Whether you need a new roof because your old one was destroyed in a storm or because it’s just time to replace it, you’ll need to decide on the type of roofing materials. The average homeowner may have a difficult time navigating this process. Ultimately, you do not want to waste money on roofing materials you do not require. 

Making a decision of this magnitude necessitates a lot of research. Overwhelming amounts of information are available online.  We hope this article can shed light on the many roofing materials available. 

12 Common Types of Roofing Materials

1. Asphalt Composite Shingles

Among many options for a home’s roof, asphalt shingles are the most popular choice for residential roofing in the U.S.

It is well accepted that asphalt shingles can withstand a wide range of climates and environmental conditions. However, due to their shorter lifespan, they need to be changed after around 20 years, depending on where you live. Impact-resistant shingles may be a good idea for people who live in places where hail is a regular occurrence. Installing impact-resistant roofing ahead of time may possibly qualify you for a discount on your insurance cost.

Asphalt shingles are an excellent choice for the average American first-time home buyer since they are low-maintenance, low-cost, and simple to install. They are available in three designs, which is another reason they are the ideal pick: 3-tab shingles, dimensional asphalt shingles, and luxury shingles.

2. Slate Roofing

Slate is a natural stone that is extracted from a quarry. Depending on the quarry, it can come in various colors, including red and green. Slate is hefty and long-lasting. It can add a sense of permanence and gravity to older, traditional government and educational buildings. However, slate is a high-priced material.

Because asphalt shingles are not built to handle the weight of a slate roof, you’ll need to check this out before making the decision to go with it. When it comes to installing a slate roof, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

3. Metal Shingles

Metal shingles have a far longer lifespan than many other roofing materials. They look like cedar shingles, and slate impressions will cost less and endure longer than their wood counterparts.

Zinc and aluminum metallic coating is applied to carbon steel to create steel metal shingles. The steel is protected against corrosion by its metallic covering. A paint finish or an aggregate coating is usually applied on top of the coating by the manufacturer to provide further protection. Numerous metal shingles are also manufactured from aluminum and copper, which are naturally rust-resistant.

Metal shingles may be more expensive up front, but they offer the look of natural materials without the maintenance costs or other issues associated with many other materials, as well as the possibility of lowering insurance costs.

4. Fiber Cement Shingles

Fiber cement has been used as a roofing material in the United States for over a century. Fiber cement shingles were originally made of asbestos, but today they are made of cellulose and synthetic fibers.

These shingles are long-lasting, fireproof, and comparatively light. These can be tinted and shaped if you want to mimic the look of slate or wood shingles. They are lighter and more delicate than clay or concrete but can persist for 50 years. 

5. Clay Tile

Clay tile can endure extremely high temperatures and are extremely durable. Therefore, modern clay tile roofs are typically used in areas with warmer climates. However, you can use them in colder climates, provided you get tiles that are resistant to the freeze-thaw cycle. Functionally and aesthetically, they are best suited for homes constructed with clay or concrete in the southwestern states.

Clay shingles are significantly heavier than asphalt shingles or metal roofs, so you must ensure that your home can support the additional weight before installing clay tiles. Additionally, they have a higher initial cost than other types of roofing and may require  higher repair expenditures if your property is located in a storm-prone area.

6. Concrete Tile

Like clay tiles, concrete tiles can be installed in various ways and have many of the same advantages. Standard sand-mix concrete is mixed with whatever color pigments are requested and molded into tiles. Various profiles are offered, some resembling rolled clay tiles and others like low-profile wood shakes. Decorative coatings can also be applied to concrete tiles. It’s a terrific choice for high-wind areas because it’s hefty roofing material.

The average lifespan of concrete tiles is 50 years or more.

7. Solar Tiles

There is no difference between solar tiles and photovoltaic panels when it comes to their performance. However, when it comes to their construction, solar tiles take the place of conventional tiles on a roof, whereas photovoltaic panels are installed on top of an existing roof.

Immediately after this roofing material is installed, homeowners can see a significant decrease in utility costs. This makes achieving 100% independence from local utility companies and avoiding the ever-increasing electricity bills possible in the future. 

Solar tiles are far less expensive than traditional roofing materials when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Solar tiles are highly resistant to wind, hail, and fire, which is why they are so popular today. When it comes to weather resistance, all Tesla solar tiles have been certified to the highest grades possible.

8. Membrane Roofing

Membranes made of thermoplastic polymers have a long service life. They can endure punctures, splits, chemical spills, oils, and more because of their flexibility. They also prevent the formation of bacteria and stagnant water, both of which shorten the membrane’s lifespan.

Membrane roofs are also well-known for their capacity to save energy expenditures, in part because of their heat resistance. UV rays are repelled by their high reflectivity, which lowers cooling and energy costs by keeping them out of the structure.

9. Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing (MSR) is an oil-based asphalt product with a mineral surface that is supplied in 100 square foot rolls and weighs approximately 75 pounds per roll. Any home improvement store, hardware store, or online retailer should carry it. 

However, a rolled roof has a slew of drawbacks. There aren’t many color options, and it’s not particularly eye-catching. It also only lasts for 5-8 years, making it less long-lasting than shingles. Even so, they’ll still be one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions for a low-incline roof. For your shed, it’ll work just well. Rolled roofing can be installed either by torch-down or by roofing nails.

10. Standing Seam Metal Roofing

The most popular type of metal roof is the standing seam metal roof, which is named for the elevated seams that interlock to keep water out. Because metal roofs are completely fireproof, they are becoming increasingly popular in locations where wildfires are a significant threat.

11. Built-up Roofing

A common type of low-slope roofing is built-up roofing, often known as BUR. Built-up roofing (BUR) is one of the oldest roofing options. Reinforcing fabric and bituminous (asphaltic) layers alternate with a top layer of aggregate, such as stone or gravel, to form this material.

Low-slope or flat roofs benefit from BUR because it provides a seamless seal. Roof shingles, on the other hand, are not watertight and necessitate a rather steep pitch in order to shed rainwater properly.

12. Eco-Friendly Green Roof

In metropolitan settings, stormwater runoff mitigation is the main benefit of a green roof. Our sewers and rivers will eventually be polluted by runoff from roof surfaces, which contributes to erosion. Green roofs are better at managing runoff from storms because they absorb rainfall and release it slowly over several hours than the typical residential roof. Because of this, you don’t need to buy the best gutter guards as you would with a standard roof.

There are two types of green roofs: “extensive” implies the roof is thin and intended mainly for light-weight growth like moss, or it can be “intensive,” which means it can support enormous plants and people. Green roofs can be an excellent option for individuals who are ready to invest the money to make a statement about environmental issues.

How to Pick the Right Roof Material?

At the end of the day, choosing a roofing material is a matter of personal preference and financial consideration. While some roofing materials can provide a significant advantage, for the most part, it comes down to what you want and what you can afford to spend on your home.

A lot will depend on how long you intend to stay in your house when figuring out the actual price to pay. For example, a metal roof is more expensive per square foot than an asphalt roof. On the other hand, metal roofs are expected to endure much longer than asphalt roofs, making them more cost-effective in the long term. The initial investment may be expensive, but you’ll save money in the long run, thanks to the metal roof’s long lifespan.

Get in touch with Paragon Remodeling to Learn More About Roofing Materials

New roofing can also increase the curb appeal of your home. In order to make an informed decision about what type of roofing material is best for you, it’s important to understand all of your options. We hope this post has helped break down the different roofing materials available to you and given you a good starting point for your research. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact a reliable roofing contractor like Paragon Remodeling. We would be happy to help!