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Pros and Cons of the 5 Most Common Types of Roofing Materials

One of the most important parts of your home is the roof. It is responsible for keeping you warm in the winter, cool in the summer and most importantly, protecting your family as well as your personal belongings from the elements. While the roof of your home provides a certain aesthetic value, using certain roofing materials, such as metal or wood, can also increase the value of your property. When choosing roofing materials, you need to consider several factors, including the cost, quality, style and durability. To help you make the best decision for your needs, here are the pros and cons of the most popular types of roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material used. Asphalt shingles are available in basically two varieties; composition shingles, which have an organic base or traditional fiberglass shingles. Pros and cons of asphalt shingles include:

  • Most affordable type of roofing material
  • Reasonably fire resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Wide range of color options


  • Not as strong as some of the other materials. For example, they are easily blown off by high winds.
  • The life span is not as long as other materials, such as metal.

Wood Roofing
This is the ideal option for those who prefer a rustic or natural look. Wood roofing is typically made from cedar, redwood or southern pine. A wood roof typically has a life span of about 15 to 20 years. Pros and cons of wood roofing includes:

  • Provides good attic insulation
  • Holds up well in high winds
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Gives your home a unique look


  • Requires factory treatment for fire resistance
  • Requires regular and proper maintenance
  • Installation is often more complicated than other roofing materials, such as shingles
  • May be prone to mildew and rot, unless specially treated

Tile Roofing
Tile roofing is one of the oldest types of roofing material. A tile roof can be manufactured from either concrete or clay. The pros and cons of tile roofing includes:

  • Available in a wide range of colors and specialty finishes
  • Provides a modern, clean look
  • Fire resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Insect resistant


  • Significantly heavier than other roofing materials
  • The tiles are fragile and may break easily
  • Installation is more complicated than other roofing materials
  • Cost is much higher when compared to other types of roofs

Slate Roofing
Slate roofing is made from natural rock and is available in a wide range of grades. It must be installed and maintained by roofing contractors experienced in the installation and care of slate. However, when slate roofing is properly installed, it can last for centuries. The pros and cons of slate roofing include:

  • Extremely durable against the elements
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Gives your home a sophisticated and natural look
  • Insect and fire resistant
  • Provides good attic insulation


  • Extremely heavy and requires extra support
  • Breakable if walked on
  • DIY installation is not typically possible
  • Most expensive type of roofing material

Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is quickly becoming one of the most popular options in roofing materials. A metal roof can be installed on almost any structure and roof pitch. It is available in sheets or shingles. Pros and cons of a metal roof include:

  • Long-lasting, with a life span of as much as 100 years
  • Lightweight
  • Fire-resistant
  • Can be treated to make it corrosion and rust-proof
  • Can be installed over existing roof
  • Can be made to resemble other roofing materials, such as slate or wood
  • Insect resistant
  • Reflects heat
  • Does not mold, crack or rot
  • Little to no maintenance required
  • Energy-efficient
  • Increases property value
  • Made from recyclable materials


  • Slightly more expensive than traditional shingles
  • May dent easily in hail storms
  • Requires professional installation

When choosing roofing materials for your home, it is important to remember that cost alone is not an absolute when it comes quality or durability. It is important to take your time, do your research and talk to a reliable roofing contractor to help you make the best decision and choose the best roofing materials for your needs and budget.


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