Types of Roofing Materials

Roofing materials influence a home’s resale value, but the roof’s overall design is more important. A flat roof needs a layer of underlayment—often treated paper sheets or cloths with asphalt-impregnated fabric—on top of the sheathing, usually made of OSB or plywood.


Shingle roofs are attractive, and putting on a new one isn’t a difficult DIY project for competent homeowners. However, the work is labor-intensive and carries considerable heat and safety risks.

Asphalt shingles are a great choice for homeowners on a budget looking to upgrade their home’s roof. They are available in a variety of styles to match the aesthetics of any type of home. In addition, they are relatively easy to install and can be done by a professional roofing contractor or even DIYers with a little bit of experience.

One of the biggest benefits of asphalt shingles is that they are durable and long-lasting. They can withstand heavy rains, winds, and snow without damage. They are also fire resistant and offer an attractive, traditional look. Depending on the shingle style, they can even help to keep your home cool in the summer.

Another benefit of asphalt shingles is that they are easy to maintain and replace. They come in smaller and lighter pieces than other roofing materials like metal or slate, making them easier to handle for a roofing contractor to install or even for DIYers to replace a damaged shingle. This can save you money in the long run by reducing labor costs.

Although they are a good roofing material, there are some downsides to asphalt shingles. They can become discolored over time, which can be a sign of wear and tear. They can also be susceptible to damage from hail or other severe weather events.

While asphalt shingles are cost-effective and long-lasting, they don’t provide the same level of protection as other roofing materials. This means that it’s important to regularly inspect your shingles and remove any debris from the roof such as branches, leaves, or debris. If left to build up, this can cause moss or algae to grow on the shingles, which can damage the roof and shorten its life expectancy.

In recent years, a new type of asphalt shingle has been developed called luxury shingles. This shingle has several layers to create a more dimensional appearance and is more expensive than traditional architectural or three-tab shingles. However, these shingles are more durable and can be made to be energy efficient. This can save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

Concrete Tiles

A roof covered with concrete tiles adds a glamorous appeal to a home. They have a natural stonelike resilience, and they can offer a variety of aesthetic options that aren’t available with other roofing materials. If you’re considering tile, you should consult a roofing contractor that offers these materials, and can install them to industry standards. The best professionals have years of experience with this type of roofing, and will cover their work with guarantees.

These roofs are available in a wide range of colors and styles, to suit many architectural designs. Moreover, they are also more durable and weather resistant than other roof systems, meaning that they will last longer and require less maintenance. They can also help to keep your home cool in the summer, which can save on energy costs.

Besides their durability, these tiles are made with recycled concrete, which makes them a good option for the environment. They are also fire resistant, so you can rest assured that your house is protected in the event of a fire. If you choose to use concrete roof tiles, you should look for a contractor that can provide installation services that are up to industry standards.

In addition to their strength and durability, concrete tiles are very beautiful and come in a wide range of finishes and colors. They can be molded to look like more expensive clay and slate tile, so you’ll have no trouble finding the right fit for your home. The color of these tiles will fade over time, so you should seal them regularly.

They are also quite heavy, so you’ll need a roof structure that is up to the task. If yours isn’t, you may need to install a reinforcement layer. They are also prone to efflorescence, which can give them a chalky appearance.

Concrete roof tiles are also more costly than other types of roofing. However, they are a popular choice for homes in the Southwest and Mediterranean regions, where the climate is warmer.


Many people see metal roofs on commercial and industrial buildings, but they are just as often used on homes. They are a popular choice for new construction or re-roofing, and they can also be adapted to old shingle or tile structures. Metal roofs are generally considered durable, attractive, and energy efficient. They are typically built using galvanized steel, zinc, or aluminum and can be painted in a variety of colors. A major benefit of metal roofing is that it is long-lasting and often comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Metal is also resistant to fire and is often used in wildfire zones, where it helps protect homes from the destruction of forest fires. It is also easy to install effective insulation on a metal roof, which can reduce energy costs by keeping the home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

There are some disadvantages to a metal roof that should be considered, however. For instance, the metal can be noisy if it is raining or hailing heavily. This can be a problem if the living areas are close to the roof, but it is easily solved by adding sound-deadening insulation and solid plywood sheathing to the structure. Additionally, metal can be prone to dents from hail and falling branches. However, dents can be repaired by using specialized fasteners and coating the panels with protective paints.

Another drawback is that a metal roof may be slippery when wet and covered in snow, which can pose a safety hazard. This is especially true if the roofing contractor uses exposed fasteners instead of concealed ones. Finally, metal can be expensive compared to shingles and may require extra labor to install.

Whether you’re considering a new or replacement roof, it’s important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of all the available materials. A knowledgeable roofing contractor can help you determine the best option for your property based on the location, style, and requirements of your home.


Wood has been a popular roofing material since colonial times, and it still remains a common choice for upscale homes where the homeowner wants to create an authentic look. Wood shingles and shakes are natural and offer good insulation properties, which help to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This can save you money on your energy bills. Wood roofs are also attractive and can add a touch of rustic beauty to your house.

The type of wood you choose for your roof will depend on your region and climate. For example, cedar is an excellent roofing option due to its durability and resistance to insects and rot. Cypress is another great choice, especially in wet regions. Fir, which is often found in the Pacific Northwest, is also a good option for its strength and moisture resistance.

When choosing a wood for your roof, you should consider the grain pattern. Shingles and shakes are typically machine-sawn with cuts varying from along to against the grain. Edge-grain shakes and shingles are better because they tend to be more stable and durable than flat-grain shakes and shingles, which can distort over time.

While many people believe that staining a wood roof will protect it from water damage, this is not always the case. If the wood gets wet, it can swell, warp, or harbor mold and mildew. The best way to prevent this is by installing a waterproof barrier underneath the wood.

In addition, wood can attract termites and other insect pests, and it is a fire hazard in some areas, so you will need to treat your wooden roof with flame-retardant chemicals every few years. This can add to the cost and maintenance requirements of your roof.

However, if you are willing to invest in the necessary maintenance and protection products, a wooden roof can be a beautiful and long-lasting choice. It is just important to make sure that you are using the best quality wood, which is sourced from ethical sources. The type of wood you choose will also determine how much upkeep is required and how well it will withstand weather conditions such as strong winds, heavy rains, and snow.