How Long Is A Roof Designed To Last?

As you may know, a roof is the uppermost part of the building, designed mainly for the purpose of protecting the building from different climatic changes, but it may also contribute to safety, security, and privacy purposes.

Roofs are constructed from different materials, e.g., tile roof, metal roof, shingle roof, etc. And the roof life expectancy is dependent on the type of material the roof is made of.

Mainly, a roof consists of two parts, one is the supporting structure, and the other is the uppermost layer, which is supposed to protect the interior from stuff like extreme weather conditions, etc. The support structure of the roof is mostly composed of the walls and rafters. But there are other ways, for example, in A-frame, the distinction can be blurred between the roof and the wall.


What is the Average Lifespan of a Roof?

Your next question should be, what is the average roof life? It is dependent on a number of factors, such as climate and environmental conditions, building and roof design, material quality, and proper application. Roofs that are exposed to extreme heat or cold, tend to have shorter roof life.

In commercial, or industrial areas, chemical exhausts, and residues from the industrial work, can break down most of the roofing material faster than the sun, and other weather conditions. One thing to remember along the way is that two of the most important factors in determining the average life span of a roof are the quality and proper installation of roofing material.

For example, tile roof life expectancy is more than 50 years. While shingle roof life expectancy varies from 20 – 50 years. However, metal roof life expectancy is 60 – 70 years depending on the type of metal used.

What is the material that lasts the longest?

One of the biggest differences in the types of roofs is probably the roof life. Some roofs last for decades, while others need to be repaired after every 10 years or so.

The longest-lasting roofs are generally made of material that decays very slowly, such as roofs made of concrete, clay, and slate tiles having an average roof life of 100 years or so.

What are some signs that you need a new roof?

Roof life expectancy depends on factors like,

  • What kind of roof do you have?
  • How well do you maintain it?
  • What kind of weather does it endure?
  • If it has unfixed damage.

Even if you know the average lifespan of a roof, you must continue to monitor your roof in order to know when you need to replace it. You should look out for things such as pests, discoloration, leaks/water damage, etc.


If damage isn’t dealt with soon enough, it rapidly gets worse. A small crack can let moisture in under the roofing material. There it expands and contracts with temperature changes, causing the crack to widen.

Another thing you can do to prolong the roof life expectancy is call in for annual inspections. Just like you would do for your other valuable possessions.

What can you do to avoid any kind of inconvenience?

You can start by checking your home records.   When was your roof installed? What materials were used? If 20 years have passed since your roof’s last inspection, consider calling an expert.

As you examine your roof, make sure to look for any kind of mold, moss, or fungi. As they indicate moisture and moisture can destroy your roof.

You can also text for a damaged roof by flashing your skylights, chimney seals, and vents. The flashing process will seal any gaps in the seams from rain.

Examining the attic will also help; you might have a damaged roof if you notice water stains that run from the ceiling to the walls.

If your roof is damaged, you should get it repaired right away.  Otherwise, it may lead to bigger issues that can cause structural damages from the attic to the foundation of your home. These signs indicating you need a new roof are no joke.

If you are from anywhere around Los Angeles and want a professional to take a look at your roof, consider contacting Energy Roofing. They are a certified and licensed professional roofing contractor, and will provide a free estimate.

How many types of roofs are there?

Roofs are made with different kinds of materials, in different ways, all over the world. There are many types of roofs, including, flat roofs, hip roofs, shed roofs, etc.

Today we’ll be discussing mainly the following types of roofs:

  • Metal roofs.
  • Shingle roofs.
  • Tile roofs.

What is a metal roof?

The type of roofs that are made from metal pieces or tiles is called metal roofs. Some metal roofs are made of wrought iron sheet coated with other metals, like zinc, and then carved into corrugated sheets, also known as corrugated galvanized steel.

Some other metals that can be used to make metal roofs are lead, tin, aluminum, and copper.


What are the advantages of metal roofs?

  • Metal roof life expectancy is 60-70 years.
  • Metal roofs can be manufactured with a good percentage of recycled material and proven to be completely recyclable. Which makes it eco-friendly.
  • Metal roofing does not get as hot as other roofing materials, like asphalt, in fact, metal roofs reflect heat.
  • This material is very light weighted when compared to other types of roofs, which is good because it decreases the amount of stress on the roof supporting structure.
  • Sheets of metal roofing resist all kinds of attacks by unwanted pests.
  • Metal roofs are highly wind resistant. If compared to other roofing materials.

What are the disadvantages of metal roofs?

  • Metal roofs can be much more expensive than other roofing materials.
  • Metal roofs may be noisier during heavy rain or hail storms If compared to other materials.
  • Another problem you may face is the inconsistency of color match, if a repair is required, it may be difficult to find the exact match of the existing metal.

What are shingle roofs?

Shingle roofs are a commonly used roofing material, especially in warmer states such as California. Roofing shingle installations are flat, rectangular pieces of asphalt, composite, or other roofing materials. Shingles are applied upwards from the base of the roof, and often overlapped to provide full coverage.

