Your roof’s one of the most critical aspects of your home. A leaking roof can cause discomfort and illness to your family and will eventually damage the structure of your home.

So, if you’ve had your fill of drips, draughts, and distress whenever the weather turns nasty, it’s time for roof replacement. The bad news is this is a costly undertaking. The good news is you’ll get more than 60% of the costs back when you sell your home.

One of the most important considerations when replacing your roof is choosing the best type of roof material for the job. These are the most popular options available.

Asphalt Shingles 

Thanks to their affordability, asphalt shingles are the most widespread type of roofs in the United States. Each shingle has a bottom layer of fiberglass topped with asphalt and mineral granules.

Most roofing companies can easily install these roofs and offer a 20 to the 30-year warranty on asphalt roofs. These shingles are supremely flexible so they don’t crack due to expansion and contraction.

It’s easy to carry out roof repair on asphalt roofs since you can quickly replace damaged shingles.

Clay and Concrete Tile

These types of roof materials are a popular choice for Spanish-style homes as well as those in warm climates or salt air environments. They comprise either clay or concrete molded into shape and then, in the case of clay, fired for hardness.

These roofs can stand up to heat and humidity and last for up to 50 years. Of the two, clay tile costs more to install and concrete tile is heavier.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing’s a popular choice among homeowners looking for affordable long-lasting roofing solutions. There is a huge range of metal to choose from, but standing seam aluminum roofs are the most popular.

Metal roofs offer excellent fire-proof properties and snow slides right off them. That makes them an excellent choice in areas prone to wildfires and extreme winters. You’ll need to track down a specialist roofer to install this type of roof.

These kinds of roofs can last between 30 and 50 years. Some even last 75 years.

Slate Tile

Slate tile is one of the most attractive roofs around but it’s by far the most expensive. Installing these types of roofs takes specialized skills and you might need to reinforce your home to withstand their weight.

All this extra expense and effort is worth it though, slate tile roofs can last for well over 100 years.

Synthetic Slate Tile 

If you want to adorn your home with the elegance of slate tile roofing without the extra expense and weight, you can opt for a composite roof made to imitate this traditional roof style instead.

This type of roofing comprises recycled rubber and plastic combined with polymers and lasts for around 50 years.

Rubber roofing offers the best protection from hail. Yet, according to, you can treat any kind of roof to withstand hail, so don’t let this aspect put you off the other types of roof.

Composite roofing doesn’t split, crack, warp, or peel. It’s available in almost any shape, size, and color, including tiles that mimic wood shingles.

Wood Shingles and Shake

Wood roofs are another good-looking option but they have several drawbacks. They’re expensive to install and don’t resist moisture or fire. In ideal conditions, a wood roof can last up to 60 years but it won’t survive more than 20 years in wet climates.

Wood shingles are thin, precision-cut wedge-shaped slabs of wood, while shakes are thicker with a rougher texture. Shakes are the more expensive option of the two.

Most homeowners opt for cedar or redwood shakes. You can also get this type of roofing made from yellow poplar, honey and black locust wood, rock elm, and white oak.

Materials for a Flat Type of Roof

Few residential buildings nowadays have flat roofs but it’s a common type of roof on outbuildings and some contemporary homes. Flat roofs offer low installation costs and easy maintenance.

If you’re the proud owner of one of these houses, you’ve got a few roofing options to choose from:

Built-up Roofing

BUR systems have several layers of roofing felt, impregnated with hot asphalt, and allowed to dry. A thick barrier of hot tar and crushed stone makes up the top layer.

Contractors build up this type of roof onsite to create an impenetrable layer that lasts up to 30 years.

Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing comprises sheets of synthetic material like EPDM, polymer-modified bitumens, or PVC. It’s applied in large sheets and can last up to 35 years if you maintain it properly.

After BUR roofing systems, membrane roofing resists water leakage the best.

Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing comprises layers of asphalt- and mineral-impregnated and asphalt-impregnated material with a top layer of mineral granules. Your contractor rolls these sheets out over the roof and seals the seams with a torch.

This is one of the cheaper types of low pitch roofing material and can last up to 10 years.

Getting the Best Results From Any Kind of Roofing

Whichever type of roof you choose for your home, you must pick a reputable roofing company to install your roof. When you embark on an expensive and important home alteration, you can’t afford to hire a fly-by-night operator.

Look for a contractor with good reviews and references as well as years of experience working with the materials in question. Don’t forget to check that they have all the necessary licenses and insurance to operate in your state too.

What’s next on your list of home improvements after replacing your roof? Browse our blog for inspiration.

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