Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    Types of Roofing Materials and Their Advantages and Disadvantages

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    Making a house is everyone’s dream. Everyone wants to build a house and start a new family under that roof. You can also consider it as an investment for your future. So, you must have to choose best materials and model map for your house such that you won’t regret your decisions in the future, which is always a risky move.

    People try to go for expensive yet fancy materials for their house but keep in mind that sometimes, things don’t have to be expensive for a long run. As an owner and investor, you should do a proper research on the materials and try to find out their pros and cons so that you can save yourself from future complications.

    A house is made up of different components, coming together as a whole. Every component supports each other in one way or another. One slight of mistake and it can ruin the whole look as well as sturdiness of the house. For that, every component must rely on the other one such that it won’t harm the other materials.

    Roofing is one of the most important components of house. Without a roof, a house is no more than a square of wall. It connects the whole house together and gives the look of a complete house. As the most important component of house, you should do a well-rounded research on the building structure as well as the materials that will be used for building it.

    The process of building and maintaining roof is called as roofing. Roofing definitely increases the value of the house to unimaginable extents. You can use different materials for roofing according to the climate of the surroundings as well as the requirement of your building. That’s why a brief research is important before selecting a material for roofing. Here is detailed information from a well known roofing contractor in New York, that can help you make an informed decision, when it comes to roofing.

    Important aspects for choosing a material

    While researching, following point should be kept under consideration so that it won’t be a burden on your pocket as well as more effective against climate attacks:


    The first thing that you should check is whether the selected material is durable or not. Every material has some pros as well as cons which are dependent on the climate changes and geographical location. So, you must be familiar with every aspect of the material and try it before finalizing it.

    Time Period

    Second thing is to check that for how long you want your roof to last. Sometimes, you build a house for a fixed period of time. So, spending money on expensive materials will not be a good option. For that, you should go for a cheap yet durable material.


    Another aspect that you should keep in mind is the weight of the materials, used for roofing. Excessive weight of the roof can weaken the walls as well as the base of the building which makes it more vulnerable against the climate spells. So, the material should be light enough so that it won’t cause over burden on the walls.


    As an owner, you want your building to be durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. It’s not a sound idea to use a material that doesn’t go with the whole look of the building, no matter how strong and cheap it is. So, you should take a good look into the looks of different materials before choosing one.


    It may not sound a big deal but the slope of the building acts like a defensive shield against heavy rains and snowfalls. So, the materials must be corrosion-free as well as strong enough to stand against strong climate spells.

    Environmentally Friendly

    Another important aspect is to check whether the material is eco-friendly or not. It’s an important aspect as it will not only affect your indoor house environment but also the surroundings. For that, a material should be made up of naturally synthesized minerals so that it can be recycled after the long use.

    Area Code

    Last but not least. Before choosing a material for roofing, you must make sure that specific material is not banned in your area. For example, you can’t use reflective materials in the areas around the airports as it will cause glare for landing planes in a sunny day. So, choosing an expensive material will be of no use if you have to take it down due to rules and regulations.

    Different Roofing materials

    In this modern era, there are a lot of materials that you can choose for the roofing according to your need. Some materials can be useful to keep your building warm, some materials can be used for noise reduction or some materials can be used for the heavy industrial roofing. Here are some materials that you can look into for roofing but keep in mind that choose your material after checking all the aspects of your building and its surroundings.

    Asphalt shingles

    These are the most commonly used material in house roofing and almost 80% of housing market is comprising on asphalt shingles. It’s a soft roof material which has a base of fiberglass. This base is then coated with asphalt or some other mineral granules to it more resistive against weather and environmental pollutants.


    The main reason of the popularity of these shingles is the low cost. It costs around few dollars per square feet. These are easy to install and if one of the shingles gets damaged or moldy, then you can replace that tile rather than going for the whole square feet. These tiles are fire and wind resistance due to the coating of asphalt. So, it gives a good prevention from high temperature and windy storms. They are light in weight

    which is the best-case scenario for weight distribution on walls. These tiles are also available in different colors so you can go for more options if you want to.


    These tiles are not durable. A little cold weather and these tiles become brittle, which increases the chances of damage. They don’t stand in strong thunderstorms and thunders. In humidity, tiles get moldy. For humid environment, you’ll need special type of algae-resistant shingles.

    These shingles are not made for a long run. They have the life span of around 20 year, depending on the climate. Also, they are not very eco-friendly.

    Metal roofing

    Another widely used material for roofing is metal sheets or surfaces. These metal sheets are made by combining different metals at high temperature and turn them into the long sheets of 1×0.5m. The size also varies according to the needs. Some metal roofing materials are made by galvanizing non-corrosive metal on a steel sheet.

    This material is quite popular in different countries of the world, mainly due to the abundance of metal industry. These sheets are used in industrial factories and warehouses. Nowadays, these sheets are shaped into slates and tiles so that It can be used for houses as well.


