Types of Roofing Material – Know Before You Choose!


Choosing the right roofing material is usually the most critical step for any homeowner having a roof installed. One of the biggest mistakes that a homeowner can make in this process is choosing poor quality or cheaply priced goods that can result in a roof that requires a lot of maintenance or, worst of all, necessitates the replacement of the entire system within a short time span. Learning about the different types of coverings available and their composition and benefits can greatly aid anyone who desires a new roof.


Homeowners should realize that spending a large sum of money on their roof does not necessarily mean they bought the highest quality available; instead, they should select the product based on what would best meet their needs. Homeowners can reap the benefits of a quality home covering by carefully selecting the best materials, finding a reliable construction company to properly install it, and performing occasional maintenance.

Types of Material

The following is a break down of the most popular materials available today.

  • Shingles – Shingles are an affordable, clean-looking and durable option. They are generally composed of fiberglass and asphalt and may contain some recycled components. There is a large selection of brands, colors and types that can be easily adapted for different applications. Contractors may find that shingles are easy to install; in some cases, they can be nailed directly over the existing housetop. They require low maintenance and the surface is sturdy enough for a person to walk on without worrying about causing any damage.
  • Wood Shakes – This type of material is designed for those who want a roof with a more natural appearance. It comes in a variety of cuts, widths, colors and thicknesses, so each shake will differ from another. One of the major benefits of wood shakes is the insulation it provides to the attic. One downfall of them is the need for frequent maintenance and repairs. They do not last as long as some other materials because of problems caused by nature such as mold, rot, and wood parasites. Installation can be more difficult than that of shingles. The quality of the finished job depends on the experience of the contractor.
  • Clay Tiles – Clay tiles are suitable for those who are looking for a modern and clean look. Because they will not burn, rot or be harmed by parasites, their lifespan is much longer. Though clay tiles do require little maintenance, if any is required, it may be difficult due to the fragility of the tiles.
  • Slate – Slate is an expensive type of roof covering yet offers a very natural look. Just like clay tiles, slate has a superior lifespan, requires little maintenance, and is not vulnerable to rot or fire. Slate comes in numerous sizes but has a limited color palette. It is heavy and may require extra support from the roofing system, which makes it an expensive choice.
  • Metal – Zinc, copper and lead are materials that have become more popular for use on roofs. Metal can be made to resemble other types of coverings, such as wood shakes, shingles, and clay or metal tiles. Metal is fire-retardant, durable and has almost no need for maintenance. Installation is best when it is done by professionals and costs more when compared to other choices.

Homeowners may be overwhelmed by the wide variety of roofing materials that are available for selection. In addition to the traditional coverings that are available, there are some modern products available that are made from plastic, concrete and fiberglass. There are also new types of components that are being developed that surpass the older ones in meeting the high demands of modern roofing techniques. Whether a homeowner is replacing an existing structure or installing a brand new version on a newly constructed home, learning about the different choices available can help them in choosing the most suitable one for individual home requirements. Knowing about the different types of material allows the best selection for each individual roofing need!


Source by C. Michael Hunter