Skip to Content Top

An Insight On Different Types Of Roofing Materials


The roof is a major part of the structure of your house. Maybe you live in a northern state where the winters are bitter cold, and snow and ice coat the roof. Many states have bad hail and wind storms to contend with. Knowing the characteristics of each of the types of roofing materials can help you make the best choice for your house. Get a roofing estimate from a knowledgeable builder who knows your area, and can suggest the type of material that will best suit your situation.

Roofing Materials

Asphalt and composite roofing shingles are the least expensive roofs. Wood shingles or shakes, metal, clay and  concrete tiles, and slate tiles are the most common roofing materials. The lifespans vary greatly  between roofing materials. If you have a shingled roof, and the shingle edges are cupped or curled your roof doesn’t have proper ventilation. Trapped moisture and heat in the attic causes the shingles to wear prematurely. The rough granules on shingles protect the asphalt from UV rays of the sun, and also provide fire resistance. Moss can trap moisture, freezing temperatures can cause ice to crack the shingles. Your roof might even need to be replaced.

Roofing Material Characteristics

Asphalt shingles are the most common and the least expensive. They are lightweight and come in many colors. They are about $70 per square foot to install. The downside is the lifespan. Wood shingles, or shakes, have the natural look that so many people love. They need careful maintenance, are fire-prone, easily damaged by excessive water, and last about 25-30 years. They can be installed for about $100 per square foot.

Metal roofing is gaining in popularity, though the cost per square foot is expensive at $800. Metal roofs are more durable, lasting about 75 years, reflect the sun’s heat, and are recyclable. Clay and concrete tiles are seen more often in the southwest United States. They fit well with a mission, or Spanish-style home. They are well-suited to most climates, and very durable lasting at least 40 years. The downside to these tiles is the extra weight that requires additional framing of the roof, and they cost about $350 per square foot to install.

Slate tiles are more elegant looking, and popular choices for luxury homes. With proper maintenance, a slate roof can be expected to last 50-100 years. The roof will need reinforcing to accommodate the extra weight of the tiles, it will cost about $600 per square foot to install, and it’s recyclable. Contact a builder for a roofing estimate in Buckhead for complete details.