November 10

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Roofing Materials


Whether you’re building a new home or replacing the roof on your existing home, selecting the right roofing materials is important. Your roof protects your home and family from the elements and it also impacts the overall style of your home. 

Which Roofing Material Is Best for Your Home?

roofing materials

With a wide variety of options to choose from, it can be confusing to select the right roofing material for your home. Here are five important factors to consider when choosing roofing materials for your home.

1. Climate

Your roof is your home’s primary defense from adverse weather conditions including heavy rains, hail, and strong winds. Different roofing materials react differently when exposed to various weather conditions. Some materials deteriorate quicker when exposed to too much water. Other roofing materials may split or crack when exposed to intense sunlight. In areas that experience both hot summers and freezing winters, it's important to choose roofing materials that can handle widely fluctuating temperature changes. 

2. Cost

For most homeowners, cost is a primary consideration. A new roof is a significant financial investment in your home. There are numerous factors that contribute to the cost of a new roof. The price of the roofing material along with installation and ongoing maintenance costs should all be considered. Asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing materials to purchase and install, while slate and copper are generally among the most expensive options.

3. Energy Efficiency

The right roofing materials can lower your energy bills. Roofing materials that earn an Energy Star rating have been demonstrated to save a measurable amount of energy by decreasing roof temperatures and reducing the amount of air conditioning needed. In addition, the color of a roof along with a properly insulated and ventilated attic can significantly decrease overall energy costs. 

4. Durability

Even a tiny hole in a roof’s surface can allow water to penetrate so choosing durable and resilient materials that can withstand small punctures and dents is important. If you live in an area where hailstorms, high winds, and heavy rains are common, choose roofing materials that can withstand those conditions with minimal upkeep. Selecting fire-resistant materials such as metal or tile roofing is a good choice in areas where wildfires are common. 

5. Style

Your roof isn’t just functional, it also has a major impact on your home’s style and curb appeal. When you select roofing materials it's important to consider the architectural style of your home as well as the surrounding neighborhood. Some homeowner’s associations (HOA) rules may limit your options, so check with your HOA board before replacing your roof. 

6 Types of Roofing Materials

Now let’s look at some of the most common roofing materials available and see how they meet your requirements.

1. Asphalt

The vast majority of homes in the United States have asphalt shingles because they are affordable, durable, and easy to install. High-quality asphalt shingles can last 20-30 years under the right conditions. Asphalt shingles work well with a wide variety of architectural styles making them a popular choice in traditional suburban neighborhoods.

2. Clay and Concrete

Clay and concrete tiles are durable, fire-resistant, and come in a range of colors, styles, and textures. They are also expensive, heavy, and often require additional framing which adds to the total cost of installation. Clay and concrete tiles are most often used in hot sunny climates because they help keep homes cooler.

3. Slate

Slate is durable, fire-resistant, and a sustainable roofing material that can be recycled. Slate is expensive, heavy, and requires extra framing and professional installation. If you’re considering a slate roof for your home, it’s important to hire an engineer to inspect the roof framing to ensure it can support the added weight of slate. 

4. Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles offer a rustic look and are usually made from cedar, redwood, or cypress. Fire codes in some areas prohibit their use. Wood shingles require additional maintenance since damp climates can cause them to mold, split or rot. While wood is durable, maintenance and repairs can be expensive. 

5. Metal

Metal roofs are long-lasting, energy efficient, and recyclable. Although the initial installation is more expensive than asphalt, metal roofing can easily last 40-70 years and requires little maintenance. Metal roofing comes in a variety of colors and styles designed to complement a wide range of residential home styles.

6. Composite Shingles

Synthetic roofing products mimic the look, color, and texture of natural materials like slate or wood. Composite products are lightweight, fire-resistant, and many are warrantied for up to 50 years. Composite shingles are a good option to consider if you want the look of slate, tile, or wood without the installation and maintenance costs.

Protect Your Home with the Right Roof

The right roofing material will do more than keep your home dry and protected. It will highlight your home’s architectural style and boost its curb appeal. If you need help choosing roofing materials for your home, consult with a licensed roofing contractor. They can help you narrow down the options and choose roofing materials that suit both your home and your budget.

Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing & Construction has been installing residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting. Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free consultation.


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