The Most Common Roofing Materials Compared

Choosing the right roofing material is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your house. Roofing material prices vary significantly around the country, but it all comes down to the type of material you choose. You can choose shingles, tiles or metal panels. Each roofing material is better in some situations than in others, depending upon where you live. This article will discuss each type of roofing materials pros and cons so you can decide which is best for your home.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles in a variety of colours

The majority of the roofs you see on homes today are asphalt shingle. They are by far the most popular form of roof for a variety of reasons. Asphalt roofs are some of the easiest types of roofing to install, they are the most affordable, and they are easy to repair if they get damaged.

The Pros Of Picking An Asphalt Shingle Roof For Your Home

The #1 reason why most homeowners go with an asphalt roof is that they are by far the most affordable roofing system on the market. We all know that a new roof installation or roof replacement is a pretty significant investment on your end. Asphalt roofs accommodate homeowners budgets the best making it a popular choice.

We know that no two roofs are the same. If you have a regular, middle-class home, your new roof can typically be installed in a day or two. Even if you have a large, more complex roof, the installation time is still pretty quick. So not only are the materials a cheaper option, the quick install time leads to you paying less for labour.

They come in various colour and style options, giving you creative control over the final look.

The last great thing about asphalt shingle roofing systems is that they require minimal maintenance. Even if they get damaged in our rough Canadian weather, it generally doesn't cost an arm and a leg to repair unless very significant damage has occurred.

The Cons Of Asphalt Shingle Roofing

While asphalt shingles are less expensive than other kinds of roofing, they can be more vulnerable to strong winds. This can cause them to detach, thereby making your roof more vulnerable to leaks and other damage.

These types of shingles need to be installed in warmer weather. If installed during our well known cold Canadian winters, they can become damaged. So timing is an issue with this type of roof.

Asphalt shingles do not last quite as long, nor do they retain their colour saturation or architectural appeal for as long as some other options. With them being more prone to damage and weather wear and tear, this type of roof has a shorter lifespan.


Metal Roof Installed On Home

When you build a new home, one of your major financial decisions will be what kind of roofing material to use. Do you go with a metal roof? To help you make that decision, we’ve listed below some of the pros and cons associated with metal roofs, as well as some tips on choosing one for your home. When considering these factors, remember that there is no perfect roof—each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, which you’ll need to weigh against your individual needs.

The Pros Of Selecting A New Metal Roof Installation

Metal roofing is a great long-term investment for your home. While other roof types can need to be replaced every few decades or so, metal roofing can last over 100 years. This means that you’ll see a huge payoff by going with metal over another type of material. It will probably be the only roof you need to install on your house.

Because metal lasts so long, it can end up saving you a lot of money over time by not having to invest in repairs as often as you would with other types of roofing. Metal roofing can withstand strong winds and resist damage from hail better than asphalt shingles.

A properly installed metal roof can help keep your home cooler in summer by reflecting heat away from your home, just like a parking lot. How do metal roofs work to keep you cool? Imagine yourself on a hot day walking across a blacktop parking lot. Now imagine doing that same walk on a white, sandy beach. The blacktop will feel much hotter under your feet than the beach will, even though they are both at the same temperature. That is because asphalt is an excellent absorber of solar radiation—it absorbs 80% or more of the solar energy it receives, while sand only absorbs about 10%. Metal roofs are designed to reflect solar radiation rather than absorb it. So metal roofs are very effective at keeping buildings cool compared to traditional roofing materials.

The Cons of Picking A Metal Roof System

Metal roofing has a higher upfront cost than other materials. But the benefits of metal roofs outweigh these costs. They typically last much longer than other types of roofing, so it will save you money in the long term if you can afford the initial cost to install.

While metal roofing is a great long term option that can be installed quickly, it is not a good choice if you want a quiet roof. Metal roofs are noisy during thunder and rainstorms, and they can develop loud creaks or groans over time. To some, this might not even be a con as they find the sounds calming and soothing. Lots of sleep apps these days have a rain sound as a popular choice to help people relax and sleep. So this one is a personal preference.


Slate Roof Tiles

Slate roofing has been popular in England and throughout Europe for centuries, mostly in rural areas because of its excellent resistance to extreme weather conditions. The different types of slate vary in colour and composition, which means slate roofs can be designed to complement any kind of house design. Aside from aesthetics, this type of roofing comes with various pros and cons that should be considered before installing it.

The Pros Of Installing A Slate Roof

The biggest pro that people love about slate roofing is how long it lasts. They are one of the longest-lasting roofs out there in the market. It will probably be the only roof you will have to install on your home. They can easily last 100 years.

If you decide to go with a slate roof, you will have one of the most beautiful roofs in your neighbourhood. Slate roofs are beautiful and eye-catching from every angle.