Shingles are held by the roof rafters and are made with other materials, such as wood, slate, fiber cement, and asphalt shingles, etc.

Los Angeles Roofing Contractor


  • Shingle roofs are one of the most affordable roofing materials.
  • Shingle roof life expectancy is typically 20-40 years, making it a worthwhile investment if you’re not looking for a forever home.
  • The process of installing a new shingle roof is quite easy, and quick as compared to other roofing systems.
  • Even for such an affordable material, there are a ton of options (different shingle styles, colors, and prices).
  • Composite shingles have class-A fire protection, which means that this roofing system is fire resistant.


  • Shingles are easily damaged in extreme weather conditions, like high wind, constant heat, etc.
  • If the building is built on a shady spot, and the shingles get no/very little sunlight, it could be susceptible to miss growth and mildew.

What are tile roofs?

Traditionally, elements like slate or fired clay were used to make tile roofs, but now, roofing tiles are mostly made using molded, tinted concrete.

One thing to remember about the tile roofing system is that the tiles are very heavy and can break if faced with different conditions. So the roof framing should be structurally sturdy and accurate, so it could easily support the weight.

Clay Tile Roof


  • Roofing tiles come in different shapes, including curved, flat, fluted, or interlocking, etc.
  • Tile roofs are the best option for roofs that experience extremely hot weather and exposure to salty air.
  • Tile roof life expectancy is up to 100 years, especially if installed the right way, under the right weather conditions.
  • Unlike other roof materials, a tile roof will not decay.
  • In most cases, tile roofs do not require repair or maintenance unless, of course, they break because of the weight.
  • Tile roofs are eco-friendly. They are made from earth minerals, not synthetic material, which makes them completely recyclable.
  • The heavy thermal mass of tiles helps in regulating the indoor temperature.


  • A tile roofing system can cost as much as twice or thrice, as compared to a shingle roof.
  • Even though this roofing system is quite durable, materials like clay, slate, and concrete can be easily broken when experiencing a heavy impact.
  • If installed in a low-line environment, algae growth is a common threat.
  • Not only are these tiles expensive on their own, but the installation can jack up the cost even higher, since finding a professional installer is necessary for this type of roofing system.

Are shingles better than metals installed in warmer states, such as California?

A number of industry publications have reported that a shingle roof life expectancy is somewhere between 20-50 years in the south-western US. We also know that a metal roof life expectancy is around 50-100 years in California’s climate.

So if you are planning on building a forever home for yourself, it is easy to conclude that you will have to install 1-2 shingle roofs which is quite suitable.

Let’s compare a number of other factors to conclude a considerable answer,

Shingle roofs in warmer states

Walkability: not recommended.

Energy efficiency: good (cool roof).

Recyclability: limited.

Fire rating: class A.

Wind Rating: 20-50 years : 60 mph- 110 mph.

Roof life: 20-50 years, to limited lifetime warranty.

Metal roofs in warmer states

Walkability: yes.

Energy efficiency: excellent.

Recyclability: 100%.

Fire rating: class A.

Wind rating: 120 mph.

Roof life: 50 years/transferable.

With all the qualities being compared, if you’re living in a warmer state like California, it comes down to your preference.  Metal roofs will be a  better option for you than shingle roofs if you’re a looking for a long term project. But if you’re looking for a suitable option for any residential project, then shingle roofs can work for you too! Shingle roofs are the most common roofing material, especially if you’re considering adding solar panels.

Shingles are the most popular roofing material in California because we now offer more durable and high-quality weather resistance and easy installation at a low price.


When it comes to selecting a roof for any kind of industrial or residential project, it’s not just a matter of construction and appearance, but it’s also a matter of trust. You should know that the roof you’re going to be living under/ working under is trustworthy.

If you’re looking for any kind of residential or industrial roofing services like roof repair, new roof, annual inspections, etc., in Los Angeles surrounding areas, contact Energy Roofing.  Check out some reviews for Energy Roofing Yelp to see what others are saying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What new roofing options do I have?

There is a vast variety of new roofs to choose from that can accommodate any style of home. Material, color, and style, all can be personalized based on your personal needs. For more information on the different types of roofing material, check out this article “Top Roofing Materials for Homes.”

How long will my new roof last?

Not even the best quality roofing system can last forever, that being said, the better your installation and material, the longer your investment will last.

How do I know I’m choosing the right contractor for my roof?

One thing that can help is that you find a good referral, find out what you can, and choose what you think is the best for you. If you are anywhere from Los Angeles surrounding areas, we can assure you that is your ideal roofing contractor.

Is having a permit a necessity if I want to get my roof replaced?

If you’ve hired a contractor to replace a roof, it’s their job to take care of the permit for you, but it is important for you to confirm that with the company you’re getting the services from. Just in case they are not taking care of the permit or you are getting the roof replaced yourself, your next step should be talking to the city development services.

When is the best time of year to replace a roof?

There is no official “roofing season”, but summer and fall are usually the busiest months for roofing contractors in Southern California. Factors like rain and high wind can impact how quickly roofers can safely and effectively get their roofs finished.