How Many Years Does a Roof Last For?

If you’ve moved into an older house, or you’ve lived in your property for a while and your roof is looking a little neglected you might be wondering is it time for a new one? And how long do roofs last anyway?

Roofs do have a lifespan.

So, what is the lifespan of a roof, how long can you realistically keep the same roof on your home before it’s time to replace it.

We’ll explore that here and help you decide if it’s time for a new roof, or perhaps there’s a cheaper option like roof restoration that might work to extend the life of your roof.

Let’s take a look…

Different Roof Types and How Long They Last For

Different roof types have varying lifespans so let’s break it down so you can work out the length of time you can expect your roof to last.

Terracotta Roof Tiles

It has an average lifespan of 75 years. Older terracotta tiles can become brittle though, so older roofs need attention and TLC to ensure the tiles don’t crack and cause damage. We find properties with terracotta tiles and closer to the beach seem to last significantly less to those not prone to salt water in the air.

terracotta roof tiles


The average lifespan for asphalt/shingles roof is around 25-30 years. A very popular choice in American homes, they have a shorter life span in very hot climates, which is why they’re not too common here.

a roof with shingles

Concrete Roof

The lifespan of this type of roofs is over 50 years.

a concrete roof

Metal sheeting roof

Colorbond is pretty much a household name now, although other brands are available. Corrugated metal is extremely common across Australia and a popular choice for homes.

As metals like steel and aluminium have a 50-year lifespan and zinc and copper up to 100 years, it’s easy to see why metal roofs become a popular choice.

an Australian house with a corrugated roof

Slate roof

Over 100 years lifespan which makes them one of the most durable roofs and they’re growing in popularity around Australia thanks to their British heritage.

a grey slate roof

Wood Shingles/Shakes

They last about 25-30 years. However, wood can trap moisture easily, so a wooden roof will require maintenance and upkeep to maintain that lifespan.

a roof with wooden shingles

What Type of Roof Will Last the Longest?

So, a slate roof is the longest lasting and becoming more popular in Australia. They are expensive to install and very heavy, so they have pros and cons. It’s one of many reasons why they’re not the default roof on Australian homes, but they are durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Corrugated metal and terracotta tiles with their 50 and 75 year lifespans, respectively, are winning the race on Australian homes. However, keep in mind Metal/Colorbond require very little maintenance, where as terracotta will need restoration works every 10-20 years.

What Decreases the Lifespan of a Roof?

The lifespans we have provided for the above roofs are variable as there are circumstances that can degrade a roof more quickly and decrease the lifespan.

Such as:

  • Environmental factors
  • Climate
  • Humidity
  • Overhanging trees
  • Rainfall/Hail/snow/sun
  • Algae/Moss/Lichen

To maintain the integrity of your roof and aim for one of the lifespans listed above, keep an eye on your roof’s condition.

Is your roof over 25 years old?

If so, it’s probably time for a professional inspection from a roofing expert and may be time for a restoration or new roof.

Just because it’s hit 25, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time for it to retire to the big roofing heaven in the sky, but it does mean it’s become a little elderly and needs some attention and care.

Check out our post on What’s Involved in a Roof Inspection and learn about what’s involved.

At PorterVac we have been restoring and refreshing roofs for decades. Our team are the absolute experts with Melbourne roofs, across all varieties or popular Australian styles.

We can assess your roof and provide a long-term solution to extend the life of your roof, upgrade it or recommend an option that works best for your property.

Get in touch to organise an appointment.


Do roofs have a lifespan?

Yes, roofs do have a lifespan. Different roof types have varying lifespans depending on the type of material.

What type of roof is the longest lasting?

A slate roof is the longest lasting roof. Although, they’re not the default roof on Australian homes, they are durable and aesthetically pleasing.

What decreases the lifespan of a roof?

There are circumstances that can degrade a roof more quickly and decrease the lifespan such as environmental factors, climate, humidity, overhanging trees, rainfall/Hail/snow/sun, algae/moss/lichen.

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