Roofing Materials and Their Pros and Cons

5 Types of Roofing Materials and Their Pros and Cons

From terracotta to textured concrete, tile roofing looks beautiful and can last a lifetime. It’s also fire-resistant, making it a popular choice in areas prone to wildfires.

New synthetic options are designed to look like cedar shake shingles and slate tiles. They’re durable, low-maintenance and very affordable. But they’re only right for some homes.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common and cost-effective roofing material in the United States. They are waterproof and fireproof, offering extra protection to your home. They work well with most roof types but are especially suited to steep-sloped homes.

They are fiberglass mats covered with an asphalt coating and coarse mineral granules. The granules help to deflect the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Shingles come in a range of colors, designs, and textures. They can even seem like tile, slate, or wood. Luxury or architectural shingles are great for greater durability and energy efficiency. However, they have a shorter lifespan than other roofing materials and are more prone to damage from strong weather conditions.


Metal roofing has become popular for residential homeowners due to its longevity, low maintenance and energy efficiency. Available materials include steel (galvanized, galvalume or weathering), aluminum, copper and zinc. Panel styles range from vertical seam, corrugated panels and granular coated metal shingles.

Expert roofing company recommends steel roofs that are durable, lightweight and can withstand high winds, hail and other environmental conditions. It’s also available in various finishes matching other building materials like wood or stucco.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles provide the traditional look of a Mediterranean or Spanish-style roof. They also work well with various siding materials, making them suitable for homes in different architectural styles. Clay tiles are one of the most durable roofing materials available, with a lifespan of up to a century.

Tile roofs are naturally fire resistant, which is beneficial if your home is in an area prone to wildfires. Additionally, they are great for resisting harsh weather conditions and climate change.

However, this type of roof is incredibly heavy. This can add stress to the structure of your house, and you will likely need to have it inspected and reinforced before opting for a tile roof. This is especially true if your existing roof is made of asphalt shingles.


Known for their durability, concrete roof tiles are tough and last longer than other roofing materials. They also provide great insulation and weather protection.

They are, however, not fire-resistant and can be damaged by hail or falling items. Concrete may also absorb water, promoting the growth of moss and mildew.

Concrete tiles are available in various shapes and colors to complement home decor. They’re made of cement, fine aggregate, and color and texture-enhancing additives. They’re an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a classic tile appearance and may mimic the functions of more expensive clay tile roofs.

They come in different profiles, including mission S-tiles (also known as “Spanish S” tiles), villa tiles, and flat shake tiles that resemble wood slates or cedar shakes.


Rubber is a durable and pliant roofing material that can be used on flat roofs. It also requires less care than shingle roofs and, when correctly built, may last up to 50 years.

It can withstand heavy rainfall and snow. It’s also fire-resistant, which may help lower homeowner insurance rates. It’s an eco-friendly option, as it takes less energy to produce than other roofing materials.

Installing correctly can be easy with a professional roofer’s help. A professional should check that the seams are properly sealed, as this is where leaks usually occur. Additionally, it’s important to have a proper sheathing layer underneath the rubber to prevent moisture from building up. It has a very strong odor when brand new. This might be difficult for some people, especially in an open space like a sunroom or porch.

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