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Types Of Roofing Materials And What You Should Know About Them (2023)

Posted on July 6, 2022

Estimated Reading Time : 10 Min.

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Types Of Roofing Materials And What You Should Know About Them (2023)

Are you planning to install a new roof, or even replace your existing roofing system? If yes, then at this time, your mind is probably thinking about many things. One problem that you are likely to face while you decide to have a new roof is choosing the right roofing material.  The roofing material is a type of roof component that occupies the top-most layer of the roof.

There are many options when it comes to selecting a roofing material. You can choose from asphalt shingles, metal roofing panels, clay or ceramic tiles, and many more. Each type of material has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before making a decision about having your new roof installed.

This is why we have decided to create this extremely helpful guide that lists all the popular residential roofing materials, and covers the important things that you need to know about them.

Asphalt Shingles

Without a doubt, asphalt shingles are the most popular and accepted roofing material in North America. For many homeowners, this is likely your first choice, so below is some useful information about this roofing material.

This common type of roofing material is made from asphalt (a black liquid-like material made from a mixture of various aggregates) and fiberglass (a type of reinforced plastic having multiple applications). This composition gives them good durability.

Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt Shingle

Things You Need To Know About Asphalt Shingles

Despite being popular, there are some things that you would not know about this roofing material.

There Are 3 Types Of Asphalt Shingles

One of the most important things you need to know is that asphalt shingles are broadly classified into three categories, and they differ based on their quality and features.

The three types of asphalt shingles are:

  • 3 Tab Asphalt Shingles
  • Dimensional Shingles
  • Luxury Shingles

What’s Good?

Asphalt shingle roofs provide you with many benefits. We have listed some of them below.

Most Affordable: Asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive roofing options you’ll find. They are light on your pocket, which makes them a popular roofing material for homeowners.

Ease To Install: They’re easy to install and maintain, which makes them an attractive option for homeowners who aren’t comfortable maintaining a roof themselves, or don’t have a lot of experience with home repairs.

Offers Wide-Range Aesthetic Choices: Asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of colors, styles, and textures, so you can choose the perfect option for your home’s look. Be it the warm, lighter shades or dark tones, you can choose the look you want.

What’s Bad?

Let us look at some of the cons of asphalt roofing shingles.

Lifespan Issues: One of the problems with this type of roofing system is that they don’t last as long as some other types of roofing materials before they need to be replaced. They have an average lifespan ranging from 15-25 years.

They Are Not As Durable: Asphalt shingles are also very lightweight, so if you live in an area with frequent high winds like hurricanes or tornadoes, this might not be a good choice for you as they can curl or get blown away.

Roofing Materials

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Metal Roofing System: Strong And Beautiful

Strong and Sturdy. These two words can perfectly describe the metal roofing material. Let’s get to know more about this system.

A metal roof is a type of roof that is installed by using large sheets of metal.

Metal roofs are known for their tough composition. There are many types of metal available that are used in a variety of roofing applications.

Metal roofs are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance option. They come in several different styles and colors, so you can customize the look of your home.

Things You Need To Know About Metal Roofing

Here are the important things that you need yo know.

Popular Metals Used For Metal Roofing

Not all metals are as effective; this is why you need to consider the top options. Some of the top metal roofing options are:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper

There Are Multiple Metal Roof Styles

There are many types of metal roofing systems that you can choose from.


These are the basic types of metal roofing. The corrugated metal roofing system is identified with the help of the exposed fastener system. These are very affordable and are widely used in commercial applications.

Standing Seam

A standing seam metal roof has a series of vertical seams that run up the roof and over the valleys. They make use of concealed fasteners, i.e, the fasteners are not visible on the roof, giving them a clean look. Metal roofs are easy to install and offers good performance, but they can be very costly.

What’s Good?

A metal roof is one of the best roofing materials around when it comes to performance, and they offer the following advantages.

  • Metal roofs are made of long-lasting materials that will last for decades. Some metal roofing systems can last for as many as 100 years!
  • Metal roofs are generally low maintenance and easy to clean. This makes them ideal for people who don’t want to spend much time maintaining their home’s exterior.
  • These materials, such as aluminum and steel, are 100% recyclable. With a metal roof, you can contribute to a clean environment.
  • Metal roofs reflect heat back into the atmosphere, keeping your house cooler in summer while helping it stay warmer in winter. Metal roofs are energy efficient, saving a lot on your energy bills.

What’s Bad?
Though there is not much wrong with metal roofs, they still suffer from some limitations.

  • Metal roofs do tend to be heavier than other types of roofing materials, so if you have an older home with weak foundations, or a new home that hasn’t been built properly, this might not be the right choice for you.
  • These can be noisy, and are prone to dents during heavy rains and hail storms.
Metal Roof

Metal Roof

Tile Roof

Extremely popular in some of the European countries, Tile roofs are steadily making their mark in the North American region as well. So what is a tile roof? Let’s find out!

Tile roofs are an excellent option for many homes. They’re durable, waterproof, and can last for decades if properly maintained.

Things You Need To Know

Tile roofs are a popular choice for homeowners, but there are a few things you should know about them before you go ahead and make your purchase.

Types Of Tile Roofing Materials

Tiles can be made using several materials. Below are some of the popular tile roofing options.

  • Clay Tiles: These are the most popular materials used in a tile roof. They’re made from clay that is fired at high temperatures,
  • Metal Tiles: Metal tiles are made from aluminum or steel sheets that are covered in an enamel coating to make them weatherproof
  • Concrete/Composite Tiles: Concrete tiles are made from concrete mixed with coloring agents or minerals to give them their color. The cement is mixed with sand or gravel to provide toughness.

What’s Good?

Lifespan: Tile roofs have a long lifespan. They can effectively protect your home for more than 50 years with ease. However, it depends on the quality of the tile and the area you live in.

