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Pros and Cons of the Five Most Common Roof Materials

The roof is an important part of the house, and its material and condition are directly related to the safety and appearance of the house. There are many different roofing materials to choose from in the United States, each with its own unique pros, cons and prices. Let me tell you today about the 5 most common roofing materials in the United States.

Different Types of Roofing Materials

1. Asphalt shingles
More than 75 percent of Americans choose asphalt shingles as a roofing material because of their low cost and ease of installation. It is also the most common roofing material in Massachusetts.

Advantages – There are many colors to choose from, various shapes, and a wide range of applications. The roof is light in load, easy to construct, and is the cheapest roofing material.

Disadvantages – Compared to other materials, asphalt shingles have poor insulation performance, are prone to aging, and have a shorter service life. At the same time, the flame retardancy is poor. While the upfront cost is low, replacing the roof every 20 years or so adds to the cost of ownership.

Service life – 15-30 years
Price – $1.5 – $5.5/sqft

2. Slate
The natural appearance of slate tiles allows them to be used in a variety of roof and architectural styles. As the most durable roofing material, slate offers excellent resistance to weathering and fire. And it is easy to maintain a good appearance for a long time of use. Basically, century-old mansions in Massachusetts all use this material!

Pros – Durability and ease of maintenance allow the home to increase in value when it is resold, and require little more than routine maintenance to replace broken ones.

Cons – Requires additional reinforcement and professional installation to bear its weight. The material is relatively brittle, and people cannot step on it with force, and it will be troublesome to maintain.

Service life – 80-100 years
Price – $20 – $40/sqft

3. Clay & concrete tiles
Pros – Concrete tiles are extremely durable and can resist fire, rot and even pests. Air pockets under the tiles help maintain room temperature.

Cons – Concrete shingles are much heavier than other materials like asphalt shingles, and the roof may need reinforcement, adding to the cost of construction. The price of the material itself is relatively high.

Service life – 40-50 years
Price – $10 – $20/sqft

4.Wood shingles & shades
Pros – Wood can provide good insulation and air circulation to a house. The thin and light material also simplifies roof installation.

Cons – Tends to discolour over time due to weathering.

Service life – 25-30 years
Price – $4.5 – $9/sqft

Advantages – Strong styling ability, can look like a traditional metal roof or simulate a wood shingle or slate roof. Metal roofing is lightweight, fire resistant and durable. It has a long service life and is resistant to harsh weather.

Cons – Metal roofs can be loud during heavy rain or hail. Metal roofs are more expensive than most other materials. But a longer service life comes at the expense of higher upfront costs. It is prone to dents under the impact of heavy objects.

Service life – 40-80 years
Price – $8 – $15/sqft


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