9 Different Types of Roofing Materials to Consider

House roofing doesn’t particularly rank highly on the list of to-do fun projects in a home remodeling project. However, a leaking roof is enough reason for you to change your attitude against roofing when suddenly you find the prospect of a dry and tightly sealed house to be attractive. Having a stunning new roof is also likely to increase the curb appeal of your home.


While not so long ago, only asphalt shingles, clay, concrete tiles, and slate were about the only options one had when it came to roofing options. Today, there many types of advanced roofing materials to choose from for your roofing job than simply replacing your existing roof material. With the unprecedented range of roofing materials alternatives available, choosing the best-fit roofing material for your home requires considering appearance, cost, longevity, and structural integrity.


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Solar Tiles
Solar tile roofs use photovoltaic shingles, which are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials like asphalt shingles or slate. These tiles use advanced solar collectors that are seamlessly integrated into the shingles to generate up to 1kW of electricity per 100 square feet. Particularly good for homeowners in sunny areas that do not permit typical solar panels, solar tiles are a reliable type of solar energy solution that is also referred to as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Although they cost more than typical solar solutions, solar tiles will help offset your energy costs through solar power generations.


Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing material is an affordable roofing solution that is a mainstay in low-slope residential roofs. It can also be used on outbuildings, such as sheds, shops, and other utilitarian buildings. It consists of rolls of material impregnated with mineral and asphalt topped using mineral particles. Each roll of rolled roofing material is approximately 3 feet wide and 100 square feet of roofing and costs $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot when installed.
Rolled roofing is durable is expected to last about 10 years before they need to be replaced. Inexpensive and long-lasting, the long-format rolls provide a fast and convenient way to roof a sloped-roof building where aesthetics are not important such as workshops. Rolled roofing can be installed using roofing nails or the torch-down method.


Asphalt Composite Shingles

The most popular roofing material in North America, asphalt composite shingles, is made of a fiberglass base topped with mineral granules and asphalt, making them an ideal all-year-round choice effective in the American environmental conditions. With a wide variation in quality, ensure the asphalt shingles you buy pass the wind and durability tests, such as ASTM D7158, Class H (150 mph) or ASTM D3161, Class F (110 mph) wind tests, and the AC438 durability test.
The three-tab shingles have a low initial cost and last between 20-30 years, depending on the quality of the shingles used. Composite shingles cost range from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot when installed. You may need to replace damaged individual shingles from time to time, which is a relatively easy task. If you live in hail-prone areas, we recommend buying impact-resistant shingles with a UL 2218 Class 4 rating. Most roofing companies will be familiar with the shingles installation process. Shingles are an ideal roofing material due to their ability to flex and adapt to roof movements caused by contraction and expansion.


Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Although there are different types of metal roofs, the most common type is the standing seam metal roof. Popular in regions that experience heavy snowfall or areas with substantial wildfire risk, metal roofs are fully fireproof, can resist high winds, and sloughs off heavy snow easily. Metal roofing comprises vertical panels of aluminum or steel that meet in interlocking raised seams.
A metal roof can last anywhere between 50 to 75 years. Light in weight, metal roofing can be installed over existing roofs, although it needs specialized skills, and not every construction company does standing seam metal roofing. During rainstorms, metal roofing can be noisy, and it may also dent during hail. The average costs of metal roofings range between $5 and $12 per square foot when installed, depending on the type and style of metal material used.


Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is ideal for flat or very low-pitched roofs. It is available in several types, such as:

  • Chlorinated and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets
  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer)
  • Neoprene (polychloroprene)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Polymer-modified bitumens

EPDM is one of the best types of membrane roofs, which is installed in a similar way to asphalt roofing. It is applied in large sheets to limit the seams from which water can leak. It costs about $3 to $4 to install a membrane roof per square foot, and it has a lifespan of between 20-35 years when properly maintained.


