Types of Roofing Materials Pros/Cons

Assorted roofing materials

Building a house from the base to the roof is a great achievement. The roof is a vital part of your house. It shields your family and all valuables from a lot of things. Besides, it ensures you live comfortably for extended periods.

You’re probably considering to replace that leaky or old roof that denies you the comfort you deserve. Or, you want to install a new roof on your property, eagerly waiting to start living in it.

What to Consider

When investing in a roof, it is important to consider your geographic location and budget, including:

  • Lifespan of the roofing material
  • Ability to withstand your region’s weather
  • Weight
  • Roofing slope
  • Environmental friendliness
  • Aesthetics
  • Local roofing regulations

Top 5 Types of Roofing Materials

Here are our top picks of the roofing materials to consider:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is one of the most common roofing materials on the market. In fact, about 80% of the market uses asphalt shingles due to their affordability. They are sometimes known as composite or composition shingles as they come either from fiberglass or asphalt, cellulose mat, and mineral granules.

Pros

  • Asphalt is incredibly affordable
  • It is more effortless and quick to install
  • Top-quality GAF shingles are highly durable and can last for a lifetime (up to 5 decades)
  • Fiberglass-strengthened shingles have a Class A fire rating. This means they are excellently resistant to fire and wind.
  • This roofing material comes in multiple colors to blend with your home’s décor
  • There are lots of styles to choose one that suits your roof slope needs best
  • Asphalt is easy to repair in case of damage
  • Shingles are also lightweight

Cons

  • Shingles are not environmentally friendly, although they are recyclable
  • Most asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan of 15-30 years
  • They may be vulnerable to intense storms, heat, and wind due to their lightweight
  • Asphalt requires high maintenance

Metal

Metal roofing materials continue to grow in popularity. They may be steel, aluminum, copper, etc. The durability, weight, resilience to fire or harsh weather vary from one metal to another.

Pros

  • Metal roofing materials have a longer lifespan of up to 60 years
  • They are available in a wide range of styles and over 100 colors to fit any architectural style
  • These roofing materials are highly resilient to fire
  • Metal roofing materials are eco-friendly since they are recyclable
  • They are energy efficient as they reflect away solar heat

Cons

  • Metal roofing materials are expensive
  • They may be noisy during heavy rainfall or hail
  • Prone to damage by large hail or tree branches which are expensive to repair
  • The roofs contract and expand so that the panels may get loose over time
  • Metal roofs may rust if water collects anywhere

Wooden Shakes

This type of roofing material comes from cedar or other wood. It is often thin, tapered wood pieces that cover a building’s walls and roofs to offer protection against harsh weather.

Pros

  • They are elegant and add an outstanding natural look
  • Wooden roofs last longer (up to 25 years)
  • Lightweight roofing material with excellent strength and protection from moisture
  • They are eco-friendly because they come from natural and biodegradable materials.
  • Wood shingles offer remarkable insulation
  • Easy to replace or repair

Cons

  • Wooden roofs are tricky to install
  • They are highly flammable and are also expensive
  • Wooden shingles need regular maintenance and protection, which can be costly.


Slate

Slate is amongst the most typical roofing materials. Most old and traditional buildings have slate roofing. It is elegant and adds a sense of beauty to any home.

Pros

  • Slate is incredibly durable and can last for around 100 years
  • It offers excellent resilience to strong winds and storms, including fire
  • Eco-friendly as it purely contains natural and recyclable materials

Cons

  • Slate tiles are easy to break in case they fall on any surface
  • They’re quite heavy, hence not suitable for homes without strong structural support
  • Slate is also expensive to replace
  • Limited range of color

Clay or Concrete Tile

Other than metal and composite material, tile roofs can also take the form of clay or concrete. These tiles are common roofing materials found on most stucco homes as they are heavy.

Pros

  • Robust, long-lasting with no or little maintenance
  • Inherently fireproof
  • Available in various architectural styles and colors
  • Allow customization to meet specific needs
  • Highly energy efficient with better sun rays reflection

Cons

  • Relatively fragile to stand or walk on and can break with ease
  • Amongst the most costly roofing materials
  • Underlying material may not last for long, hence need frequent replacement

There are lots of materials used for roofing. However, not all of them are the same. That’s why it is essential to consider factors like durability, resilience to fire and strong winds, budget, weight, roofing style, and many others before you choose a particular roofing material.

We hope that our discussion above on the types of roofing materials, their pros and cons will guide you to choosing the best option depending on your needs.