Top 5 Roofing Materials

Each type of roofing has its pros and cons. When looking at the kind of roofing materials you want for your structure, it’s important to research the benefits, potential issues, and cost-effectiveness before settling on a decision. Be sure to speak to roofing contractors near you to make the best possible choice for your needs.

A red metal roof against a blue sky

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is very prominent in areas where extreme weather, such as heavy snowfall or wildfires, may be commonplace. It is lightweight, durable, and recyclable. It comes in two styles, panels, and shingles, and can be made from aluminum, copper, stainless steel, or zinc. The most popular choice is standing seam stainless steel roofing, so chosen for its interlocking raised seems which help keep moisture out. The initial cost may give some buyers pause. However, it is a worthwhile investment considering that metal roofing is known for outlasting its competition.

a roofing contractor nails down asphalt shingles

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common choice for homeowners given their cost-effective nature. It is easy to install, lightweight, and adaptable to different roofing styles. Composite asphalt shingles are made from fiberglass which is covered in mineral granules or cellulose with asphalt. Shingles have a worthwhile lifespan if they are properly maintained and easy to replace if the roof suffers damage. Unfortunately, they do not provide the same insulation as other roofing materials which can have a long-term effect on your energy bill.

terracotta tiled roof against a blue sky

Clay Tiles

Clay or ceramic tiles are perfect for hot climates or salt air environments such as desert or oceanfront properties. Clay tile is made from earthen clay which is molded into interlocking shapes that make for an elegant, Mediterranean aesthetic for your home. It can be left unglazed for the traditional reddish-orange look or glazed and fired to make ceramic tiles. Clay tiles have to be installed by a professional as they are quite heavy and require additional framing to be fully supported. However, they have one of the longest lifespans, are low maintenance, and provide excellent insulation for your home.

Synthetic Shingles

Synthetic shingles are constructed from engineered polymers such as rubber or plastic. It is very cost-effective by comparison and its lightweight composition makes it ideal for houses that cannot support heavy materials. It is not as fragile as some of the natural roofing options and from the ground is almost indistinguishable from slate. However synthetic shingles do not have as long of a lifespan as other materials. Their quality may vary and poor-quality synthetics may absorb water over time.

wooden roofing tiles

Wood Tiles

Wooden tiles have a rustic, natural aesthetic that can be very appealing on the right house. The shingles are made from thin slabs of cedar, redwood, or southern pine which are cut to precision. You can also choose to utilize shakes, which have a rougher cut and thicker wedge. They provide twice the insulation of asphalt shingles and are a natural product. However, they have one of the shortest lifespans as roofing materials and are prone to rot or mold in wet climates. Additionally, if you live in a wildfire zone the tiles must be treated with a fire-resistant coating. Some areas do not allow for wood roofing at all given the risk factors.

Remember that a good roof is an investment worth your time and effort. With all the factors involved in selecting the right roofing material, it’s important to speak to a professional before making any final decisions. Talk to us at Wagner and discuss what materials will work to balance the functionality, aesthetic, and price tag of your future building.

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