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7 Types of Roofing Materials: Which Should You Choose?


Are you in need of a new roof? Maybe you’re building a house and looking for the best types of roofing materials to use? There are so many options to choose from, each with unique characteristics and advantages. Because there are many types of roofing materials on the market, property owners may struggle to find the best roofing material for their needs and desires. At Discount Roof, we are here to help you find the best types of roofing materials for your home or business.

In this post, we will explain many different types of roofing materials, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Some roofing materials are best for different climates, some are good for people on a budget, some are incredibly durable and long-lasting. Whatever your goal, we will help you identify the best roofing material options for your property.

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There Are Many Different Materials for Roofing

From sloped roofs that are lined with shingles to flat metal roofs, there are many different roof styles and roofing materials used in modern construction. The type of roof is typically determined based on the building or homeowner’s preferences, the climate, the budget, and the aesthetic goal for the property. Each of the various types of roofing materials bring benefits and different appearances.

Some roofing materials will be more energy efficient, and some will be more resistant to wear and damage. Many roofing materials are able to be customized with different colors and styles, whereas some types of roofing materials are more rigid in their designs. The most important thing is to find a roofing material that suits your home or building, fits into your budget, and protects your property.

Types of Roofing Materials for Homes & Businesses

While there are many types of roofing materials, we have emphasized the most commonly used materials below. These include shingles, metal, wood, clay, and other roofing materials. Let’s explore the roofing materials that are most commonly used for residential (and some commercial) properties throughout the country.

  1. Asphalt Shingles:
    Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material in the United States, as these are very versatile and can be used in any weather conditions. Most asphalt shingles now contain a layer of fiberglass to create additional strength and resistance for your roof. There are many styles of asphalt shingles, and they can be customized to meet the aesthetic needs of any property.
    • Advantages: Budget-friendly, customizable, and easy to install.
    • Disadvantages: Can be damaged more easily than other materials; prone to wind damage.
  2. Wood Shakes & Shingles:
    Wood shakes are pieces of split wood that take random shape, whereas wood shingles are specifically cut to create the desired shingle shape. Both types create a classic, timeless appearance that can complement many homes. Due to their natural origins, wood roofing materials are also eco-friendly and can naturally insulate your home, lowering energy expenditures.
    • Advantages: Elegant, timeless style; lightweight roofing material; environmentally friendly & energy-saving.
    • Disadvantages: Can be costly; may not hold up as well in areas with frequent heavy rainfall or areas with brush fires.
  3. Metal:
    Metal roofing materials are used in a variety of different building styles, both residential and commercial. With a sloped or flat roof, metal types of roofing materials can be used to complement the style of the building and provide a durable protective barrier from the outdoor elements. While wood shake and shingle roofs can be a problem in rainy or fire-prone regions, metal roofs work well in all of these locations.
    • Advantages: Highly customizable; very durable in any climate; long-lasting.
    • Disadvantages: Can be costly; may be noisy when it rains or storms.
  4. Solar Shingles & Solar Roofing:
    Solar roofing materials are a modern way to increase energy efficiency in your home or business. While some property owners elect to install solar panels on the roof, some may actually choose to install solar shingles that form a roof themselves. These panels are useful, but solar roofing materials tend to be less durable than other types of roofing materials. In addition, solar roofing may not be as useful in shady areas or in climates with less sun.
    • Advantages: Improve energy efficiency; can generate energy for your home; eco-friendly solution to roofing.
    • Disadvantages: Less durable and versatile than other roofing materials; not appropriate for some climates or geographic areas with less sun; can be costly.
  5. Slate:
    Slate roofing is a natural stone roofing material that is elegant and lasts more than a lifetime. In fact, slate roofing can actually last over a century (that’s 100 years!). While it can be costly, its longevity often makes it worth the cost. Slate is very resistant to any weather conditions, but it can be broken if stepped on. In addition, slate is very heavy and you may need to add structures that will support the weight of slate roofing materials.
    • Advantages: Highly durable to weather conditions and very long-lasting; protects from water damage, mold growth, and fire damage.
    • Disadvantages: Expensive; can break with impact; heavy and may require the installation of additional support structures.
  6. Clay & Concrete Tile:
    Like slate roofing, clay and concrete roofing materials are heavy and may require additional supports. With their interlocking tile pattern, these masonry roofing materials are also durable and resistant to heavy wind and extreme weather conditions. Clay and concrete roofing tiles can be customized to suit your needs and desires, and they can complement many building styles. Typically, clay should be used in warm, dry climates; wet and colder climates can damage this roofing material. Concrete is more versatile and can be used in other weather conditions.
    • Advantages: Long lifespan; concrete is resistant to many weather conditions; customizable and significant aesthetic value.
    • Disadvantages: Clay isn’t ideal for cold or wet climates; both can be heavy and require extra support structures.
  7. Built-Up Roofing (BUR):
    This roofing material is used for flat roofs, primarily on commercial properties. It is made of many layers of tar, asphalt, or adhesive between layers of felts or ply sheets. Then, the roofing is typically covered with small stones or gravel.
    • Advantages: Highly resistant to hail and storm damage; very durable; long lifespan for a flat roof; very insulating and energy efficient; high fire resistance.
    • Disadvantages: Can crack or split in colder climates with freezing temperatures.

There are many types of roofing materials, and each one has unique benefits. Whichever style you choose, make sure you find a reliable roofer to professionally install your new roof. With a team like Discount Roof, you will have a roofing company that can help you determine the best roofing style while also installing it correctly. This will ensure you have the longest-lasting, most durable roof, no matter the roofing material that you select.

Types of Asphalt Shingles for Your Home

As the most common roofing material used, asphalt shingles tend to be durable and resistant to any climate. They provide protection from snow, wind, rain, hail, and more. Luckily, asphalt shingles are highly customizable and tailored to the homeowner’s needs and preferences.

