Types Of Roofing Materials

Stephen Vernon
April 3, 2023

What To Know About The Types Of Roofing Materials

When you’re looking to add a new roof to your home, either because you want to change or update the look or there’s been damage to your roof, it’s essential to take into consideration the types of roofing materials that are out there so that you know which one is best for you. Roofing options are pretty far and wide, so knowing what’s available will help you make the best choice for your home and your wallet. So what kind of common roofing materials are out there?Asphalt, Cedar, Slate, Synthetic, and Metal.

Asphalt Shingle RoofsAn asphalt shingle roof is a common occurrence. Why is this roofing material so popular? Because it is one of the most affordable roofing types on the market, and that leaves homeowners with more money that they can use to improve and/or decorate the interior of their homes. So what are asphalt shingle roofs made from?An asphalt roof is mainly made up of asphalt shingles. The roofer layers the shingles over each other and nails them to the baseboards of the roof to hold them in place. There is a plethora of shingles to choose from, including color, shape, and overall look, to create a unique appearance that will make any homeowner happy.

Types of shingles

The types of asphalt shingles come in three primary forms: dimensional, luxury, and 3-tab. Three-tab was the most popular form of asphalt shingles, but it was quickly replaced with dimensional shingles and is the most commonly used type today. Not only that, but 3-tab usually has a 25-year warranty on them, while dimensional has a 30-year warranty, making them a little more attractive option. Luxury shingles are marketed just as much as dimensional, but they’re twice the price, making them exclusive to only those who can afford them. Luxury shingles also have a 30-year warranty, which seems to be standard for most roofing types.

Cedar Shake Roofs

A cedar shake roof is a premium system from natural wood and is considered the most aesthetically pleasing of the types of roofing materials on the market. In the construction of the shingles, cedar trees are cut into two-foot sections that are then hand-split or sawed into a tapered thickness.If a hand-split process is used, you have a more rugged look; if they’ve been sawed, they will have a smoother appearance. The unfortunate downside of using natural materials like cedar is that there is no manufacturer warranty on them if they start to fail, so you have no idea how durable they are. You’ll have to pay out of pocket to replace them if they fail. One safety net is the roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty, which will help you to protect your roofing investment.Cedar shake roofs are not the most durable roofing material out there because they will quickly lose color, crack, rot, and curl over time, depending on what kind of climate they’ve been exposed to.

Slate Roofs  

Slate roofs are one of the roofing options available on the market. They are from natural slate tiles. The slate is mostly mined from Italy. It gets cut into square tiles that roofers install one at a time. Of course, this talent requires a lot of time, patience, and expertise on the contractor’s part to get a proper installation. And because of the materials and expertise required, it can be costly to install a slate roof. Your home also has to be built and framed to carry the weight of slate tiles, or else it has to be retrofitted entirely to accommodate a slate roof.However, the benefits can be a real pay-off after spending time and money. A slate roof, though one of the more expensive roofing options, is also one of the longest-lasting types of roofing materials, showing very few signs of wear and tear, chipping, or erosion years after installation. In fact, it could be the very last roof you ever install on your home, and that’s how durable it is.

Composite (Synthetic) Shingle Roofs

Composite shingles are the latest trend in the market regarding types of roofing materials and are growing in popularity daily. Also known as synthetic shingles, composite shingles are made from recycled materials like rubber and plastics in their construction. This is a great way to put old materials to good use by existing in another form instead of creating more garbage that sits in a landfill. For this reason, you mainly have two different kinds of composite shingles.Composite cedar shake shingles: these are not made from recycled cedar but from an engineered polymer designed to make the shingles look like cedar but will last much longer regardless of the weather.Composite slate shingles: In constructing composite slate shingles, molds are made of cedar or slate tiles so that the composite shingles can look as authentic as possible. You won’t be able to see the difference between composite slate shingles and the real thing from the ground, so your neighbors might think that you spent a lot of money on a new roof when you’ve only paid a fraction of the cost.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs (Snap lock)

When comparing roofing materials and deciding what metal may be the right type, you should know that there are typically two types of metal roofs. There is a standing seam and screw-down panels; however, only the standing seam type of roof is recommended for your home.A standing seam metal roof is a beneficial type of roofing material because it can work wonders for your home. It involves a series of metal panels that are locked together at the seams, or they’re seamed together mechanically. Because of how they’re put together, the panels can expand and contract freely with changing temperatures so that they don’t crack or break, leaving you without adequate shelter overhead. Although it’s not as popular as asphalt, it has quickly become one of the more popular roofing options.

Pro of metal roofing

One of the best things about a metal roof is its versatility. You can choose to use it on the entirety of your roof or use it as a roof accent and pair it with any other roofing materials for a unique look. It really depends on what kind of aesthetic you’re looking for.The other type of metal roofing is corrugated metal roofing. This is typically referred to as barn metal or even pole barn metal, as it's easy to purchase and install for barn-like structures. Read more blog content on metal roofing: What color metal roof fades the least? or Does a black metal roof make your house hotter?

Some questions to ask about roofing materials

After seeing what the different types of roofing materials exist in the market, you might be considering how you determine which one is best for you. It would help if you asked some critical questions to help you figure it out.

Question 1: What Look Do I Want For My Roof?

These types of roofing materials mentioned above each offer something different when it comes to appearance. These are things you can mention to your roofing contractor, but here is a cut-and-dry explanation of what look each roofing material type can do for you. 3-tab and dimensional are the most commonly used, but they’re not going to give you an appealing look that stands out from the rest of your neighborhood. If you don’t really care much about the appearance of your roof, this might be the right choice.However, if you want your roof to stand out from the rest of the houses around you, you may want to consider luxury asphalt shingles, cedar roofs, slate roofs, standing seam metal, or composite. These kinds of roofs won’t appear like anything else in your neighborhood.

Question 2: Which Roofing Material Type Fits Your Budget?

First of all, a new roof will always be an investment because you’re making an improvement that will last for years. But before you can get a return on that investment, you have to face the costs of the roof upfront. So paying too much upfront may not seem like the best idea. Here’s what you should do when deciding between different types of roofing materials and how they fit into your budget.If you’re searching for the most affordable roofing option or don’t have much of a spending budget, you may want to go with the asphalt shingle roof. But if costs aren’t an issue, then you have more flexibility in which roofing types you can choose from. Each roofing type will have a different cost, and it also depends on how big your roof is. Contact your nearest providers to obtain quotes and decide which works best for your budget.

Question 3: How Long Do You Want Your Roof To Last?

As stated before, the longer the roof lasts, the more return on the investment you’ll receive on your roof. You wish to get as much out of it as possible before selling your home. Asphalt shingles last anywhere from 23 to 30 years. Cedar roofs last around 30 years, but they can go up to 50 years if you choose quality materials and maintain their upkeep so they last in the right conditions. Composite roofs can last 40-50 years, and a standing seam metal roof can also last 50 years. If you want a quality roof that lasts a lifetime, then a slate roof has the longest durability: 75 to 100 years.Blog Content: Top 5 sustainable roofing materials.Now that you know what’s out there, you should consider making the call to get a free estimate today! You might be surprised by how affordable a new roof could be for your budget.

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