A roof is one of the greatest investments you can make as a homeowner. Not only does it protect your home from the elements, it also adds to the curb appeal and resale value of your home. With all the different types of roofing materials out there, you may be left wondering, “What’s my best option?” To help you with that decision, we’ve put together the ultimate guide of different types of roofing materials.
There are many different types of roofing materials on the market. From the widely used asphalt shingle, to the innovative solar shingle, there are many options available for homeowners today. We’ve compiled a guide of the 8 most common types of residential roofing materials so you’ll know the pros - and the cons - before committing to a roof.
Asphalt shingles are by far the most widely used roofing material on residential homes. They generally consist of a fiberglass or felt paper base (usually fiberglass), coated with asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. They are affordable, easy to install, and easy to replace when damaged, making asphalt shingles a top choice for homeowners. The biggest downfall to this type of shingle is that it will only last 15-25 years before needing replaced. But for a homeowner on a tight budget, asphalt shingles are a great option.
Metal roofing is an excellent choice for a homeowner looking for versatility and durability. There are many different styles available, such as standard metal roofing, standing seam (hides the fasteners), tile, and shake. You can also choose from a large color palette. Metal roofing provides excellent durability, withstanding most severe weather conditions. A long lifespan is another attractive quality. Most metal roofs last 40-70 years! The biggest con to a metal roof is the high upfront cost. High end metal roofs are generally a couple thousand dollars more than asphalt shingles. But if you’re a homeowner with a generous roofing budget, a metal roof is certainly worth the investment.
Slate roofing is a beautiful, timeless option for roofing. Slate roofs exceed all other roofing in longevity, with an expected lifespan of over 100 years. They are 100% fire resistant and known for their general durability. While a slate roof may seem like a no-brainer, there are major cons to this type of roofing. They are incredibly expensive and require special skill to install. They are also hard to replace when damaged, break easily if walked on or hit with major debri, and weigh so much that some houses can’t support a slate roof. For these reasons, many homeowners tend to look towards other types of roofing materials.
Clay roofs are another classic type of roofing material. Clay tiles are used more often in hot climates, such as Florida or California. Unfortunately, clay roofs tend to crack in freezing temperatures, making them usable only in those warmer climates. Clay tiles do offer a long lifespan of over 100 years. They’re also fire and wind resistant, and require a low amount of maintenance. But like slate roofing, they are susceptible to damage if they are walked on or struck by large debri.
Concrete roofing is very comparable to clay roofing, with a few key differences. Like clay roofs, concrete roofs are fire and wind resistant. They do take in more moisture than clay, which will require more maintenance over time. They’re slightly more affordable, but their lifespan is reduced to about 50 years. Like slate and clay, concrete roofs are very susceptible to damage from large debris or if they’re walked on.
Wood roofs are a beautiful, classic roofing option. They are made from cut wood that is kiln and pressure treated to increase durability. Wood roofs are initially weatherproofed and able to fend off mold, rot, and insects, but they require a lot of maintenance over time to keep them up to par. If they aren’t maintained properly, the wood roof will be useless and prone to moisture damage and rot. This type of roofing material is pricey, and is generally not fire resistant. Some cities, like Los Angeles, have banned wood roofs because of the flammability aspect. If you are interested in wood roofing, check with your local authorities to see if it’s permitted in your area.
One of the newest options for roofing is the innovative solar shingle. Solar shingles differ from solar panels in that they are smaller (roughly the same size as a traditional asphalt shingle) and cover the entire roof. They absorb the sunlight and convert it into electricity for the home, which in turn saves money on energy costs. One of the biggest downfalls to solar shingles is the extremely high cost. The technology is also relatively new and constantly evolving. Forbes has an in-depth article on everything you need to know about solar shingles. If you are a homeowner interested in the newest technologies and have a generous budget, solar shingles might be the option for you.
Rolled roofing is comparable to asphalt shingles, except it’s thinner, less durable, and available in long 100 square foot sheets. Rolled roofing is an asphalt product, but its thin material makes it a poor long-term roofing solution. This type of roofing would be a good short-term solution because it is relatively inexpensive. It’s also lightweight, easier to maneuver, and can be applied in minutes. Unfortunately, the thin material is prone to damage, can only be used on low-sloped roofs, and carries a lifespan of only 5-8 years. It has no resale value and may not be allowed on homes in certain communities.
Investing in a roof for your home can be a rewarding process. Not only will it add resale value and instant curb appeal to your home, you’ll also rest easy knowing your home is safe from the elements. If you are stuck between the two most common types of roofing, check out our article that gives an in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of asphalt shingles vs. metal roofing. There are many different types of roofing materials on the market, but with a bit of research on the pros and cons, you’re sure to find the one that suits your needs.
ProCon Exteriors handles a wide array of exterior work for a home, but when it comes to installing a new roof, we have the expertise on different types of roofing materials. We also have the quality products and the quality workers that will handle the job in the most efficient and effective way possible.
We are committed to giving you the pros and the cons of the roofing & exterior services and products that are available for your home. We won’t try to sell you what you don’t need. We will make sure that you understand the variety of roofing, siding, window, and door products on the market. Our goal is helping you choose the right roofing system and exterior for your home.