The Types of Roofing Materials

July 1st, 2015

There are many types of roofing materials, each having different advantages and disadvantages depending on what the homeowner is looking for, and the region of the country you live. Take into consideration the factors that influence your roof, and which material will best suit you.

Things to Consider When Choosing Roofing Materials

If you’re building a new home, or replacing the roof on your existing one, consider these things before choosing the roofing material:

• What types of weather conditions are common in your area? Rain, snow, hurricanes, or tornadoes should all be considered.
• What is the cost? Make sure the roofing material you get is worth the cost.
• What is the slope of the roof? Some roofing materials are better suited for slope than others.
• Will the roof fit in with the style of your home?

Asphalt Composition Shingles

Asphalt Roofing shingles
The most popular roofing material for homes in the US is asphalt. Compared to metal roofing, it will wear and will need to be replaced over time.

• These shingles will either be made with organic paper fiber mat or fiberglass. The fiber mat is more resistant to cold weather and wind, while the fiberglass will be more fire and moisture protected.
• These shingles can be used on low to steep sloped roofs.
• There are both the traditional 3-tab shingle appearance or the thickly laminated architectural shingles for homes.

Metal Roofing

New blue grey roofing from stainless metal plate
Metal roofing is more expensive than the more common asphalt shingles, but will last longer and is more resistant to wind damage.

• There are many types of materials that can be used in metal roofing, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.
• The metal roofing can be installed in sheets, or as shingles.
• Metal roofs are very durable, able to withstand weather conditions, fire, and wind.

Metal roofing is available for steep or low sloped roofs. While more expensive than asphalt, the cost of metal roofing ranges from moderate to expensive.

Concrete Tile

Roof Inclined

Concrete tiles are more expensive than asphalt and metal, but their life-cycle cost is dramatically lower because the roof won’t need replacement every 15 – 20 years. In addition to this, they are fire resistant and attractive.

• Buildings built according to standard building codes after 1980 can withstand the weight of concrete tile.
• Concrete tiles are made from a sand and cement mixture. They can be designed to look like wood shakes, slate, or clay tiles.
• There are many colors available
Concrete tiles have little maintenance but can break under certain conditions.

Clay Tile

Orange terracotta old style roof tiles pattern

Clay tiles may break easily when dropped, but once on the roof they are not only fire resistant, but can last a long time and are aesthetically pleasing:

• Clay tiles are made by firing in a kiln.
• These roofs have the traditional Spanish and Italian look, giving a unique appearance.
• The clay is a natural material, making this roofing eco-friendly.
• Clay tiles require little maintenance, but can be brittle and break in the wrong conditions.
• Roofs with moderate to steep slopes can use clay tiles.
• Compared to other roofing materials, clay tiles are expensive.

Plastic Polymer

These roofing shingles are made of synthetic material.

• These can be made from recycled materials, and be recycled when replaced.
• Moderate to steep slope on roofs can use plastic polymer shingles.
• These shingles are long lasting and are fairly low maintenance.
• Compared to other roofing materials, plastic polymer are moderate in cost.

Wood Shake

Wooden roof Shingle texture

Wood shakes are made from rot resistant woods, and can be treated to be more resistant to fires:

• The most common material used for wood shakes is cedar for its rot resistant quality.
• Wood shakes are natural looking, and can be thick or sawn depending on the roof.
• Requires more maintenance than other common types of roofing material.
• Moderate or steep sloped roofs can use wood shakes.

These are just a few of the most popular types of roofing materials. Consider where you live, and other factors when choosing the roofing material for your home.

When looking to install snow guards, solar panel systems, or ventilation systems on your roof, TRA Snow and Sun products that work on all roof types, making it easy for you.