The roof does not only protect your home from external elements, but it also improves its curb appeal. And that is why you may want to choose the most durable roofing material.

Understanding how long certain roof materials can last offers your home a uniform appearance with more value.

And many materials can give you that satisfaction.

So, how long does a roof last in Southern California? This is the question we will answer here.

Simply put, it all depends on the materials. Tiles, for instance, are extremely heavy and low maintenance and last longer than other materials.

Many homeowners here choose asphalt shingles because they are more affordable. However, they require regular maintenance and are not very durable. Factors like material composition and weather conditions can significantly reduce their life span.

Keep reading to discover more.

How Long Does a Roof Last in Southern California - San Diego Roofing Solar

Types of Roofs and their Lifespan

You get good protection depending on the roofing material you choose. Knowing which material offers protection for the longest period will help you make the best decisions.

Here is a breakdown of what you can get from different roofing options.

Asphalt Shingles

Walk across California, and you will not miss meeting an asphalt shingle roof. This is one of the most popular materials, and it has been used for a very long time.

Regarding durability, it all depends on the quality of the materials. There are three different categories:

  • Premium shingles. These are the highest quality shingles with a lifespan of 20 to 30 years.
  • Architectural shingles. Also known as dimensional asphalt shingles, they can last for 15 to 25 years.
  • 3-tab shingles. You can get 10 to 20 years with your residential asphalt roof if properly maintained.

Using asphalt shingles, you can choose from a wide range of colors for your roof replacement needs. And although they are the least expensive, they are not very durable.

Various types of asphalt singles offer different durability, as shown below.

Composite asphalt shingles

Composite shingles are the most common type since over 80% of homes have them. This is because of their low price, simple installation, and remarkable lifespan.

You can get up to 20 years without facing a leaky roof. But if properly maintained, this material can last for up to 50 years.

Asphalt 3-tab shingles

Manufacturers warranty a new roof with 3-tab asphalt shingles to last for 25 years, while architectural ones promise 30 years. Under severe weather conditions, asphalt shingles can deliver over 80% of the maximum life.

Asphalt fiberglass 3D Shingle Roofs

This is another great roofing choice that has proven very effective. Your roof can easily last from 30 to 50 years under proper maintenance.

Tile Roofs

Roof tiles are considered one of the most durable roofing materials on the market today. They are more expensive than asphalt and fiberglass materials but promise more benefits.

Here is a breakdown of the durability of different tile products:

  • Concrete tile. Concrete tiles are the most affordable and lighter option. They can last for 50 to 75 years, depending on maintenance.
  • Clay tiles. A clay tile roof can last for over 100 years under the best conditions. So, if installed and maintained properly, replacing your roof will take a lifetime.

Clay tile roofing materials are the most common in Southern Carolina. You will also find them in different other parts of the United States.

A tile roof is fire retardant, but there are other factors that will affect your roof’s lifespan. These include material quality, installation quality, and weather conditions. Still, tiles handle these issues better than other materials.

Also, you need to ensure your framework is strong enough to support them. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a lot of broken tiles and a damaged roof.

Metal Roofs

A roof’s life depends entirely on the material it’s made of. And metal is one of those roof options that are designed to last a lifetime. A high-quality metal roof can last for as long as a clay tile.

Here is a breakdown of different metal roofing materials and their lifespan.

  • Tin. This is one of the most popular metal materials, with an average lifespan of over 50 to 70 years.
  • Rubber metal. Rubber metal roofs with exposed fasteners can last for 25 to 40 years.
  • Ribbed metal with concealed fasters. These roofs can easily give you 30 to 40 years under the best conditions.
  • Standing seam metal roof. You can get 30 to 50 years from the theme if properly installed.
  • Copper and zinc. These are the longest-lasting materials that can go beyond 100 years.

Inspect your metal roof materials regularly, and you can surely get more life from them. Roofers charge for repair and installation per square foot, but it’s a worthy investment.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles may not be the best option if you are looking for a long-lasting roof. Just like asphalt shingle roofs, wood is quite prone to most build-up. Also, moss build is more likely to reduce the life of your roof.

On average, you can be sure of 15 to 20 years from a properly installed roof. Also, you need to ensure your roof remains under direct sunlight to keep it dry at all times. This can increase its average life expectancy.

Slate Roof

Slate roof materials are covered in real stone cut from quarry stones. It is an inorganic, thick, and impermeable roof material with the highest fire rating.

Since they are heavier, you must prepare high-quality, strong roof decking before installing them. It’s one of the priciest roofing options, but with a lifespan of 30 to 100 years.

This is the best alternative to asphalt roofing if you want one that will last a lifetime. However, proper installation, especially on the roof valley, is required to keep it safe for a long. And that is why we recommend hiring the most experienced roofer like San Diego Roofing & Solar.

Flat Roofs

Most commercial roofs come with flat roofs made from durable and fire-resistant materials. These roofs also offer better protection from high winds and other elements.

Depending on the specific material and how you install it, you can get an average of 15 to 25 years. Membrane roofs like neoprene, EPDM, and PVC offer 20 to 35 years, while built-up roofs deliver 20 to 30 years of lifespan. It is crucial to regularly inspect your flat roof so that the material does not deteriorate quickly.


Single granules and wood shingles make less durable roofs, while metal and tiles make more durable ones. Aside from that, there are several factors that also determine a roof’s useful life. These include quality, maintenance, weather conditions, and installation methods.

Call our experts at San Diego Roofing & Solar, and you can be sure to get a long-lasting roof. We use our experience and expertise to offer Southern California’s highest-quality roofs.