What type of roofing material should you use?

Every homeowner has to consider the type of roofing material they are going to use at least once. They could be building a home and are trying to figure which type of roof will suit them best. Or they could be renovating and are considering a modern improvement to their current roof. Now, keep in mind that long gone are the days where you only had two choices for roofing. Today there are multiple ways in which you can cover your home and all of them have their pros and cons. So, let’s take a closer look at which types of roofing materials are out there.

What type of roofing material is out there?

Asphalt shingles

Let’s start off with the most common type of roofing material in the US. Asphalt shingles are by far the most used roofing material, as they are both cost-effective and easy to maintain. Furthermore, they are quite resilient which makes them useful in various climate conditions. There are many subcategories of asphalt shingles, from impact-resistant ones to wind resistant. But, for the sake of keeping things simple, we are going to separate them into two groups:

  • Fiberglass shingles – These shingles are made from fiberglass and covered in asphalt. After that comes a layer of granules that reflect sunlight and give fiberglass shingles its distinct color. This type of roofing material is lightweight and tear-resistant.
  • Organic shingles – These shingles are a bit more eco-friendly as they start off as recycled paper. This paper is first saturated in asphalt and afterward covered in granules. Although this process makes organic shingles heavier and harder to work with than fiberglass, it also makes them more stable in strong winds.

So, consider carefully the area you are situated in and which asphalt shingles suit you best. With luck, you should get a decent type that will keep you safe and sound for the next 20 years.

Most houses in the U.S. have asphalt roof shingles.

Alt: A house with asphalt roof shingles.


Metal roofing, on the other hand, will easily last you for over 60 years. This, of course, depends on the type of metal that you use. You can even place it as support for existing roofing, therefore avoiding certain downsides of metal roofing. Unfortunately, metal can quite loud during rain and hails, which is why it is mostly used for commercial buildings. Furthermore, depending on your local climate, you might have to worry about corrosion as certain metals are quite prone to it.

Clay tiles

Clay roof tiles are another example of a sturdy yet expensive type of roofing material. They will withstand storms, strong winds, and even earthquakes. But, they are susceptible to impact damage, which is why hail can damage them. Clay and concrete roof tiles are best suited for warm, dry climates.

Green roofs

Green roods are usually seen on buildings, as they are a neat way of implementing a local garden. When properly made, green roofs provide excellent support and insulation as they are quite absorbent and resilient. But, you will have a hard time installing one, as there are multiple factors that you need to take care of. You will need to address structural support, thermal insulation, drainage, soil, plants, and water filtration. So, learn what roof installment is all about from sites like amroofingcompany.com. Again, when done properly, green roofs can be a terrific garden oasis. But, they are expensive and difficult to maintain.

Green roofs can be quite beautiful and eco-friendly.

Alt: A stone house with a green roof.


If you live in an area where there is little hail or storms, then slate roofing is the type of roofing material for you. While this roofing material is expensive, it will easily last you for over 100 years. It is waterproof, fireproof and quite resistant to fungus and mold. This makes it excellent for damp climates, but not those with heavy storms or hails. Keep this in mind as slate is easily broken and a single bad storm can ruin it.

Solar shingles

Solar shingles are special solar energy collectors that are seamlessly integrated into the regular roof tiles. These collectors can generate up to 1 kW of energy, per 100 sq feet. This makes them ideal for homes that are situated in sunny areas, where solar panels are not an option. And, similarly to solar panels, these shingles can be expensive to install. But, they will pay off in the long run as you will have to pay less for energy.

Wood shingles

With its natural beauty, wood shingles are the usual choice for log cabins and summer homes. Builders usually use woods like cedar and redwood as they contain oils that give them natural resistance to insects and moisture. When installed properly, wood shingles can last up to 10 years more than asphalt shingles and have much better insulation. But, if not installed properly, they can present a fire hazard and a maintenance nightmare.

When installed correctly, wood can be one of the best type of roofing material.

Alt: A house with a wooden roof, showing that it can be one of the best type of roofing material.

How to choose the roofing material that suits you

So, which type of roofing material should you go for? Well, as you have probably noticed, there are different factors that you need to consider. You first need to take into account your local climate. Getting the wrong type of roof for your local climate will easily lead to a disaster, which is why you need to limit yourself. Then you need to consider your budget. Know that dealing with a roof is a continual process and that there is rarely a type of roofing material that will not require maintenance every once in a while. This is why professionals should take care of your roof, and you need to focus on finding the best possible ones.

Consult with realtors when buying a home

The final thing we would advise you to do is to consult with your realtor about roofs when buying a home. Real estate trends sometimes include different roofing materials. This is why, if you want to properly manage your new home, you need to know the type of your roof and the former maintenance of it.

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