What are the Best Types of Roofing Materials?

Are you asking yourself what are the best types of roofing materials? Let RRG Roofing answer this for you! A roof replacement may not be the most exciting and fun project out there. However, when homeowners start noticing roof leaks and other roofing issues frequently, it becomes a priority suddenly. If you’ve decided to get your roof replaced, it is important to choose the right materials to suit your budget, needs, and local climate.


It pays to have some basic knowledge about the roofing materials available on the market – in terms of aesthetics, structural strength, cost, and longevity. With that in mind, we have listed some of the most popular options in roofing materials you can choose from.

1. Asphalt shingles

As the most popular and common roofing materials in the United State, asphalt shingle roofs are installed on over 75% of the houses here. Some of the main reasons why asphalt shingles are still the most sought-after choice among homeowners are their affordability and availability in a huge variety of colors and styles. Despite their low cost, asphalt shingles are proven for protecting homes from harsh weather elements.

These roofs offer excellent fire protection as well. If maintained well, they can have a lifespan of around 20-30 years. Regular 3 Tab shingles offer wind resistance of 60-70 MPH while high-end architectural shingles have a wind resistance of up to 110 MPH.

The longevity and durability of many modern materials, such as metal, available these days are much better than asphalt shingles.

2. Wood Shingles and Shakes

When it comes to the most aesthetically pleasing materials out there, nothing can beat the classic beauty of wood shakes or wood shingles. Available in cedar, redwood, and pine shakes, wood shingles are still popular among discerning homeowners who want to attain that timeless classic look for their homes. If you’re looking to achieve a more rustic look, go for wood shakes as they’re hand-cut from large pieces of wood. On the other hand, machine-cut wood shingles have a smoother surface and cleaner edges and provide your home with a more uniform look.

  • Whether you choose rustic shakes or clean shingles, this material can help you infuse natural classic beauty into your home.
  • Redwood and cedar offer excellent resistance to insects and moisture.
  • The lifespan of wood shingles is 5 to 10 years longer than traditional asphalt shingles.
  • Since wood is fully recyclable, it is an eco-friendly roofing option.

On the flip side, wood shingles or shakes, especially the non-treated variety, come with a Class C fire rating. This means wood materials can be prone to fires. Secondly, wood is high-maintenance roofing material. So, you need to invest in regular maintenance to keep your wood roof in pristine condition. Regular maintenance can also prevent mold growth.

3. Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are increasingly becoming popular among homeowners mainly due to their exceptional longevity and virtually maintenance-free lifespan. Secondly, they are extremely durable and fully recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly roofing option. Metal roofing panels are available in a huge array of colors and styles, so they can fit almost any architectural style effortlessly. 

Furthermore, metal roofs can be made to imitate any expensive or luxury roofing materials including wood shakes, shingles, and tiles. This means you can attain any look for your home but without the high maintenance requirements of high-end materials. Popular material options in metal roofs are aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc.

Metal roofs have excellent reflective properties, so they can reflect most of the solar radiant heat falling on their surface. This will keep your home energy efficient and cool even in the scorching heat.

They’re very effective at shedding snow and rain. This means they can help prevent the formation of ice dams if you live in a colder climate.

However, metal roofs are more expensive than many other roofing materials on the market. But, since they’re highly durable and can easily last a lifetime with minimal maintenance, they usually pay for themselves within a few years.

Metal roofs must be installed by trained and experienced professionals as improper installation can leave you with a noisier and leaky metal roof. Skilled roofers use high-quality substrate and several other methods to eliminate such issues.

4. Concrete, Clay, and Fiber-cement Tiles

One of the oldest roofing materials on the planet, tiles have come a long way. Modern tiles made from clay, concrete, or fiber cement are stronger and way more beautiful than traditional materials. Moreover, to make the tiles waterproof, they can be easily coated or glazed with the right materials. Most residents opt for tile roofing due to its incredibly long lifespan and great aesthetics. The best part is that tiles are naturally resistant to insects and fire.

However, there are a few downsides to tile roofing. The first one is their excessive weight. They are heavier than most other materials, and therefore, they need extra support. That’s why it’s important to get your home checked for its structural strength before investing in a tile roof. Tile roofing is also one of the most expensive roofing options on the market. Tiles can become brittle in absence of maintenance. They may also break if handled haphazardly. That’s why only rely on trained and certified roofing professionals for your tile roof installation or repairs.

5. Slate

Slate roofs come in a wide range of options to suit any architectural style. They have a lifespan of over 100 years. So they offer a luxurious look that can last a lifetime with minimal maintenance. Slate roofs are a great option for eco-conscious homeowners as these roofs can be easily recycled or reused in various projects. 

One of the few drawbacks of this material is that genuine slate tile is very heavy. 100 square feet of slate material weight 1500 lbs. approximately. So, you need to ensure the structural strength of your home before installing a slate roof. Moreover, you need to be extra careful when walking on or handling a slate roof.


At the end of the day, the best material for your roof will depend on your home’s architectural style, your local climate, and your budget. For more information, contact RRG Roofing at 678-326-4951. We service areas in Dahlonega, Blairsville, Hiawassee, and Alpharetta, GA.

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