Distinguishing Between Different Roofing Materials!


 Roofing  systems have a wide variety of designs as well as many different types. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to distinguish between each type of  roofing   material  to accurately choose the one best-suited for individual needs. There are several determining factors that can influence this decision.

In many instances, style is preferred rather than durability or appearance over efficiency. Whichever preference is desired, it is vital to make a logical decision based on the different types of material that can endure the elements of nature. When choosing the right product, there are many options available including the more familiar ones: asphalt; metal; slate; clay; and wood are some of the choices.


Asphalt shingles are the most widely used  roofing  product across the United States. They are not only popular but are also durable, easy to install, repair and one of the least expensive materials, coming in many different styles, colors, textures and degrees of durability. They are made from fiberglass matting coated with weather-grade asphalt granules to provide color and resistance to fire. At one time, this type of  material  had only one standard of thickness available; however, due to advances in  roofing  technology, many manufacturers have developed this product with several layers together to form a dimensional appearance.

Asphalt shingles can last up to fifteen years, if properly cared for through a good maintenance program. Some commonly encountered problems include: extensive granulation; buckling; splitting; cupping; curling; and missing shingles.


This material has gained increasing recognition in both the commercial and residential market because it: is light-weight; has a long lifespan; is durable; and is resistant to hail, fire, wind and melting snow and ice. It is effective in reflecting the sun’s ultraviolet rays, decreasing utility costs both in the summer and winter.

Metal requires professional expertise for installation and it is much easier and faster to apply than other types of  roofing . Depending upon the desire aesthetic appearance, choices can be made from galvanized or Galvalume steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper. Although the initial cost is expensive, it can be recouped by its low maintenance requirements and long service life.


Slate is considered to be a historical  roofing   material  as well as one of the most durable and natural-looking products. It comes in variety of colors, dependent upon the mineral and chemical composition. The color changes over time due to weather exposure and makes it exceptionally appealing. Slate can last for as long as a century or two; however, it should be noted that it is: extremely expensive; very heavy; labor intensive; needs strong structural support; and also great installation skills. The initial cost may be high; however, the long-term cost is actually quite low.


For a conventional and rustic appearance, wood shingles or shakes is the best option, usually coming from red or yellow cedar. They can have a service life from fifteen to twenty-five years; however, very premium material can last for up to a half a century. It has a high insulating capacity as well as being eco-friendly, light-weight; and resistant to wind and hail. Although the price is much higher than asphalt shingles, the beautiful appearance is still important to many home designers.

There are numerous types of  roofing   material  and it is vital to choose the one that is best-suited to an individual structure. When deciding upon the best material to use, rely upon varying factors such as style, price and location of the structure. Decisions are commonly made based on style, color and weight as well as local accessibility; others consider maintenance and repair costs. Whatever factors impact the decision-making process, it is vital to know and be able to distinguish between the different types of  roofing   materials  so the right choice can be made!


Source by C. Michael Hunter