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Which Roofing Material Is Best for Your Roof

When you’re thinking about having a new roof installed on your home, it’s important to consider all of your options, and not just go with what’s popular. While shingles are by far the most common type of roofing material in America, there are many reasons to choose some other type of material. Certain materials can last longer than wood or asphalt shingles and give you more bang for the buck in terms of energy efficiency – but only if they’re installed properly by a professional. If you need help deciding which kind of roof is best for you, check out this article:

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles have a long lifespan – some last 50 to 150 years or longer – and they’re highly resistant to fire, rot and pests. They’re also lightweight compared to other types of roofing material like slate and metal.

Clay tiles come in several different colors, so you can find one that matches your house style perfectly. Their biggest drawback is that they need to be replaced by hand, which means it’s more expensive than other materials such as asphalt shingles and wood shakes.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are popular in areas that get a lot of snowfall, because they’re lightweight and can be more easily cleared than other types of tile. However, like clay tiles, they do require manual installation. Unlike clay tiles, concrete requires little maintenance once installed. They also last over 40 years on average – which is about twice as long as asphalt shingles. This means that your replacement costs will be less over time with concrete tiles than with asphalt shingles – but you’ll pay much more upfront for the initial roof install.

Concrete tiles don’t come in many different colors so if you want to match them to your house’s exterior, you may be forced to use an expensive custom paint job.

Rubber slate

Rubber slates are another popular roofing material, especially in areas where the climate is rainy. They’re made from recycled rubber tires and can last for over 50 years. Their long lifespan and low cost also makes them appealing to many.

Rubber tiles are lighter than clay or concrete tiles so they may be easier for your roofing contractor to install – but their weight means that during very windy storms, they may blow off of your roof more easily than other types of tile. You’ll need to get special weather-resistant fasteners if you decide on this type of tile for your home.

Asphalt Shingles

If you need a roof that’s quick to install and inexpensive, asphalt shingles are probably your best bet. They’re the most popular roofing material in America, with about 80 percent of homes using this type of tile. Asphalt isn’t as durable as other types of tiles – it only lasts for 20 to 40 years on average – but they’re easy to replace if necessary. The biggest downside is their cost over the long run.

Asphalt shingles are lightweight and fast to install, making them an attractive option for people who want a new roof quickly and for less money. Their low initial cost also means you may not have to shell out as much money for a contractor.

Wood Shakes

Wood is also a popular choice for homeowners who care about their carbon footprint since it can be considered a “green” material, but wood roofs don’t live up to that eco-friendly reputation in many cases. They’re often treated with chemicals, so they may not be an eco-friendly solution. Wood shingles may also contain zinc or copper sheeting – both of which are heavy metals that aren’t good news for the environment.

Wood shingle roofs are attractive and can last upwards of 40 years, so they’re a good option in areas where the climate isn’t too harsh or too wet. They’re also lightweight, making them easy to install. The biggest downsides of wood shingles are their cost and their long lifespan; you’ll pay more over the long run for a wood shingle roof than almost any other type of tile, but your replacement costs will be significantly less after about 20 years.


Slate roofs are very durable, with some slates lasting for over 100 years. A slate roof can be a great investment if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall – as long as the snow isn’t too heavy. One problem with slate is that it breaks easily when dropped or hit, so they may not be suitable for homes with children or pets.

Slate tiles also tend to have more weight per square foot than most other types of tile – but their durability and low maintenance costs help counteract this disadvantage.


If your home, garage or other building is directly on the ground instead of elevated on a foundation, you should consider concrete roofing tiles. These products provide maximum protection from fire and hail damage as well as moisture. They’re also much better at keeping out cold air than traditional materials like asphalt shingles. You can get them in a variety of colors, but because they’re solid slabs, they can’t be recycled after they’ve reached the end of their useful life.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are usually made out of aluminum, zinc or copper and come in a wide range of styles for both residential and commercial applications. They have a reputation for being easier to install than cedar shakes metal roofing materials and being very durable. They’re also highly resistant to fire, hail damage and moisture intrusion.

Synthetic Shingles

If you want the appearance of wood or slate shingles without worrying about damaging your home in high winds, synthetic products can help. These made-in-the-U.S.A. roofing tiles are made from various plastics, as well as other manmade materials like fiberglass that contain recycled material from old bottles and other trash that would otherwise go into landfills. They come in a variety of colors and styles so they can be used on both commercial buildings and homes. Unfortunately these products aren’t good at stopping moisture from entering your home, but they’ll stay looking nice for many years.