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Different Types of Materials Used in the Roofing Industry
December 7, 2019

We all love to admire rooftops; these rooftops are made with different materials, sometimes it’s obvious at mere looking when two different buildings are close to each other. Marveling at the beauty of the roof makes us look like spectators without actually knowing what it is made of, like why would we care, it’s none of our business right!. Rooftops are made from a variety of materials each serving a different purpose. In this modern era where technology and advancements are the order of the day, rooftop manufacturers have also step-up their own game and this is either due to competition or improvement for some environmental situations.  When building a new house or replacing a current roof, it is pertinent that you choose the right roofing material based on the type of roof you have already. A roof protects the house from outside elements while also adding beauty to the home. The choice of roofing materials should be picked based on the shape and structure of the home as well as the local weather and elements.

The following questions should be considered when choosing roofing materials

  • Is the material heavy, and will it require any special framing?
  • Does the material meet the fire codes of your local area?
  • Is the material available in a variety of colors and styles that complement your home painting or building concept? What are the life span, cost and warranty for this product?
  • Does the material perform well in extreme weather conditions that are common in the area?
  • Does the material have special installation and maintenance issues to consider?

Having answers to these questions will help a lot in determining the best choice and roofing supplies for your home. Below we are going to be looking at the different materials used in making these beautiful rooftops we so admire and also with their cons and pros.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most common residential roofing material used in the United States. Asphalt shingles are very popular because they are easy to install and economical. They can be reinforced with organic materials (cellulose) or fiberglass without altering the appearance of the shingle. It is known to have two kinds, first the Laminated also known as dimensional or architectural and the three-tab shingles. Asphalt shingles is made up of fiber glass infused with asphalt which is then covered with mineral granules or ceramic.

Pros: it is one of the least expensive materials; they come in a variety of colors. It is also widely available.

Cons: Asphalt doesn’t provide the insulation other materials offer, secondly it has a shorter life span than other roofing materials.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Concrete and Clay tiles add texture and elegance to a roof. A genuine ribbed, flat or scalloped clay tiles are extremely durable but very heavy and thus must be installed by a professional. Concrete tiles are less expensive and very versatile than genuine clay, but it also has a heavyweight.

Pros: concrete tiles are energy efficient and also, they are long-lasting and non-combustible.

Cons: they are very heavy, expensive and usually require additional framing.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are available in two types, panels and shingles. They are resistant to extreme weather conditions; metal roofs come in zinc, aluminum, stainless steel and copper. Metal roofing material is becoming more and more popular, especially in areas that are prone to wildfires. Metal roofing is also ideal for places that are experiencing hotter climates such as tropical countries for the medium which does not absorb heat from direct sunlight. Instead, it will reflect or mirrors back the sun rays efficiently thus keeping the inside cooler. This quality is extremely beneficial during the summer months. Metal roofs are normally maintenance free and they are very durable.

Pros: Metal roofing lasts longer and they more durable than asphalt or wood. They also offer high solar reflectance.

Cons: Metal roofing is very expensive.


These roof types are known for offering lots of beauty and a distinctive elegant appearance; slate colors include shades of grey, red, black, purple and green. Slate roofing is one of the most expensive and historic roofing materials for good reason. A slate roof can last well over 75 years.

Pros: Slate is a sustainable roof that can be recycled; it is very durable and fire-resistant.

Cons: Slate is heavy, expensive and requires extra framing and professional installation.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingle roofs are made from wedge-shaped pieces of natural wood. They are very attractive, natural-looking and environmentally-friendly. Wood roofs are not advised to be used in areas that are prone to wildfires.

Pros: Wood shingles offer a rustic look and are a natural product usually made from redwood, cedar and southern pine.

Cons:  Wood shingles can be a concern in wet climates, and can mold, rot or split. In some areas, fire codes prohibit use.

Synthetic Roofing Products

There are now synthetic roofing products, e.g., plastic, rubber and polymer roofing, which are developed to give you the look, color and texture of natural materials like wood and slate. These products are designed to be strong and easy to maintain; a lot of these materials are also fire-resistant.

Pros: Synthetic roofs are not heavy, expensive, or fragile as some natural products.

Cons: Some of these products absorb water making it prone to early damage.

In conclusion, the choice of roofing materials depends on the preference of the homeowner and the condition of the environment. Before proceeding to choose, one should also endeavor to check their disadvantage and advantage before proceeding. Also it’s advised you do check the cost of each installation before proceeding; this is to prevent going broke in the quest to beautify a roof.

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