It wasn’t too long ago that your roofing options were limited to asphalt shingles, slate, and concrete tiles. Today, roofing materials are more advanced and you get a wider range of alternatives which means you can find the best possible fit for your building. There are 9 commonly used roofing materials to choose from.

The Roofing Materials Checklist

  • Asphalt Shingles: These are the most commonly used roofing material because they work effectively through all environmental conditions. The quality of shingles varies so it is important that you confirm they have passed durability and wind tests. The initial cost for shingles is low compared to other materials but you should plan to replace them after 20 years.
  • Solar Tiles: Solar collectors are integrated into shingles to create up to 1 kilowatt of energy per 100 square feet. These are ideal for areas where solar panels are not approved for use and can offset energy costs and save you money.
  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofing lasts close to 60 years and comes in vertical panels that resemble slate, tile, and shake. Metal roofing does not burn and is highly resistant to wind. It also excels at directing water and snow away from the roof. The average cost of metal roofing is between $5 and $12 per square foot, but the durability and longevity make the initial investment worthwhile. Ith metal roofing you need to be careful of corrosion and they can be noisy during heavy rainfall.
  • Slate: Slate lasts over 100 years, doesn’t burn, is resistant to mold, and is waterproof. Slate is very expensive and heavy but the most durable roofing material you can have that lasts a lifetime.
  • Rubber Slate: This slate looks very natural and is easily cut with a knife to fit intricate roofing. It lasts close to 100 years but can be easily damaged by heavy walking and satellite dishes. It can also be susceptible to hail and can break easily under those conditions. Rubber slate is also a newer material and finding a roofer trained to install the material can be difficult.
  • Stone-coated Steel: The interlocking panels look like clay, shingles, or slate and can resist heavy damage from wind and rain. This roofing material is also economical and is often warranted for the lifetime of a building or home.
  • Clay and Concrete Tiles: Clay and concrete are great in areas of high winds as they can withstand winds up to 125 miles per hour. These tiles work well in warm, dry climates but are heavy to work with, so they may require additional support to bear the weight. These tiles can also break easily when stepped on.
  • Built-up Roofing: This roofing consists of layers of asphalt and tar with a top layer of aggregate. This only works for flat roofs and is ideal for roofing that gets heavy traffic. These roofs can get sticky in the summer heat and need to be maintained more regularly than smoother surface roofing. Built-up roofing lasts between 20 and 25 years.
  • Green Roofing: These roofs are covered with live plants to improve air quality, reduce water runoff, provide better insulation, and reduce urban heat islands. These roofing styles do require additional structural support, waterproofing, drainage, soil, a vapor barrier, and thermal insulation but they can last up to 40 years.

Final thoughts

There are more options for roofing materials these days and the right fit will come down to budget, the building structure, and the local climate. We are local roofing professionals with experience in all roofing materials and can help you find the right roofing material to use. Roofing can be expensive and is an investment and we want to make sure you get the best roofing to protect that investment and to protect your building.

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