Comparing and Picking Roofing Types


Whether you’re building a new home, renovating or just need to re-shingle, there are many elements to consider — such as price, durability and style — when looking at roofing types.

Let’s take a look at some of your roofing material options.


Asphalt is the most commonly used material on roofs — probably because it’s the most cost effective, comes in many colors and makes roofing relatively easy to install.

The granules are the part of the roofing shingle that offer UV protection, and they also provide the color you want your roof to have.

The next layer is the asphalt coating, which is the portion of the shingle that provides waterproofing qualities. The thickness of this layer varies depending on the weight of the shingle.

Another valuable quality of asphalt shingles is that the majority can resist winds of more than 60 miles per hour.

On average, asphalt shingles last approximately 20 years.


The types of metal used for roofs are aluminum, copper, steel or zinc alloy. One of the advantages to a metal roof is the light but robust material doesn’t absorb the sun’s rays. Instead, it reflects the heat, and the surface cools down quickly once the sun sets. This results in low energy costs for for heating and cooling your home.

Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles. However, the lifetime for a metal roof far surpasses that of shingles — lasting anywhere from 30-50 years.

Clay Tiles

This type of roof has been around for thousands of years. They were first used in China and the Middle East starting around 10,000 BCE. They remain in use because they continue to work well, even in the present day.

Clay tiles are fire resistant and can tolerate harsh weather conditions. They also shed heat from the summer sun and insulate during the winter months. Clay tiles, however, are heavy and must have a reinforced roof frame to support them.

Clay Tiles give a home a traditional Spanish or Italian look. They can last anywhere from 50 to 70 years, but they can be quite expensive to install.


This organic material has a natural ability to help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in winter. Wood also gives an earthy look to a home, and the wood fibers create an extra layer of insulation.

This material does require some maintenance, however. For instance, the wood will need to be re-oiled periodically and cleaned to remove the growth of any moss or mildew. Another thing to keep in mind with wood roofing is that it does have good wind resistance, but it’s not very fire resistant.

Wood roofs that are properly installed and maintained can last 30+ years, but they can be expensive to put on.

Slateroof slate

This durable material makes for a wind and fire resistant roof. However, it comes with a big price tag — and weight.

A specially-trained installer must also be hired for the roof’s installation. Once it is installed, a slate roof can last 75+ years — it’s by far the longest lasting, but it’s also the most expensive.

Choosing a roof type is an important decision. If it’s done right, your roof will keep your home safe from the elements for years to come.