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What Are the Best Roofing Materials?

October 30, 2015
Amanda Curry
Read Time
2 minutes

Before winter hits, it is important to ensure your roof is in good shape. If your roof is nearing 15 years old or more it could be replaced, but what are the best roofing materials? Here we break down each roofing material so you can choose which is best for you.

Steel Roofs

Steel roofs are weatherproof and can handle hot climates while reflecting sunlight to keep you home cooler. Steel roofs are also a low maintenance option requiring minimal upkeep or repairs. Also, if you are looking for a quick install, steel roofs should be your first option. Most importantly, the average life of a steel roof is 50 years.

Solar Roofs

Residential solar has doubled over the past year and costs have dropped by 45 percent since 2010. Installing solar panels on your roof homeowners can increase their property value while decreasing their electricity bills. The average household with see savings of $44 to $187 per month. Homeowners can also receive tax incentives and rebates by using solar power. Going solar also contributes heavily to the job market and is just one more reason to upgrade your roof with solar panels.

Asphalt Roofs

Asphalt roofs are the most common type or residential roofing. They are easy to install, cost effective and come in a variety of colors. Be sure to keep in mind that asphalt roofs have a shorter lifespan than most, but if they are taken care of they will last 20 to 25 years.

Clay or Concrete Roofs

When you think of a Spanish-style home clay tiles instantly come to mind. Clay and concrete tiles add style and texture to a rather dull roof. Long-lasting and energy efficient, clay and concrete tiles can also be slightly expensive, but worth the investment. The average life of a clay or concrete tiled roof is 40 to 50 years.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs can come in either panels or shingles and either aluminum, copper, steel or zinc. Metal is a great choice for those interested in rainwater harvesting. They are light-weight, long-lasting and recyclable, but come at a price. Costs can range from $100 to $300 per square or $600 to $800 per square.

Wood Shingles

Cost-effective and a decently long life, wood shingles are a rustic alternative for those in the country or wooded-areas. They can be made from cedar, redwood or southern pine and will last up to 30 years. Be sure to check fire codes in wooded areas as some may prohibit use of wood shingles.

Slate Roofs

Looking for beauty? Slate is the way to go. Fire resistant, recyclable and sustainable, your slate roof can be black, gray, green, red or purple. Elegance comes at a price with a starting price roughly $600 per square. The cost may be worth the 50 to 100-year life, though.

Choosing a roofing material comes down to the homeowner’s preference on color, style, and cost. What kind of roof do you have and what do you like most about it? Tell us in the comments.