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small asphalt shingle roof of the house
small asphalt shingle roof of the house

6 Best Materials For Your Roof Replacement

Time for a roof replacement or repair? If so, you may want to consider upgrading your roofing materials.

While the standard asphalt shingles are always an excellent choice, there are plenty of other roofing materials on the market that can boost your home’s curb appeal and its resale value. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the six best roofing materials on the market today as well as their pros and cons.

Let’s dive in!

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles account for up to 70% of residential roofs in the United States, making it the most popular material available. They’re generally made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass or composite material, and they come in a wide range of colors to match all home aesthetics.

There are three types of asphalt shingle roofing you can choose from, including:

  • 3-tab shingles: 3-tab shingles are named for the three tabs on each shingle strip. They’re designed to lay flat and simulate the appearance of wood shakes. They’re also the most affordable.
  • Architectural shingles: Architectural shingles (also known as dimensional shingles) are also designed to give your roof a more dimensional look while still imitating wooden shakes or shingles. 
  • Luxury shingles: Also referred to as premium or designer shingles, luxury shingles are designed to imitate the look of slate tiles. They’re also larger and more durable compared to the other types of asphalt shingles.

✅Asphalt Shingle Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Available in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Widely available throughout the US
  • Low maintenance
  • Highly recyclable

❌Asphalt Shingle Cons

  • Short lifespan (20-30 years, depending on the type)
  • Color tends to fade due to sun exposure
  • 3-tab shingles are prone to wind damage

2. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has become increasingly popular among homeowners — and for good reason. Metal materials can come in panels or shingles, and they’re designed to mimic asphalt, wood, and slate shingles and tiles. They can also be painted virtually any color, and they can last up to 70 years or longer, depending on the type of metal you choose.

✅Metal Roofing Pros

  • Long life span (especially copper, which can last over 100 years!)
  • Incredibly durable
  • Very low maintenance
  • Lightweight and highly recyclable 
  • Wide variety of colors

❌Metal Roofing Cons

  • Typically requires soundproofing to reduce noise
  • Can warp or wrinkle with improper installation
  • Requires specialized labor for installation and repairs (making it more costly)

3. Cedar Shake

Cedar shake roofing is considered a premium roofing system as well as one of the most natural types of roofing. Cedar and other types of wood roofing — such as pine and redwood — are among the most aesthetically pleasing as they begin as a sandy brown color that takes on a silver hue with age. 

Wood roofing can last up to 50 years with proper care and maintenance, however, they are more susceptible to elemental damage.

✅Wood Roofing Pros

  • Excellent curb appeal
  • All natural materials
  • Sustainable and recyclable

Wood Roofing Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Can be difficult to repair
  • Requires frequent treatment to prevent water damage and fire hazards
  • High maintenance
  • Only recommended for dry climates

4. Clay Tile Shingles

Clay tiles are among the most popular types of roofing, especially down here in Florida. Generally speaking, clay tiles date back as long as 5,000 years to the glazed earthenware rooftops of Ancient China. Today, there are many styles available, including:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Scania
  • Mission
  • Flat

While they’re on the more expensive side, they’re long-lasting, durable, and fire-resistant. They also do a great job at keeping indoor air temperatures cool in the heat and humidity.

✅Clay Tile Pros

  • Very low maintenance
  • Great curb appeal
  • Long-lasting (50 to 100 years)
  • Unique and earthy variety of colors
  • Made from natural and sustainable materials
  • Regulates indoor temperature well

❌Clay Tile Cons

  • Vulnerable to impact damage
  • Slightly heavier than other materials which means they may require additional structural support 
  • Require specialized labor for installation and repairs

5. Slate Roofing

Slate is another very popular and durable type of roofing material, similar to clay tiles in their natural makeup (metamorphic rocks derived from volcanic ash or clay). This is what gives it a gray, blue, green, or brownish-red appearance. Slate offers a very natural yet classy aesthetic that can fit into virtually all neighborhoods and is considered the longest-lasting roofing material with a lifespan that ranges from 50 to 200 years!

There are also plenty of slate tile options to choose from, including:

  • Natural slate
  • Quarried slate
  • Synthetic slate — such as fiber cement slate or bituminous slate

It should be noted that synthetic slate is much more affordable than its natural counterpart and offers many of the same benefits.

✅Slate Tile Pros

  • Very long lifespan
  • Low-maintenance 
  • Incredibly durable
  • Naturally fireproof
  • Impact resistant ( to hail and debris)
  • Extreme temperature-resistant 

❌Slate Tile Cons

  • Very expensive 
  • Usually requires additional structural support for its weight
  • Requires specialized labor installation and repairs
  • Doesn’t typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty

6. Solar Tile

Solar tile shingles are relatively new, however, they function mostly the same way as traditional solar panel roofing in how they absorb sunlight and convert it into stored energy. Solar shingles can work efficiently for 20 to 30 years and are installed just like asphalt shingles for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. They can also be installed in isolated sections of your roof, depending on where the most advantageous angle is in regard to optimal sun exposure.

While solar shingles are an expensive investment, they can boost your home’s value by $15,000 or more. Not to mention, they’ll produce renewable energy for your home, which will save you a worthwhile amount of money on your utility bills!

Solar Tile Pros

  • Improve home release value
  • Produce usable energy for your home
  • Have a cleaner, sleeker look that blends in with the rest of your roof

Solar Tile Cons

  • They’re very expensive, requiring contractors that specialize in solar roofing to install, repair, and maintain
  • Require additional structural support due to their weight and wiring 

Which Type of Roof Should You Choose?

Choosing the right roofing material with so many options out there can be challenging, especially since there’s no turning back once your new roof is installed. Ultimately, the roofing material you choose will come down to important factors like your budget, needs, and preferences. 

If you’re having trouble, the experienced team at Distinctive Roofing can walk you through all of your options and help you make the right decision. Get in touch with us today to discuss your options and schedule a free roof inspection!

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