Visual Appeal: Of all the roofing materials, a tile roof can be the most aesthetically pleasing. A clay tile looks extremely good on your roof. They have a very rich and classy look, and can help your home stand-out from the rest no matter where you live.

Energy Saving: Tile roofs are typically very energy efficient, which is great if you live in an area where the weather is hot or cold all year round.

Fire Resistant: Tile materials such as clay and ceramic have an excellent fire resistance rating. These ensure that your roof remains the same if there is a fire hazard.

What’s Bad

They Are Heavy: The biggest downside to tile roofs is their weight: they’re heavier than other materials and need more support. This can make the installation process more difficult, and more costly.

They Can Be Expensive: Because clay tiles are so long-lasting, high-quality ones are likely to be more expensive than the other popular roofing materials. When we compare the price per/square foot installed—they are more expensive than asphalt shingles and even metals.

Tile Roof

Tile Roof

Wood Shake

Previously, we discussed the 3 most popular types of roofing materials that you can install in on your home. However, there are some other excellent options as well; one such option is the Wood Shake.

Wood shake roofing is a type of shingle that is made from wood. They are typically made from cedar or redwood, and have a rough texture. Wood shakes are often used on pitched roofs. These shakes are hand-split from wood logs, and are then manufactured and treated before they are finally installed.

Types Of Wood Shake Materials

These wood shakes can be made of the following materials

  • Cedarwood
  • Pinewood
  • Redwood
  • Cypress

Wood Shakes Vs Wood Shingles

Many homeowners think that both wood shakes and shingles are the same thing, but there are slight differences between them that you should know.

Both wood shakes and wood shingles are better than asphalt shingles; however, the shakes are heavier. They also tend to offer more wind resistance than shingles.

Wood shakes are hand-split, while wood shingles are sawed off. This helps them give a uniform look.

What’s Good With Wood Shake Roofing?

Natural Look: Wood shakes are made from natural woods. This helps give your roof an excellent, natural look. Wood shake roofing can be used in both modern and traditional home structures. Also, since it is natural, it does not harm the environment.

It looks great! If you want a more traditional aesthetic look for your home, a wood shake roof is a great choice. It can be painted or stained in a variety of colors, so you can customize the look as much as you want.

They Are Effective Against Wind: Wood shakes are a bit heavy in nature, and perform well against high winds. If you live in a wind-prone area, these can be considered a great roofing material.

What’s Bad

It’s expensive! Shakes are made from real wood, and require specialist installation techniques. Since they are hand-split and use woods such as cedar, they can be more expensive than other types of shingle roofs.

Wood Shake

Wood Shake

Slate Roof

This is a premium roofing material! Slate is made up of metamorphic rock that has been compressed and heated over millions of years.

If you want a natural look, slate is the way to go. It’s a heavy roofing material, so installing it can be a difficult job that many roofing contractors may not be capable of. If you choose to install a slate roof, you can be confident if your new roof’s durability. Slate can be very expensive compared to other common roofing materials.

Slate is best suited for areas with high humidity because it won’t deteriorate over time. Some other roofing materials might not do well in wet climates (like asphalt shingles), but this will never be a concern if you install a new slate roof.

What Should You Know?

Let us discuss some things that you should know about this premier roofing material.

There Are Various Types Of Slate Roofs.

Natural slates are made from a variety of materials, including shale, limestone, and diorite. They come in a range of colors, from dark to light, depending on their mineral content.

Concrete slates are made from cement mixed with sand or other aggregates like crushed stone or gravel. These roofs are lighter than natural slates, and require some maintenance due to their porous nature. These are less costly.

What’s Good?

Can Last A Century: A slate roof is considered to be a long-term investment because it can last for over 100 years with proper maintenance. With slate roofing, you can be confident that your roof will last a lifetime.

Unmatched Durability: Slate roofs can withstand the toughest of conditions. These roofs offer superior protection from wind and rain, especially when compared to other types of roofs. They are also fire and rot-resistant, giving you all-around protection.

What’s Bad?

They Are Expensive: Slate isn’t cheap! Because slate is made from natural materials that require processing before being used on roofs (e.g., cutting into thin slices), it can be the most expensive roofing material. This is why many homeowners choose a different material for their new roof installation project.

Slate Roof

Slate Roof

Composite Roof

All the materials we have discussed are somewhat made of natural materials. Now let us move on to synthetic, or composite roofing material.

One of the newer types of roofing materials on the market, composite/synthetic roofing is made from a combination of different materials. Synthetic roofs are made from many different types of materials, and they offer good performance and durability.

What’s Good?

High-quality roofs can be expensive, but composite materials are more affordable than natural slate, and they don’t fall apart over time. They are a good roofing material at a price that most homeowners can afford.

Composite shingles mimic cedar, shake, or slate shakes, so people don’t have to sacrifice their sense of style in order to install this durable and long-lasting type of roofing.

What’s Bad?

Composite shingles are the advancement of regular shingles. However, roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, metal, slate, etc. have been in use for years, and are typically more trusted.

Install The Best Roofing Materials In Memphis

As you can see, there are many different types of roofing materials to choose from. Each has its own pros and cons, so it’s important that you do your research before making a decision. We hope this article has given you some insight into how various types of roofs work, their advantages and disadvantages when compared with each other, as well as how they should be installed.

If you have decided on the best roofing material for your project, or have further questions, contact the professionals at Miller Roofing And Renovations. We are the best roofing company in Memphis.

  • We have roofers with years of experience.
  • We install products from leading manufacturers, such as Atlas and Ownes Corning.
  • We were voted Memphis Best Roofing Company in 2021 (Commercial Appeal)

Contact us now at (901) 457-9405 to learn more.

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