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5 Types of Roofing Materials

Until quite recently, clay, slate, concrete, and other basic materials were the only roofing options available. Now, we have many advanced roofing materials on the market. From green roofs to solar roofs, we have many alternatives that are perfect for a range of needs and use types. Not only do these newer, alternative roofing methods look great, they also have a range of commercial and environmental benefits.

Interested in alternative roofing materials for your own home or new project? Or, maybe you’d like to use more conventional materials? Take a look at 5 types of roofing materials here, including the advantages and disadvantages of their use.

1. Clay Roofing Tiles 

Clay tiles have protected homes for centuries, and rightly so, they are a durable option. While they are expensive to install and repair, clay tiles last longer than any other roofing material. Clay tiles are absolutely perfect for hotter climates, such as climates in Southern California and Arizona and are popular in Mediterranean countries. They can also endure really strong winds and are fire-resistant.

Some advantages of clay tiles: 

  • Perfect for hotter climates 
  • Available in a range of colours such as terracotta and grey 
  • They are long lasting and low maintenance

Some disadvantages of clay tiles:

  • They are expensive to install and may require a professional to fit them 
  • Their heaviness can put pressure on your roof 
  • They can become brittle in colder temperatures

2. Roof Asphalt Shingles 

Roof shingles are a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements that work well for pitched roofs. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with each successive course overlapping the joints below. One of the main benefits of asphalt shingles is it can cover many different areas, corners, and angles which means it is extremely versatile.

Advantages of roof asphalt shingles include: 

  • They are easily installed and have a low labour cost 
  • Roof shingles last for about 15-50 years 
  • Due to the range of colours, you can imitate other styles at a fraction of the cost

Some disadvantages of roof asphalt shingles are: 

  • They require maintenance to prevent water seeping through 
  • Due to them being lightweight, they can be prone to wind damage 
  • They can crack because of their material 

3. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a type of roofing that is made of metal sheets. Typically, zinc, copper, and steel alloys are used and it can either be used flat or to create different profiles on a roof. Metal roofing is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a unique style of roofing that will endure all weather conditions and last a long period of time.

The main benefits of metal roofing include: 

  • Metal roofing lasts longer due to it being resistant to harsh weather conditions
  • Metal is hard and slippery, therefore rain or snow is shed easily. 
  • Lightweight compared to other roofing materials 
  • Quick and easy to install due to coming in panels or sheets 

Some disadvantages of metal roofing include: 

  • Metal roofing is more sensitive to external noise like rain or wind. 
  • As it comes in sheets or panels, it can be harder to change 
  • Metal is prone to getting dents 

4. Green Roofing

Green roofing, otherwise known as a living roof, is a little less conventional than other roofing materials and is a newer option to the housing roof options. Green roofs come in different shapes and sizes — from smaller set-ups on a garden shed to full-on rooftop gardens for newer, more modern homes. 

Green roofs are clearly wonderful to look at, and break up what might otherwise be a concrete city. However, they also have a number of practical benefits that result in a cleaner environment. As more and more green space is disappearing from our environment, green roofs are a great way to bring nature back. 

Some more advantages of green roofs include: 

  • They are a great way to reduce the amount of external and internal noise. 
  • Increases biodiversity and environments for birds and wildlife
  • Absorbs rainwater to prevent drainage system from overloading

Some disadvantages of green roofs include: 

  • They can become very heavy due to excessive rainwater
  • They require a lot of maintenance to prevent them becoming overgrown 
  • Often, you need extra roof support which can increase costs 

5. Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are the latest advanced roofing material. They are designed to look like conventional roofing tiles, however, their function is to generate electricity like solar panels. In simple terms, they are solar panels but on a smaller scale. To add to this, they are designed to look sleeker and more modern that traditional roofing tiles.

Solar panel shingles have many advantages, these include: 

  • If you’re building your own home, they are more cost effective than conventional tiles.
  • If you need to move house, they can generally be removed and re-installed elsewhere.
  • Unline bigger solar panels, solar shingles blend into your roof design

Some disadvantages of solar shingles are: 

  • They can’t always be installed on any roof type. 
  • They are a relatively new roofing material, therefore they are catching up in popularity. 
  • The slope of your roof needs to be correctly positioned in order to benefit from sunlight.

Choosing The Perfect Roofing Materials For Your Home or Project 

We hope you have found this article on different types of roofing materials useful. Today, there’s many types of roofing materials to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you want to go for a modern look with metal roofing or a traditional look with conventional tiles, you will be able to create your dream home.

If you’d like more information on the products we sell, please feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to take you through the most suitable products for you.