Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Roofing Materials

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Roofing Materials

A new year, a new roof. The question is what should I make it from. With so many options on the market read this no-nonsense guide before taking advice from a roofer. Here is a description of the most popular materials used for roofing.

Asphalt Shingles

These account for 80% of the roofing materials in America today. The reason it is so popular is that it is affordable and easy to install. It will certainly give the flagging exterior a great boost. However, it does not stand up to extreme weather changes and it only lasts for around 20 years.

Clay Roof Tiles

The terracotta clay tiles are a beautiful classic, baked and shaped to give your roof some style. These attractive colored tiles can be moulded into all sorts of shapes. They last for an impressive 40 years. On the downside they a relatively heavy and your building may need to be adapted to accommodate the additional weight.

Concrete Roof Tiles

These have almost the same advantages as clay tiles but are fully fireproof. They do not last as long as the clay tiles.

 Rubber Tiles

These are available in different thicknesses depending on the pitch of your roof. It will last you around 50 years and is a brilliant insulator. It may look a bit dull but it can be customised to have some character.

Slate Tiles

These natural beauties are classy and elegant. They are recyclable and can last over 100 years. They are fire and weather resistant and will add to the value of your property. The downside is that these require specialist installation and repairs which are rather costly.

Wooden Tiles

Typically made from cedar or redwood wooden tiles these excellent insulators are beautiful and stylish. They do need a high level of maintenance and with the right care, they will last for some 25 years. They do need additional treatments for termites and mould so this will increase the costs.

Tar and Gravel

If you have a flat or low sloping roof this might be the only solution for you. It is a fairly low-cost material and has a 20-year life span. Tarpaper and molten asphalt are glued together and coated with gravel to protect your roof.


This may be a single sheet or shingles. The most commonly used metals are aluminium, copper, zinc, steel and tin. Metals are durable, lightweight and inexpensive. They may need to be treated for corrosion but they can last for 50 years. They do protect against snow and reflect sunlight keeping your house cool during the summer. Metal is also hail and rainproof because it is extremely durable.

Solar Panels

Roof tiles that have solar power are a good idea for a greener future. Despite a high cost and a specialist installation, you will save money on your energy bills so ultimately it is cost-effective. They certainly add value to your home and are really strong.

These are just some of the possibilities for your new roof. There are many different materials and there are pros and cons to them all. When you are informed you can make a better decision based on your location and budget.

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