These shingles are the least expensive types of roofing materials. So it is no surprise that they are also the most common in suburban neighborhoods. They are easy to install, flexible, and it comes in different colors. If you’re looking for basic and budget, this is what you need.
The downfall to these shingles is that they are not the most durable, though. Weather is its enemy. Wind can flay it, water can rot it, and heat can warp it. If this is the roof your houses started with, you’ll definitely need roof replacement along the way. And if you like to think green, this isn’t the best option either. Asphalt is made from petroleum by-products.
Terracotta, concrete, and slate tiles are classical roof materials. With regular maintenance, these natural weatherproof materials can easily last for centuries. It’s a family heirloom. If you don’t mind paying for its initial premium price, it can save you a lot of roof replacements.
One drawback is how heavy they weigh — as you might expect from real solid earth tiles laid down on a roof. These materials aren’t for houses with weak truss structures.
You might also find it hard to find tile replacement. While it stands the test of time as a whole, a single slate tile can be fragile. If someone with heavy foot walks on your roof, some tiles may not survive. If you need to replace a tile, you might not find a perfect match. That’s one of the reasons you might see tile roofs with uneven colors. While you might need to replace single tiles, you don’t need to replace the whole thing as often as other roof materials.
If you’re looking for a rustic out-in-the-woods feel, cedar wood shakes and cedar wood shingles will do that for you. Because of its installation and maintenance costs, it’s rare to see suburban homeowners to try and pull this off. But if you have the budget for it, it’s guaranteed to make your house stand out in the neighborhood.
Once it’s installed, cedar wood roofs are worth its price. It has a longer lifespan than most common roof materials. It’s both windproof, weatherproof, and durable.
This roofing material also has a fair grade in terms of being eco-friendly. Apart from being a natural material, the roof insulation it provides allows you to save on energy bills from your heating and cooling systems.
Metal roofs offer the most customization options among all types of roofing materials. To comprehensively discuss the pros and cons of metal roofs, we need a separate blog post to talk about it. However, this section will only talk about the metal roofs as a whole.
From the ‘rusty barn/factory look’, metal roofs evolved to be one of the most stylish and versatile roof materials in America’s modern houses. Metal roofs are known to be very durable, often lasting as long as the house itself. It’s strong, walkable, windproof, and with the right coating, weatherproof. If maintained regularly, rust never becomes a problem throughout its lifespan.
It’s also one of the most versatile roof materials in the market. It can be shaped to fit any roof designs, it can be painted with any color, and it can be made to mimic other types of roofing materials — such as wood, slate, or terracotta.
Because it’s lightweight, it’s easy to install to any type of house. It can even be installed directly on top of old roof. This both saves time and the environment, as it avoids any needless disposal of asphalt shingles.
Speaking of the environment, metal roofs are very eco-friendly. For one thing, its reflective properties can reduce cooling costs up to 25 percent. It can also be recycled and repurposed without any loss of strength.
However, metal roofs also come with its own list of cons. They’re expensive, especially if you want to mimic other types of roofing materials. Some types of metal roofs can also be dented with enough pressure. And if you don’t like the white noise of heavy rain hitting on metal sheets, you might find metal roofs annoying especially if you don’t have solid sheathing and insulation.
If you want the greenest roof material out there, it’s solar panels. Right now, you can turn your roof into an energy-generating house utility. This effectively lower or eliminate your electric bills. If you’re living in a place where the sun is the only enemy, this turns it into a friend.
However, you can’t install solar panels without an existing roofing material to lay it on. It’s more of a secondary installment than a primary one. Of course, this excludes Tesla’s solar tile technology. Plus, if you’re thinking of moving out soon, you should hold this off until you settle down for good. Not to mention, the up-front costs of solar roofs might turn you off from the options.