Asphalt shingles are typically made in the same fashion. They consist of three layers: a fiberglass first layer, the asphalt layer itself, and finally a surfacing material (the rough component on the outside of the shingle). The fiberglass layer acts as a water repellant, protecting your roof from water damage. Then, the asphalt is layered in the middle to create durability and strength while adhering the fiberglass and surfacing material. Lastly, the surfacing material is usually composed of mineral granules that provide UV protection for your roof.

While asphalt shingles generally are composed of the same layers, they come in many styles. Here are some of the most common types of asphalt shingle roofing materials:

  • Traditional Asphalt Shingles:

    These come in either 2, 3, or 4-tab styles, with 3-tab being the most commonly used for residential properties. These tabs are made within one shingle but give the appearance of multiple shingles. Usually, you can find these in multiple styles. They will lay flat against the roof structure, protecting your home from the outdoor elements.

  • Architectural Shingles:

    Architectural shingles have a more molded, eye-catching appearance. While traditional shingles lay flat, architectural shingles are layered to create a contoured appearance. They are often styled to mimic wood shake roofing materials. In general, this type of asphalt shingle offers greater protection from the wind, while also giving a more unique aesthetic.

  • Premium, or Luxury, Shingles:

    These shingles are typically larger in size than traditional shingles. They often are styled to resemble slate roofing. Some roofing suppliers offer different types of shingles that may have other characteristics and still be called luxury or premium shingles. Overall, these add a customizable, elegant appearance to your home.

While these are not the only types of asphalt shingles that you will find advertised, they are the most common. There are asphalt shingles to match any style of home, and they come in a variety of colors and designs. Because of their versatility and custom designs, asphalt shingles remain one of the most common types of roofing materials for modern buildings and homes.

Metal Roofing Materials

Like asphalt shingles, metal roofing materials offer a wide variety of designs and characteristics. In addition to providing customizable styles, homeowners also have the ability to select different types of metal roofing that will match their property and suit their individual needs.

You can find metal roofing composed of:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Steel
  • Tin

Each type of metal roofing offers unique benefits. Aluminum is typically lightweight and non-corroding. Copper and zinc are usually more expensive but highly durable. Steel is widely used today and comes in a variety of finishing colors. While you may be able to find properties with tin roofs, tin is not generally used in modern roofing. Overall, there are many metals used for roofing, and metal roofing is very durable and long-lasting.

Metal roofing materials also come in a variety of styles. Each style has unique benefits and aesthetics. Here are the most common metal roofing styles:

  1. Standing Seam Metal Roofing:

    These roofs are formed from several metal panels that interlock and are fastened underneath the exposed seam. While the seams are visible, the fasteners are hidden underneath the metal roofing materials. With standing seam metal roofing, very little maintenance is required.

  2. Corrugated Metal Roofing:

    This style of metal roofing uses metal sheets that are formed into corrugated patterns with ridges and valleys. Typically, these types of roofing materials tend to look industrial. Corrugated metal roofing is very durable and long-lasting.

  3. Stone-Coated Metal Roofing:

    With this style, metal sheets form the base of the roof, then they are covered with stone granules. This allows for the durability and longevity of a metal roof while maintaining the aesthetic of an asphalt shingle, wood, or clay roofing material.

  4. Metal Shingle or Tile Roofing:

    For appearances similar to more elegant roofs, metal roofing material can be formed into shingles, tiles, or shakes. This allows a metal roof to mimic the look of asphalt shingles, wood shakes, clay tiles, and more. With this style of roofing materials, the roof can be both incredibly durable and visually appealing.

Like asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofing materials come in many forms. Whether you want to mimic another type of roofing material or you enjoy the industrial appearance, metal roofing can be the solution. With steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper, you can create a roof style that will complete any home or building.

There’s So Many Options…How Do You Choose the Right One?

While this article explains the numerous roofing options, you may still be left wondering which choice is right for you. The truth is, there may be many answers that can hit the mark for exactly what you want on your property. To determine which types of roofing materials are best for you, reach out to your trusted roofing company: Discount Roof.

At Discount Roof, our roofers know the ins and outs of every roofing material. We can help you determine the ideal roofing for your home or business by considering several factors. Our team will assess the climate and environment in your area, your aesthetic goals, your budget, and your preferences as we help you determine the best types of roofing materials for your property.

Ultimately, when you are building a home or replacing your roof, you can decide which roofing materials you like best. While it’s important to consider longevity and price tags, you need to make a selection that you will be happy with. You will see your roof everyday, so choosing one that complements your property is a necessity. Luckily, our roofing team can help you examine your options and choose the best one for you.

In Conclusion

There are many types of roofing materials that can work effectively for any building or residence. Whether you have a commercial location with a flat roof or a home roof with a steep slope, there are several options for different roofing materials. The most common types of roofing materials include asphalt shingles, wood shakes and shingles, metal roofing, clay or concrete tiles, slate, solar roofing, and built-up roofing. All of these come with unique styles, benefits, and considerations.

With so many types of roofing materials to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision. When selecting a roofing material, you should always consider your budget, environment, and visual preferences. At Discount Roof, our roofers can help you examine your options and determine the best roofing materials for your home or building. Contact us now with any questions or to schedule a consultation!

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Contact Discount Roof Today for a Roofing Estimate

Not only can our team help you determine the best types of roofing materials for your home or building, but we can also provide an accurate estimate for your roofing project. Our team is timely, courteous, and honest. We guarantee excellence and integrity in every roofing service. When you are searching for the best roofing materials or looking for the most reliable roofing company around, contact Discount Roof! We’ve got everything you need. Call us today for a free estimate or a consultation to discuss your roofing needs.