps. Shingles can be coated with quartz sand powder or basalt chips to simulate ceramics.

Lifespan: 30 to 50 years

Ribbed Metal Panels

Metal panels are laid on a roof base and fixed between each other by folds. This is a type of connection when one edge of a panel is folded up and another one is curved in the form of a latch-hook. This is typically the most affordable metal roof option.

Lifespan: 25 to 40 years

Cement Tiles 

Cement roofing is strong and lasting, but it’s also heavy. Make sure you strengthen the foundation and the structure of your building before you install this type of roofing.

Lifespan: 40 to 75 years

Clay Tiles

Natural ceramic or clay tile is one of the oldest roofing materials. The actual lifespan of ceramic tiles without repair is 100-120 years, and the material retains its original appearance and decorative properties during this period.

Lifespan: 50 to 120 years


Slate is the most expensive and ancient kind of roofing. It looks incredibly real, but it’s also heavyweight. The reliability of the rafters and the quality of the roof lathing require special attention.

Lifespan: 50 to 100 years

Cedar Shingles

In southern regions, cedar shingles work as a thermal defense to protect attics from overheating and keep homes at a normal temperature. A cedar roof’s strength allows it to withstand hurricane winds and loads from ice and snowdrifts.

Lifespan: 20 to 50 years

Rubber and Polymer Membranes

Seams welded with hot air help make this type of roofing waterproof. It’s resistant to constant dampness, stagnant water, and low and high alkaline conditions.

Lifespan: 5 to 30 years

As you can see, tons of roofing options are currently on the market. When choosing a roof, you should pay attention to the following criteria:

  • Climatic conditions
  • The strength of a house foundation and structure as a whole
  • The architectural style
  • Regulatory requirements for roofing in your area
  • Your budget

It’s worth noting that nowadays asphalt tiles occupy 80% of the market for pitched roofs on residential buildings in the U.S. This is a universal and affordable option. For southern regions, roofs made of cedar shingles are preferable. Metal, slate, and clay roofs tend to be the most durable, but they also have their drawbacks, such as price.