What Type of Roof Material is Best for Me?

 

It’s time to replace your roof, but which material to choose? We have listed the pros and cons of the 6 most common residential sloped roof materials to help with your decision. For more information about roofing materials and which one is the best fit for your roofing project, reach out to Russell Roofing and speak with one of our expert estimators.

Asphalt Shingles 

CertainTeed, Carriage House, Shingles

Pros           

Have been used for over 100 years and are the most common roofing material in the United States

Cheaper than most other roofing materials

Readily available in a variety of sizes, styles and colors

Durable and easy to repair

Can be installed over the top of one layer of existing shingle roof, but may void warranty

Can be recycled

Cons

Have a shorter lifespan than alternative, more expensive materials

 

Wood Shingles

Pros

Provide great resistance to wind and impact during storms

Increase energy efficiency by providing greater insulation and air circulation in the attic

The wood ages beautifully, adding curb appeal the home

Cons

Time consuming to install, driving up contractor costs

Material costs are about 25% more expensive than asphalt shingles

Require continual maintenance, due to expansion/contraction and vulnerability to moss and mold buildup

Not recommended for areas prone to forest fires or heavy rainfall

 

Tile

Russell Roofing Installs Spanish Tile Roof at Covenant Central

 

Pros

Very resilient material and is able to withstand some of the harshest elements

Great life expectancy and may last well beyond 100 years

Clay tile is available in a number of eye appealing styles including the traditional “Spanish” tile

Concrete tile is available in an even greater number of styles: traditional clay, slate, and wood shake

Environmentally friendly to make

Cons

Very heavy, and requires certain structural standards for the frame and decking of the roof

Need to be predrilled and nailed or even supported by metal brackets, which increases the cost

One of the most costly roof types

 

Metal

Standing seam metal roof install, Russell Roofing

Pros

Great for any type of roof and is ideal in forested, moss prone or heavy precipitation areas

Made of steel, aluminum or copper, metal roofs offer some of the best protection for your home

Withstand high winds, shed snow and rain very effectively and are resilient to fire

Very lightweight, weighing about one quarter as much as tile roofs and half as much as asphalt shingles

Energy efficient, lowering cooling costs by reflecting heat from the sun during hot summer days

Properly installed metal roofs will last as long as the house with manufacturer warranties of 50 years

Provide more varieties of color, style and texture than other roofing materials

Can be made to look like wood shakes, standard shingles or even tile, without the extra weight

Many styles come in sheets which are quick and easy to install

Recycled metal roofing can also be purchased, as an environmentally safe option for your home

Cons

Generally more expensive than asphalt roofing, but cheaper than tile or slate roofing

Must be careful when walking on metal roofs, to prevent damage to the contour of the ridges

May need to be painted for long term protection

Roof needs snow guards to protect gutters from damage

 

Slate

Pros

Most people agree that it is one of the most attractive roofing materials on the market

Regularly last over 100 years and in rare occasions have been known to last twice as long

Require little maintenance, are very resistant to molding and insects and are fire proof

Cons

The one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market, about ten times the price of asphalt shingles

Heavy and need proper structural support to uphold the additional weight, adding to the expense

Repairs and installation should only be performed by expert roofing contractors, experienced with slate

Can crack or even break if walked on, due to the brittle material

The use of slate has diminished due to the advent of cheaper and easier to install materials

Roof needs snow guards to protect gutters from damage

Will need more maintenance as the roof ages

 

Synthetic Slate and Tile

Pros

Has appearance of slate or tile without the cost or weight

Long life expectancy with manufacturers’ warranties of usually 50 years

Maintains similar protective qualities of slate and tile

Not fragile like real slate and tile roofing materials

Cons

Uneven fading and curling

Many manufacturers have gone out of business trying to back their warranties

Poor installations have been done by contactors that are unfamiliar with the product

 

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Ron Hall is the sales manager for Russell Roofing and has been with the company since 2006. He has project managed over 900 jobs totaling over six million dollars. Ron has several years experience as a home inspector which allows him to problem-solve complex ventilation and roofing problems. He has also owned a home improvement company with years of project management experience.

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