Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
Cedar Site Logo

How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? Uncovering the Lifespan and Factors That Affect It

how long does a metal last


Choosing the right type of roofing material is one of the most significant decisions homeowners face when building or renovating a home. Metal roofing has gained widespread acclaim as a favored option for roofing purposes, owing to its exceptional strength and captivating visual appeal. This article will explore the lifespan of a metal roof, the factors that can influence its longevity, the pros and cons of metal roofing, and the signs of roof damage to watch out for.

Understanding the Lifespan of a Metal Roof

When pondering the question, “How long does a metal roof last?” it’s essential to know that the roof’s durability will vary depending on the specific type of roofing sheet used, the installation process, and the local climate.

Generally, a properly installed metal roof lasts significantly longer than traditional roofing materials, with an average lifespan ranging between 40 and 70 years. This extensive lifespan makes metal roofing a worthwhile investment for those who want a roof that will last a long time without needing replacement or significant maintenance.

Why Choose A Metal Roof?

When it comes to choosing a roofing material for your home, metal roofs offer a range of unique benefits that set them apart from other options. One of the key advantages of metal roofs is their exceptional durability. Unlike traditional asphalt shingles that may need replacement every 15-20 years, metal roofs can last 50 years or more, providing long-term cost savings. Additionally, metal roofs are highly resistant to fire, wind, and impact, making them a reliable choice for areas prone to extreme weather conditions. They also reflect heat from the sun, reducing cooling costs during hot summers. Finally, metal roofs are environmentally friendly as they are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Choosing a metal roof ensures a long-lasting, resilient, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly solution for your home

Examining Different Types of Metal Roofs

The longevity of a metal roof also depends on the specific type of metal used. Different types of metal roofs, such as those made from aluminum, copper, steel, or zinc, come with varying levels of durability and longevity.

For instance, steel and aluminum metal panels are known for their resilience and longevity. In contrast, copper and zinc roofs typically last even longer, with lifespans extending up to a century in optimal conditions.

Factors That Affect a Metal Roof’s Lifespan

While metal roofs are known for their durability, certain factors can affect the lifespan of a metal roof, including:

Installation Process

A well-installed metal roof will last considerably longer than one that’s improperly fitted. Employing experienced professionals for the installation process ensures the roof’s longevity.

Local Climate

The local climate can also influence the lifespan of a metal roof. Regions with harsh weather conditions, including heavy snow, strong winds, or extreme heat, may reduce the roof’s lifespan.


Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and occasional painting, can keep a metal roof in top shape for many years.

The Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

Like any other type of roofing material, metal roofs come with their own set of pros and cons. On the plus side, metal roofs are durable, fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and available in various styles and colors. On the downside, they can be more expensive upfront than other materials, and improper installation can lead to leaks or noise during rainstorms.

Signs of Roof Damage to Watch For

While metal roofs are highly durable, it’s still important to be aware of signs of roof damage. These can include visible dents or scratches, rust, and leaks inside your home. Regular inspections can help you spot these issues early and address them before they become major problems.

Which Roof Lasts the Longest?

While the durability of a roof can depend on various factors, in terms of materials, metal roofs are among the longest-lasting options. Their impressive lifespan and other benefits make them a strong contender for “Which roof lasts the longest.”


In the end, if you’re wondering, “How long does a metal roof last?” the answer depends on several factors, including the type of metal used, the quality of the installation, and the maintenance it receives over its lifetime. With the right care and conditions, a metal roof can be a durable, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing choice for your home.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


Free No Obligation Estimation

Recent Posts

Free No Obligation Estimate