They add great value to your home. A slate roof is a great way to attract buyers as it stands out as a very unique feature.

Slate roofs are environmentally friendly. Slate comes from quarries in many countries and is produced in quarries that have been operating for hundreds of years. Because slate is mined and manufactured in natural conditions, slate is a sustainable, natural, and organic roofing material.

The Cons Of Going With A Slate Roof

There are many benefits of installing a roof made with slate, as we have written here. However, you need to know that this material is not perfect and there remain some potential issues you need to consider before making your final decision.

Slate roofing is a premium material and therefore incredibly expensive. It is one of the most expensive roof choices you can make. While the price of a slate roof is costly upfront, you more than make up for it with the longevity it provides.

And while slate roofs do last a very long time, it is fragile material that can break. After the roof is installed, nobody should be walking on it unless they know what they're doing and how to manoeuvre on it. The tiles can easily be broken with somebody stepping on them.

They can also break if, in a windy storm, large objects like parts of a tree are blown and land on the roof.

Finally, slate roofing is very heavy. Most homes have to be built with this type of roof in mind to support the extra weight. You can retrofit your house to support it, but it adds to the price.

Clay Tiles

Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tiles have been a popular roofing choice in Europe and Latin America for centuries. Today, clay tiles are growing in popularity as a top-quality roofing option among homeowners who want an attractive, long-lasting roof with outstanding durability and lower operating costs over time. Clay tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, giving you plenty of freedom to express your individuality through colour choices or texture variations. Here is what you need to know about clay tile roofs before deciding whether they make sense for your home or commercial property.

The Pros of A Clay Tile Roof

Clay tile roofing is by far one of the most durable types of roofing available on today’s market. It offers long-lasting protection against all forms of weather and can last through multiple generations. This type of roof also requires little to no maintenance, making it ideal for those who don’t want to worry about their home’s exterior. Clay tiles are made from natural materials, so they blend in well with your surroundings. This type of material doesn’t take away from your home’s natural appeal, making it a suitable option for any kind of architectural style. Also, these tiles come in many different colours and designs, giving you many options when it comes to choosing just how your roof will look like.

Clay tiles act as an insulating barrier that protects the underlayment of your roof. They also provide an air pocket, so heat or cold is less likely to be transferred into your home’s attic space.

The Cons Of A Clay Tile Roof

Clay tiles are mostly found on roofs in warmer climate areas. When clay tiles were created they did not fare well in colder climates because of the freezing and thawing cycles. It leads to cracking of the tiles. But clay tile roofs can be safely used in cold climate provinces like Ontario as long as they ASTM grade 1.

Compared to a basic asphalt roof, clay tiles are a lot more expensive. It can easily be doubled or triple the price. This is a premium roof system that will require more upfront money, but save you money down the road with fewer repairs and less need to ever fully replace the roof.

Homeowners should be aware of the weight of clay tile roofs because they are heavy and not all homes can support their weight.

Concrete Tiles

Conrete Roofing Tiles

A combination of cement, sand and water are what make up concrete tiles. The mixture is moulded under heat and high pressure to give you the final result you see on your roof. They can be finished with paint-like material to provide colouring options. The clay tile surfaces can also be textured or smooth and the tile edges can be either ragged or uniform.

Concrete tiles are excellent at preventing water infiltration because they have additional water locks or interlocking ribs on the edges that prevent this.

This material makes them very durable and resistant to temperature changes. They’re heavy, though, so if your home doesn’t have a strong framework, they may not be a good option.

The Pros Of Choosing A Concrete Tile Roof

Concrete tiles are very resistant to hail, wind and fire. This makes them a very long-lasting and safe roofing option to select. They're pretty much impenetrable to damage from rot, insects or animal abuse, so you'll never have to worry about decay.

Rigid, cold Ontario weather isn't a problem for concrete tiles. They can withstand our extreme weather seasons with no issues. Again adding to their longevity.

Because of the heavy thermal mass of concrete tiles, they offer a great energy-efficient edge compared to some other roofing systems. They'll keep the heat in well in the winter months, saving you costs on your energy bills.

The Cons Of Having A Concrete Tile Roof

Like most other roofing tiles, concrete tiles are incredibly heavy. They are even heavier than clay tiles. Technology has been able to provide some advancements over the years to get the weight lower, but it is still a heavy option. This means your framing structure might need to get reinforced before moving ahead with concrete tiles.

Another con of concrete tiles is that with age, the colours will fade over time.

Concrete tiles also have a much higher rate of water absorption. What happens is the water will mix with the carbon dioxide and combine with the lime in the concrete tiles. This produces a chalky, white substance that will appear on top of the surface of the tiles. This effect is called efflorescence. This makes the maintenance of concrete tiles a little bit more work. You can seal the tiles to help prevent the moisture from causing this result.