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Choosing the Best Roofing Material for Your Home

There are a lot of different roofing materials available in the US for homeowners. All these materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Not every material is suitable for your home depending on your architecture as well as your location. The weather condition where you live also plays a crucial role in selecting a material. So, there is no single best roofing material that would be perfect for every single customer. 

So, in this blog post, we are going to share with you some of the most popular roofing materials used in the US, along with the pros and cons of each of them. This will help you get a better idea about whether any particular material is right for your home or not.

What to Ask Yourself Before Finalizing the Best Roofing Material

Before we can learn about the best types of roofing materials for you, there are a few things to consider and a few questions to ask yourself. The answer to these questions will make it easier for you to determine which is the right roofing material for you. These questions are: 

Different Types of Roofing Materials to Choose From

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are incredibly popular. Their popularity is largely due to their versatility and affordability. It’s possible to reinforce these shingles with fiberglass or organic materials (cellulose) without changing their appearance. Asphalt shingles are compatible with numerous architectural styles, particularly traditional suburban styles. The prices of asphalt shingles range from $70 to $120 per square, and with proper maintenance, they can last for 20 to 25 years.



Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are a popular roofing material worldwide, with a history dating back 5,000 years to glazed earthenware rooftops in China. These tiles cost between $10 to $18 per square foot and have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years or more. There are various styles to choose from, including Spanish, French, Scania, and more.

Although expensive to install and repair, clay tiles have a longer lifespan than nearly all other roofing types. They are commonly used in hot climates like Southern California and Florida due to their ability to withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour, excellent fire resistance, and suitability for such conditions.



Wood Shingles

Wood shingles and shakes have been the roofing choice for centuries, and many homeowners appreciate their appearance and how they weather to a pleasing shade of gray. Wood shakes are handcrafted and have a rougher look than wood shingles, which are typically machine-cut. The rustic aesthetic of shakes pairs well with bungalows, Cape Cod, cottages, Craftsman, and Tudor-style homes. Prices for wood shingles begin at around $100 to $150 per square and can last for roughly 25 to 30 years.

If you reside in an area with a high risk of fires, search for Class A fire-rated wood roofing products, which include shingles treated with a fire-resistant coating.




Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is highly durable and falls within the price range of clay tiles, costing anywhere from $9 to $20 per square foot. Its lifespan ranges from 50 to 200 years, and it’s resistant to fire, high winds, extreme temperatures, and hail impacts.

There are two options to choose from: natural, quarried slate or synthetic alternatives such as fiber cement slate or bituminous styles. Synthetic slate is much cheaper than natural slate and offers many of the same benefits.



Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is a popular and affordable option for homeowners and builders on a budget. It’s best for roofs with a lower slope and can be easily installed with inexpensive materials and labor. However, it should not be used on flat roofs as it can lead to water leaks.



Green Roofing

Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are covered with vegetation such as grasses or wildflowers that provide support for pollinators. The cost of installation ranges from $10 to $25 per square foot, but they offer many benefits such as reducing rainwater runoff and combating excessive heat outside the home. Green roofs are durable and can last 30 to 50 years.



Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is a type of roofing system that uses large, flexible sheets of material to cover a building’s roof. These sheets are typically made from synthetic rubber, thermoplastics, or modified bitumen. Membrane roofing is known for its durability, waterproofing capabilities, and ease of installation.



Overall, membrane roofing is a durable and waterproof choice for commercial and industrial buildings. However, its high cost and susceptibility to damage may make it less practical for some applications. It is important to consider the climate and use case when selecting a roofing material.

Important Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best Roofing Material

Purpose of Roofing

By purpose of roofing, we mean whether it is a new roof you are getting installed for your property, or whether you are getting an existing one repaired. When you are installing a new roof, you have the choice of different materials because your option is not limited to the current roof’s material. On the other hand, if you are repairing an old roof, then the current roof’s material will play a big part in the material selection process. 

Design of the Home

A part of choosing the right material for your roof will also depend on the architecture and style of your home. Some materials like asphalt can be suitable for homes of any design. Whereas, if you are thinking of using ceramic or clay tiles, then they are better suited for homes that have a rustic and classic design. The color of your home is another factor to consider. For example, if your home’s exterior has red, white, or yellow paint, then a dark-colored roof would suit it much better. Homes that are of a cream or tan color would look better with a brown or cream-colored roof. 

The climate in Your Area

Taking the local climate into account is important when choosing a roofing material. For example, if you live in a monsoon-prone area, then you must choose a material that can withstand heavy rainfall. It would also impact the design of the roof. Having sloping roofs can ensure that water does not stand on the roof and flows downwards. Heat is another factor in roofing tiles. If you live in an area where the mercury rises to an extreme level, using terracotta or slate tiles would be advised. 

Pricing of the Material

The cost of the material plays a very big role in its selection. Every customer has a budget that they are working with. They all want to ensure that whatever material they choose fits their budget and does not make it go overboard. When choosing a material, you can weigh the prices of different brands and material types. Another thing to consider is that more durable materials will come at a higher price range. 

The Material’s Weight

It is important to take into consideration the structural integrity of your home before you choose a material that might be too heavy. Ignoring this can lead to damage to your property as well as the risk of a collapse. If your building is old and structurally weak, then prefer choosing a lighter material than a heavy one. Asphalt is one such light and cost-effective material that you can use if your home is older than forty years.

The Material’s Weight

The strength and toughness of the material you choose for your roof are something that cannot be ignored. This is even more important when you live in areas that suffer from storms, tornados, torrential rainfalls, and good hailstorms frequently. The toughness of the material will make sure the roof can handle all the beating that nature can throw at it. Remember that you cannot risk having even a minor crack in your roof as that can lead to water leakage and cause further damage to the property. Also, if your area is prone to wildfires, use a material like treated shakes and asphalt that are more resistant to fire than others. 

Easy to Upkeep

Upkeep and maintenance of your roof are crucial because the health of the overall property depends upon it. Learn in detail about which materials are low maintenance and which are high maintenance. Also, know how often you would have to paint the roof or hire a professional roofing contractor for its annual maintenance. The cost of all this also has to be accounted for before you make any decisions. 

Energy Conservation

The type of roof you have also plays a role in how high or low your energy bills can be. Some materials reflect the sun’s rays away from your roof, keeping the house much cooler compared to other materials. This means less need for air conditioning, meaning decreased energy consumption. So, for people who live in hotter climates, it is certainly something to consider. 

Closing Thoughts

With so many different materials to choose from, it can take thorough research and time to ultimately decide which is the best roofing material for you. You can also consult experts like Zicklin Roofing who can help you with their advice on which material would be best suited for your property, keeping in mind the various factors as well as the pros and cons of each material listed in this blog post. When in doubt, always consult professionals. 

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