Slate Shingles

One of the most beautiful roofing materials, slate shingles will add more aesthetical appeal to your house. Slate roofing specialized installation skills, and it may be hard to find a qualified installation company. Made from authentic thin sheets of stone, it is waterproof, fireproof, and resistant to mold and fungus growth. While it is effective in wet environments, slate shingles are heavy and can be easily damaged when walked on make them ineffective in high traffic roofs. Slate roofing costs between $30 to $75 per square foot when installed and lasts 70 to 200 years.


Synthetic Rubber Slate

Synthetic rubber slates are an excellent alternative for natural slate. Made out of engineered polymers, rubber, and recycled plastic, synthetic rubber slate has a natural appearance making it almost impossible to distinguish between it and the natural slate. Synthetic slate can be shaped using a knife to fit the intricate roofs, such as Victorian buildings’ roofs. Light in weight, synthetic rubber slate is ideal for buildings that cannot support the weight of natural slate. Rubber roofs can last up to 100 years and cost between $6 to $12 per square foot when installed. Rubber slate not only requires qualified professionals to install, who may be hard to find but may also be damaged by satellite dishes or hailstorms.


Clay and concrete tiles
Clay tiles are made from clay made into rolled or interlocking shapes and baked to hardness. Unglazed clay tiles have the characteristic reddish-orange color, but they can also be glazed into ceramic roofing tiles. Ideal for hot or salty climates such as coastal and desert areas, clay tiles are expensive. It can cost $10 to $18 per square foot when installed, with ceramic tiles even more costly. Clay tiles are durable and can last for over 100 years.

An alternative to clay tiles with similar advantages and installation requirements, concrete tiles are made from a mix of sand and concrete and colored as desired. Available in various profiles, concrete roof tiles are ideal for high wind areas as they can withstand damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, winds up to 125 miles per hour, and earthquakes. Due to being heavy, concrete tiles may require extra support to help bear the weight. They cost less than clay tiles, ranging between $9 to $12 per square foot when installed. It is long-lasting with a lifespan of 50 or more years.


Ecofriendly Green Roofs
Often frowned upon when found on roofs, moss and other living plants can be an effective roofing material when adequately planned. Green roofs are roofs covered with plants. They help improve air quality, reduce water runoff by increasing rainwater absorption, and provide thermal insulation for homes, actively reducing heat islands and allowing you to grow plants. Green roofs require the installation of extra structural support and regular maintenance to last long. This type of roof requires the installation of vapor barriers, thermal insulation, waterproofing using a waterproof membrane, drainage, water filtration, compost, soil, and plants. Although an unorthodox type of roof, green roofs can last up to an estimated lifespan of over 40 years.


Built-up Roofing (BUR)\
Built-up roofing (BUR) is a heavy roofing material made up of an aggregate topped with asphalt, tar, or adhesive layers. One of the oldest roofing options, built-up roofing, is ideal for flat roofs and roofs with a very low pitch. Constructed using several layers of roofing felt impregnated with hot asphalt. Applied in overlapping layers, the felt forms a barrier that is two to four layers in thickness before a layer of finely crushed stone embedded in hot tar is spread on the top to create an impenetrable and durable roof. Built-up-roofing is exceptionally durable, lasting about 20-20 years, and pocket-friendly, costing about $2.50 to $5 per square foot when installed.

Are you considering an upgrade to your roofing in the California Bay Area? To determine the best type of roofing material for your home, you’ll need to consider factors like your budget, climate and roof type, and house design. To find out what type of roofing material is best suited for your location, consult with licensed best in your area, talk with licensed roofing contractors to find out some of the newer roofing developments ideal for your area.

Regardless of the roofing material type, you decide to go with, Oria Builders- a luxury construction company in the Bay Area, will help handle the installation process professionally. Reach us today via phone at +1(877) 778-6742 or email at info@oriabuilders.comus for an estimate on roofing materials, project design, and installation cost projections.


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Gilad segev is the CEO and the founder of Oria builders.

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