slate roof

How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?

When homeowners are weighing their roofing option, they begin to question how long does a slate roof last. Simply put, slate roofs are stunning. While asphalt shingles have come a long way recently, there is no matching the aesthetic of slate roofs. As technologies expand, most manufacturers try to emulate the look of slate. While this is growing in popularity among most, they have been unable to replicate both the true look and lifespan of slate. If you find yourself asking a homeowner how old their roof is, don’t be surprised to hear ages of 70 or more years. On these homes, it is commonly suggested to embark in restoration rather than replacement. Since slate stands the test of time, it is common for slate roofs to outlive their homeowners.

It must be said that the cost of slate reflects the lifespan. While slate roofing lasts a lifetime, the upfront cost is much higher than asphalt, rubber, and metal. Homeowners will traditionally opt to repair rather than replace their tile roofs. When discussing slate roofs, we are discussing traditional, natural slate. These are tiles that come from quarries and are cut to size. Other options, such as man-made tiles are less expensive, with a shorter overall lifespan. One thing to keep in mind is slate roofs cannot go on any home. Due to their increased weight as compared to asphalt, load must be taken into account when designing a project.

How Long Does a Slate Roof Last: The Lifespan


So exactly how long does a traditional slate roof last? A general answer to this depends on the type of slate, but an average timeline is 50-150 years. Slate roofs do not deteriorate like their asphalt counterparts. When they develop leaks, it is usually is not due to malfunctioning, worn tiles. More than likely this is caused by a failure in another aspect of the roofing system like the flashing. Also, unlike asphalt, slate roofs require much less in the way of yearly maintenance. As they are moisture resistant, they are unlikely to support moss and algae growth. This means that how long a slate roof lasts is not impacted by weather.

Unexpected Benefits of Slate Roofs


Like previously stated, slate roofs require little in the way of yearly maintenance. This means that homeowners do not have to be as worried during their fall cleanup and spring-cleaning maintenance routines. This is a major aspect to how long a slate roof will last as asphalt is impacted by a lack of moisture control. Also, slate is more durable than asphalt, so they hold up to strong weather events. This is especially nice during our harsh New England weather.

Also, slate roofs help in home insulation which prevents ice dams. Ice dams negatively impact the lifespan of asphalt roofs, so this is another benefit. It is wise to look at slate tiles as an investment rather than a high upfront cost. Slate roofs are shown to increase home values in the long run. It is likely you’ll recoup most of your investment upon sale of your home.

So, how long do slate roofs last? Confidently, longer than you’ll own your home. If you can justify the upfront cost, slate roofs are the best choice for your next roofing project. From an extended lifespan, to lower maintenance, slate roofs are the gold standard. Ranch Roofing has been installing stunning slate roofs across the greater Boston area.