The Definitive Guide to Roofing Materials

Installing a roof is not a decision you should take lightly, as it is among the most vital things that protect your house or property and those living in it.

Choosing the appropriate roofing material for your house is critical because the appropriate material can protect your home or property from weather elements, making it more energy-efficient. Moreover, it can enhance the curb appeal of your home.

Knowing the various roofing types and roofing materials and how to maintain them can assist you in making an informed decision. 

Types of Roofing Materials

Below are some roofing materials available in the market

Asphalt shingle: Among the most common roofing materials in the market, asphalt shingles are made of a fiberglass base submerged in asphalt and then coated with mineral grains making them more durable.

Asphalt shingles come in two categories: three-tab shingles and architectural shingles. If you are looking for an inexpensive shingle, you can go for the three-tab. However, it is made with only a single layer. On the flip side, the architectural shingle is made of two or three layers and thus more durable.

Asphalt shingles are ideal for architectural roof detail that has complex flashing requirements.

Slate: This roofing material is often gray but is also available in several other colors. Slates are ideal if you want the natural insulation they offer and if your building can support its weight. 

Metal: This material gives a clean and modern appearance, particularly when made using stainless steel. 

Aluminum, copper-zinc, Stainless steel, and galvanized steel are the commonest metals available. The kind of metal you choose affects the strength and durability of the room. 

Rolled roofing: Ideal for low-slope residential roofs and out-buildings such as shops and sheds, rolled roofing comprises long rolls of asphalt-impregnated and mineral-impregnated material topped with granules. 

These strips of thin roofing material provide a fast, inexpensive, and convenient method for a sloped-roof building such as a workshop where looks are not a priority. You can apply rolled roofing either with roofing nails or the torch-down method.

Built-Up roofing: This is among the oldest options for flat or low-pitched roofs. The Built-Up Roofing systems are constructed with multiple layers of felt impregnated with hot asphalt. 

Membrane roofing: Another option for low-pitched or flat roofs is membrane roofing. There are many kinds of membranes that you can use, including:

  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) Neoprene 
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Polymer-modified bitumen
  • Chlorosulfonated polyethylene and Chlorinated polyethylene sheets 

The lifespan of a membrane roof is usually 20 to 35 years when it is appropriately maintained.

Clay tile: This roofing material is made from clays molded into interlocking or rolled shapes and kilning for hardness. Clay tile is an ideal roofing material where salt air is present or in hot climates — which is why they are common in deserts or southern coastal regions.

The cost of tiles ranges between 10 and 18 dollars per square foot, though more rare ceramic tiles can go for around 30 dollars per square foot. 

Clay roof tiles have a longer lifespan than most roofing materials. These roofing materials can have a life span of a hundred years, thus reducing the cost of roof repairs.