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Not too long ago, there were only a few roofing options, which included shingles, clay, concrete, and slate. Today there are all kinds of advanced roofing materials in the market, and you have an unprecedented range of alternatives.
The global roofing materials market has grown to a staggering $119.7 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.0%.
When considering a roofing material, your main goal is to have a roof that protects and waterproofs your home. Still, you can’t underestimate the impact that a roof will have on the appearance and style of your home.
In this post, we’ll guide you through a comprehensive list of the roofing materials available so you can make an informed decision. All these types of roofing materials are suitable for both new homes and re-roofing projects. We’ll teach you to choose one based on the architectural style of your home, your budget, and personal preference.
We can say that asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing materials, but that would be an understatement. Over 75% of U.S. homes are covered with asphalt shingles, and the demand is projected to grow to 136.9 million squares by 2021.
One of the most significant reasons why asphalt is one of the best roofing materials is because it’s affordable. It’s also easily accessible, simple to install, surprisingly durable, comes in a variety of colors, and most brands have warranties that last up to 40 years.
Asphalt shingles come in two basic types, which are organic-based and fiberglass-based.
Organic asphalt shingles are available from most manufacturers and cost less compared to fiberglass asphalt shingles. Fiberglass-reinforced shingles are more durable, lighter, and more fire-resistant, though.
Both types of roofing materials come in different qualities, and you can use price as an indicator of quality.
Beyond this, there are two categories of asphalt shingles. These are architectural-style shingles and three-tab shingles.
Three-tab shingles are the most basic and generic.
Architectural shingles are composed of two strips of shingles laid on each other and are an advanced improvement of the three-tab shingles. They come in a variety of colors, and you can opt for muted tones that resemble traditional roofing materials. For instance, the gray-black shingles will look like slate, and the tan shingles will look like cedar shakes.
Cedar is not among the most popular types of roofing materials, as it’s relatively expensive and hard to install. However, the distinctive texture and natural beauty of cedar roofs are unmatched. Given that it’s wooden, cedar offers very little fire-resistance, although that can be fixed with a fire retardant.
Cedar roofing materials come in two different types, which are shakes and shingles. Cedar shakes are thick and rough, while shingles are thin, smooth, and offer a more uniformed look. Cedar shingle roofs achieve an elegant low profile and clean appearance.
Cedar shake roofs are more robust with a rustic look that gives them deep shadow lines and character.
Cedar shingles come in different grades while cedar shakes come in four premium grades to choose from. The best type of roofing material will depend on your preference and budget.
Slate Roofing Material
Slate is one of the best roof covering materials out there. Even though there are certain roofing materials out there that resemble it, they’re nothing compared to the real thing. Natural slate has proven to be one of the best roofing materials in the market since the 1600s.
Slate is super durable, mildew resistant, fire-resistant, and when installed professionally, it can last up to 100 years or more.
On the downside, slate is one of the most expensive types of roofing materials, both in terms of purchase and installation. It’s also very heavy, so you need to ask a professional contractor if the frame of your house can support its weight.
Metal Roofing Material
Metal is one of the oldest types of roofing materials and easily one of the most durable. Metal roofing has made a comeback and grown popular in the past several years.
Apart from the high durability, it’s easy to install, recyclable, and comes in a wide variety of colors. Beyond that, metal allows ice and snow to slide off and it fits different home styles.
Metal roofs consist of long panels that overlap. They can be copper, zinc, steel, or aluminum.
Corrugated panels and standing seam are the most common metal roofing styles. Most homeowners prefer standing seam because adjacent panels cover fasteners.
The corrugated style has the screw heads exposed. In today’s metal roofing market, you can find a new generation of roofing panels that look like slate, clay tiles, and wood shingles.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Most often used on Mediterranean homes, clay and concrete tiles are well known for their strength and durability. Even better, these types of roof tiles are energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and wind-resistant.
These tiles come in different shapes and different profiles, creating the most unique and striking roof appearances. They are available in fire-glazed and unglazed colors. Some come in decorative colors and some are available in gray concrete.
If you live in a hot climate, this is a suitable roofing material because their thickness will keep your home cool.
Like slate, clay and concrete tiles are also quite expensive and have a long lifespan of up to 80 years. They are also heavy and need the right house frame before installation.
Synthetic composite shingles are a relatively new type of roofing material in the market.
They’re made from plastic composite and keep gaining popularity since they’re fireproof, rot-proof, and fire-resistant.
Virtually, this type of roof is indestructible. They resemble cedar shingles and slate, and people refer to them as faux shingles due to that look.
Make Your Choice From These Types of Roofing Materials
These are some of the most common types of roofing materials, but roofing materials are always being improved. The best type of roof will depend on your home, your budget, and the climate you live in.
If you’d like to know more about these roofing options, see our list of services and get in touch with us and we’ll be more than glad to help. for more educational material view our youtube playlist on this subject.