Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Which Roof Lasts the Longest?

which roof lasts the longest


Choosing the correct type of roofing material can be daunting as a homeowner. The roofing system is one of the most important aspects of a building, and it is essential to select a durable material that will last for many years. This article will discuss the various types of roofing materials available on the market and determine which one lasts the longest.

Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America. They are affordable, easy to install and come in various colors and styles. Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass, coated with asphalt and covered with ceramic granules. They have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, depending on the quality of the shingles and the weather conditions in the area.

Slate Roof

Slate roofing is one of the most durable roofing materials on the market. It is made of natural stone and lasts up to 100 years. Slate is fire-resistant, waterproof, and able to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is a heavy material and requires a strong roofing structure to support it. Due to its longevity and high quality, slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials.

Tile Roof

Tile roofing is another durable material lasting up to 100 years. Tiles are made of clay or concrete and come in various shapes and colors. Tile roofing is fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and can withstand high winds and heavy rainfall. However, tile roofing is heavy and requires a strong roofing structure. It is also one of the most expensive roofing materials available.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular due to its longevity and energy efficiency. Metal roofs are made of steel, aluminum, or copper and can last up to 50 years. They are lightweight, easy to install, and come in various colors and styles. Metal roofing is fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and can withstand extreme weather conditions. However, it can be noisy during rain and hailstorms.

Wood Shingle Roof

Wood shingle roofing is a natural and aesthetically pleasing option lasting up to 30 years. Shingles are made of cedar or redwood and are resistant to insects and decay. Wood shingles are fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and withstand moderate weather conditions. However, they require regular maintenance, are susceptible to mold and rot, and are not recommended in areas with high humidity or precipitation.

Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is a popular choice for flat roofs. It is made of synthetic materials such as PVC or TPO and can last up to 30 years. Membrane roofing is fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and can withstand extreme weather conditions. It is lightweight, easy to install, and requires little maintenance. However, membrane roofing is not recommended for areas with heavy snow or hail.

Choosing Your Roofing Material

When choosing your roofing material, it is essential to consider your budget, climate, and the material’s lifespan. Selecting a reputable roofing contractor who can provide a warranty on their workmanship is also essential. The lifespan of roofing material can vary depending on the installation’s quality and the roof’s maintenance.

Roofing Warranty

Most roofing materials come with a warranty from the manufacturer. Depending on the material, the warranty can range from 10 to 50 years. However, it is essential to note that the warranty does not cover damage caused by natural disasters or poor installation. It is crucial to select a roofing contractor with experience in installing the type of roofing material you choose and ensure that they provide a warranty on their workmanship.


In conclusion, the lifespan of a roofing material depends on various factors such as the quality of installation, maintenance, climate, and the type of roofing material. While asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material due to their affordability and versatility, they have a shorter lifespan compared to other roofing materials like slate, tile, and metal roofing. Homeowners who are looking for durable roofing materials that can last for many years may want to consider investing in slate, tile, or metal roofing. Wood shingle roofing and membrane roofing can also be viable options, depending on the climate and specific needs of the homeowner.

In summary, choosing the right type of roofing material is a critical decision for any homeowner. It is essential to understand the lifespan, durability, maintenance requirements, and cost of each type of roofing material before making a decision. Hiring a reputable roofing contractor and ensuring that they provide a warranty on their workmanship can also help protect your investment and ensure that your roofing system lasts for many years. Ultimately, taking the time to research and choose the right roofing material can provide peace of mind and protect your home for many years.

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.


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