Popular Residential Roofing Materials

If you have never replaced a roof, or have not done it in a while, you will be surprised by the massive array of materials that are available nowadays. Each has its pros and cons, and so, before you pick one, it is essential to take the time to compare the common ones and see what’s best for your situation.

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The Various Types of Residential Roofing Materials

The material you pick will have an impact on the cost of the installation, how well it holds up to elements, how easy it is to fix and how long it will last before it calls for a replacement. In some situations, the material will have a lesser or more significant impact on the environment than others that can affect the heating and cooling costs of your residence. In this read, we are going to take a look at come of the most common materials out there: Asphalt Shingles, Metal, Slate, and Wood.

Asphalt Shingles

Ideally known as composition shingles, this type of material is popular with homeowners. That’s because they happen to be least expensive and call for the least maintenance of the roofing materials available today. Asphalt shingles also come in an array of styles, colors and are recyclable. Reputable roofers will have numerous varieties and styles of asphalt shingles and will explain the key differences between each and find one that meets your needs and budget.

Composition shingles are made of fiberglass or rag fiber, mixed with asphalt and covered with mineral granules to lend them their texture and color. They are some of the purest materials to install and come in handy in an array of applications. In some cases, they can even be installed over an existing roof.

The downside to asphalt shingles is that they have a limited lifespan when compared to other materials. They can ideally blow off in heavy storms and have a pretty dull look.


Metal roofs have been enjoying a comeback of late. Most of the historical monuments and homes have metal roofs that utilize materials like lead, zinc or copper. However, modern metal roofing utilizes steel, but a few contractors still use copper. These roofs can be made to resemble shingles, tiles or wood shakes.

Metal is a low-maintenance, durable and fire-retardant material choice for your roof. It can help keep your house cooler in summer as it reflects heat, blocking heat transfer to the attic. It’s ideally lightweight and can also be installed over an existing roof.

However, installing a metal roof can be quite tricky and so, you will want to ensure that you find a company with experience in this line of work. If you do, then you will enjoy a truly historic and distinct roofing material.


This is all-natural and very appealing material that has been used for roofing for thousands of years. It is durable, fire-resistant, rot-resistant and extremely versatile. Roofs made of slate usually increase the value of a home and looks and are low-maintenance, energy efficient and long lasting- from tens to hundreds of years. So, if you consider its longevity, it can be the most cost-effective material for a roof.


However, even with its appealing benefits, a slate is quite expensive, and because it’s made of rock, it is ideally heavy. In some cases, the contractors need to add extra support to ascertain that the roof can handle the weight of the tiles. It is also fragile and tends to break easily, particularly when ice forms on it. For optimum performance, regular inspections and maintenance are required.

Wood Shingles

This is another all-natural roofing material option. It is less bulky and less expensive than its stone counterparts and easy to repair as well. Since it is an all-natural material, there’s a lot of variation in the shingles, and that means your house will look distinct, not forgetting that the shakes will vary from another. Wood is ideally energy-efficient, helping ventilate and insulate the attic. Wooden roofs are especially popular with the owners of historic homes.

The drawback is that maintenance is a huge consideration with these shingles. Wood can harbor mold, rot and attract insects. This makes regular inspections crucial to the protection of the material. They are also harder to install compared to asphalt shingles, and if the roofers are not familiar with the installation process, the results can be horrendous.

These are the most common materials when it comes to residential roofing. To help you decide which one is the best for your home, budget, and needs, you should consult an experienced roofer in your region.

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