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5 Popular Roofing Materials (and Which One to Choose)

Beautiful roof replacement done for a client by Remodeling Concepts.

There’s no question a new roofing system is one of the most significant financial purchases you’ll make for your home. Such an important decision and long-term investment requires careful deliberation and thought. However, it can be challenging to reach a consensus when there are so many roofing materials to choose from. Which material is actually best for your home? 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials to help you choose the right material for your unique goals and budget. So, let’s dive right in!

1. Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are the most widely used roofing material on the market. Because they’re affordable, durable, versatile, and can last for several decades, many homeowners opt for this popular roofing material during their replacement.

Homeowners can choose more traditional three-tab asphalt roofing shingles or “designer” architectural shingles for additional depth and visual interest. At Remodeling Concepts, we install beautiful, lasting Owens-Corning asphalt roofing shingles in both styles to offer premium performance you can count o

Pros of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are affordable, low-maintenance, and easy to come by since they’re such a popular roofing material. They also come in a wide range of colors and styles, making matching your home’s architectural style effortless.

Cons of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan than many other roofing materials, but they still last for 30 years. Additionally, three-tab shingles are often prone to wind damage, but investing in more durable architectural shingles can eliminate this concern.

2. Metal Roofing

Metal is an attractive, long-lasting roofing material that can withstand almost any weather condition thrown its way. There are tons of materials to choose from, including steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper, and two distinct styles—standing seam metal roofing and metal shingles

At Remodeling Concepts, we install durable metal roofing from Drexel Metals to provide homeowners with versatile styles and reliable performance.

Pros of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is weatherproof, low-maintenance, and can be made to mimic almost any other roofing material, including asphalt, slate, or wood. It’s also lightweight and highly reflective, helping to keep your home cool, and can be recycled at the end of its long lifespan, making it an excellent choice for eco-friendly homeowners. Metal roofs usually last between 50–80 years.

Cons of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing doesn’t really have any cons if a professional correctly installs it. It needs soundproofing to reduce noise and can be more costly than other roofing materials, but because of its extremely long lifespan, if it’s in your budget—a metal roof is well worth the cost!

3. Tile Roofing

Tile is a popular roofing material for Mediterranean, Mission, and Southwestern-style homes in the South, so this roofing material is less common here in Pennsylvania.

Nevertheless, tile roofing is long-lasting and can withstand heat, wind, and fire. It is also offered in two popular materials—genuine clay and concrete—and in several styles, including flat, scalloped, and ribbed.

Pros of Tile Roofing

Tile roofing can last 50–100 years, making it one of the longest-lasting roofing materials, and offers beautiful curb appeal, with dozens of colors and styles to choose from.

Cons of Tile Roofing

Tile roofing is expensive, and in addition to the cost of the tile, this heavy roofing material usually requires additional framing to support its weight. Though it is weatherproof, tile roofing (especially clay tile) is vulnerable to damage from heavy impacts, like hail.

4. Slate Roofing

Slate is similar to clay roofing—it’s pretty comparable in terms of cost, durability, lifespan, fire resistance, wind resistance, and efficiency. However, slate roofing can withstand damage from heavy impacts and is offered in a wide range of colors, including gray, blue, green, brown, and red, making it a more compatible option for the home styles found in the Northeast.

Pros of Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is extremely long-lasting and can last for 50–200 years. It’s also low-maintenance, durable, and recyclable at the end of its (very) long lifespan. As mentioned, it comes in several colors and offers an elegant appearance that matches Colonial and European homes.

Cons of Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a hefty investment like tile roofing, but it will be the last roof replacement you’ll ever need. It’s also heavy, so it’s crucial to install it properly, with extra framing and structural support.

5. Wood Roofing

Wood is a timeless roofing material that has been popular for centuries. This material is often found on Cape Cod and Craftsman-style homes and comes in two variations—wood shakes for a natural, rugged look or wood shingles for a clean, uniform appearance.

Pros of Wood Roofing

Wood roofing is a beautiful material that will add instant curb appeal to your home. It’s also made from natural materials, so it’s sustainably sourced, eco-friendly, and recyclable.

Cons of Wood Roofing

Wood must be treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives to withstand damage from pests, fire, and the elements. However, even with these treatments, wood roofing is still susceptible to water damage, mold, mildew, and rot, making it a high-maintenance material.

Invest in Expert Roof Replacement with Remodeling Concepts

So, tell us—do you have a better idea about which roofing material is right for you?

If so, we’d love to discuss your goals for your upcoming roof replacement. Learn more about the roofing materials and brands we install at Remodeling Concepts and discover why homeowners across Pennsylvania and New Jersey turn to us for reliable, lasting roof replacement services!

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