Your roof is the first line of defense against strong UV rays, cold weather, wind, snow, and other harsh elements. A durable, properly installed roof will help you save energy, prevent leaks, and protect your family for decades to come.
But what is the best roofing material?
Avoid some common roofing mistakes by checking out our complete guide to the most durable roofing materials.
Most Durable Roofing Materials
The best roofing material for your home depends on a few factors, like your region’s climate, your budget, and how long you want your roof to last.
Here’s a list of the most popular roofing resources today.
The vast majority of homes in America have asphalt roofs. Why? Because asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective roofing materials, while still offering impressive durability and longevity. Asphalt shingles cost $3.50-$7.20 per square foot and last about 30 years.
2. Fiberglass Composition Shingles
Fiberglass composition shingles are one type of asphalt shingle, made from fiberglass mesh that is then coated in asphalt. These shingles are lighter weight and more durable than traditional asphalt shingles, but come at a slightly higher price point. They’re also not as resistant to high winds, meaning the shingles may fall off over time if you live in a windy region.
3. Wood Shingles
Wood shingles are certainly beautiful, but they also come at a cost: about $6.50-$14.50 per square foot. These shingles can be made from cedar, redwood, or cypress and provide a warm, homey look that many homeowners love. However, they are less fire-resistant than most other roofing materials and may be banned in areas with high risk of wildfires.
While wood shingles are cut by a machine, wood shakes are hand-cut and provide a more rustic aesthetic. Shakes are thicker than shingles, making them slightly more expensive. Otherwise, they share similar features to wood shingles. Untreated wood shingles are high maintenance and have low resistance to fires.
5. Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is increasing in popularity, thanks to its energy efficiency and extreme durability. Though metal shingles cost $7.50-$16.50 per square foot, the upfront cost is usually balanced by the fact that metal roofs can last up to twice as long as asphalt shingles and require little maintenance.
Tin has been used for centuries as an incredibly strong, long-lasting, and energy-efficient roofing material. Costs run about $12.50-$18.50 per square foot, with terne-coated stainless steel being one of the most expensive (and highest quality) options.
Popular in regions that get a lot of sun, concrete tiles are lightweight, durable, and easy to install. They’re known for being resistant to fire and insects, offering a unique Spanish look, and lasting more than 50 years. Concrete tiles cost $10-$24 per square foot.
8. Clay Roof Tiles
Like concrete, clay roof tiles are most common in areas prone to strong UV rays, like the Southwest and desert. Clay tiles boost curb appeal while reflecting sunlight and keeping the house cool. They typically cost $10-$24 per square foot and last about 50 years.
9. Natural and Synthetic Composite Slate Tiles
As one of the most durable roofing materials out there, natural slate tiles are certainly an excellent choice for any home. However, the beauty and longevity of these tiles will cost you. Slate tiles cost about $9-$25 per square foot, and require additional roofing support because of their heavy weight.
10. BiPV Solar Shingles and Tiles
BiPV solar shingles and tiles are the newest roofing resource on the scene, made by Tesla in an attempt to revamp the aesthetics of traditional solar panels. These tiles are stylish and eco-friendly, providing complete solar energy for at least 30 years. However, they come at a price of $25-$45 per square foot, making them one of the most expensive options.
11. Low-Sloped and Flat Roof Options
Low-sloped and flat roofs can be built with EPDM rubber, PVC, TPO, and a few other materials. These roofing materials are not very common in the U.S. today, but they are a better option for flat roofs, since they are better at preventing leaks. The lifespan of flat roof materials spans 10-30 years, with a price range of $6.50-$15 per square foot.
What Roofing Material Is Best for the Elements?
If you live in a climate prone to strong winds, heavy rain or snowfall, or strong UV rays, you’ll want a roofing material that can stand up to the elements. Corrugated galvanized steel is one of the strongest, most durable roofing materials, since it lasts longer, is more resistant to wind, and absorbs less heat than asphalt shingles.
What Are the Materials Used in Roofing?
Roofing materials can vary depending on the region. But today, asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material in the U.S., thanks to their affordability, ease of installation, and longevity.
Metal and EPDM are a popular choice for commercial and flat roofs, while wood shingles, slate, and clay tiles are relatively common, too.
What Is the Most Commonly Used Type of Roofing Material?
Asphalt shingles are definitely the most commonly used type of roofing material in America today. This type of roofing material has skyrocketed in popularity because it is more affordable than metal, slate, or wood, while still being fire-resistant and long-lasting.
The average asphalt shingle roof lasts about 30 years—but it could last longer depending on the climate and frequency of roof maintenance.
How Do I Choose Roofing Materials?
There are many things to consider when choosing the best roofing material for your home. Some factors to think about include:
- Installation requirements
The majority of today’s homeowners opt for asphalt shingles because they’re affordable, durable, and easy to install. However, if you have a more generous budget, you may want to consider slate, wood shingles, or metal roofing. All of these options are considered to be aesthetically pleasing, while still offering exceptional durability and longevity.
Install a New Roof Today
Ready to install your new roof? Enlist the help of the experts at DMG Exteriors for all your roofing or siding needs. As experienced roofing contractors in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties, we’re here to ensure your home is well-protected with the most durable roofing materials.
We can help with roof inspections, installation, roof replacement, repairs, and more. Contact us today to get a free quote.