     Metal roofing sheets are resistant to heavy weathers like thunderstorms, windstorms, heavy rain, dazzling sunlight and snowfall. These sheets are fixed at some slope which helps the snow to fall off easily. Even though they are made of metal, they don’t a lot of heat in sunny days.

    Since metals are malleable (can be turn into long sheets), they can be cut into different shapes and sizes. They have a life span of 40 to 50 years, sometimes they can stay in their place for 70 years. These sheets are also energy efficient and can be recycled after being used.


    These metal sheets are comparatively expensive than other roofing materials. Prices vary according to the metal is being used. Copper sheets are way more expensive than the steel ones. These sheets can have sharp and dangerous edges so you must need some professional help for the installation.

    Also, some metals can develop green fungi in humid weathers. So, you also need some protection from that as well. These sheets also create a lot of noise when rain or hail fall of them, which can be inconvenient for the residents.

    Membrane roofing

     In membrane roofing, different inorganic and organic polymers are combined together to make one prominent material. Then, it is shaped into long flat sheets, which are ready to install. Some of the popular membrane roofing include:

    • PVC coating
    • EPDM
    • Neoprene

    Each material has different property from each other. One of the widely used and best material is EPDM. Which is also known as Rubber roofing. These materials have become quite popular in housing market due to the mass production and “easy to install” method.


    Membrane roofing is very durable and has low maintenance cost. It can be applied easily in every time of year. It is also tested as fire and wind resistance. It costs lower than metal roofing but worth of money. Special rubber roofing is also very effective for noise cancellation, that is why it is used in studios and clubs.

    These materials also prevent the houses from UV radiations coming from the sun. They don’t break easily but if some kind of damage occur, It can be fixed easily and quickly. They come in different color, shape and sizes so that buyer can choose it according to his needs.


    Membrane roofing is quite heavy in weight due to the mixture of different components, which can weaken the walls and base of the whole building. It is not considered as eco-friendly and cannot be recycled. Also, it is non resistant to chemical attacks, which makes it hazardous for the industrial use.

    Wood shakes

    Human started building homes from the wood. So, the wood has been a great part of our lives since the start. Nowadays, some people have started shifting to other materials for the house construction but still wooden shakes and shingles are quite popular in housing market.

    Cedar and redwood are the most commonly used tree for making the wooden shakes. These shakes are cut into different shapes and size by using a very powerful saw. Usually, these shakes are hand cut into pieces but there are some machineries which has taken place of human labor.

    These shakes are made from the middle part of the trees as it is the strongest and dried part of the whole tree.


    These shakes give the most aesthetic look to the whole house. They give it natural, rusty yet beautiful look to the whole building. These shakes also give a strong and sturdiness to the roof. Wooden slabs are the best choice for the environmental-friendly people. They are recyclable and won’t be affected on the environment in any way.


    Since, wooden shakes are made up of wood, so they are non-resistant to fire unless they’re treated with some special chemicals. They require a lot of maintenance after a time as wood starts getting rotted with time. In humid areas, these slats are not a good choice for the house roofing.

    They don’t have a long-life span. They usually stay good for 20 years only which is a small period of time in housing market. But they can stand for 50 years with proper care and maintenance. Also, they are hand cut so they are an expensive material to choose. Wood can also be a home of many insects, so you must have to go for anti-pesticides spray all over the roof every now and then.

    Concrete Slate

    Slates have been a part of house roofing for 100 years now. It is one of the oldest yet still widely used material for the roofing. People still prefer it over other fancy materials because of its rough and tough look. Slates also come in different colors and shapes like slabs and big wavy sheets.

    Usually, these slates are made up of 85% of cement and 15% of asbestos combined. For different colors, some different dyes are also added in the mixture which provide them different look. Each slate is 1.75 meters long. Width varies according to the needs.


    The popularity of these slates come from their durability. These slates are designed to stay for a long period of time. Some slates can be good for 100 years under good care. These slates don’t require much maintenance. They can be shaped into different sizes and shapes by using a simple grinder.

    These concrete slates are resistant to fire and strong weather conditions. They can easily go through a storms, heavy rains and snowfalls. They are eco-friendly and easily be recycled into different things after the usage. They don’t bend with time. All these advantages make concrete slates the first choice of builders.


    Every good thing comes with a little price. So, these slates are comparatively expensive. Since, they are made of cement. It means they’re heavy as well. You can’t use these slates for roofing unless you install some reinforcements in your building. Also, they can fall down if someone walks on these because of heavy weight.

    For installing these slates, you must need some professional’s help. Sometimes, concrete gets brittle from one place, which can cause the water leakage in the roof during the rainy days and fixing the leakage will not be easy at all. Also, slates with asbestos cause mold with the passage of time.

    Clay Tile

     Another commonly used materials for roofing is clay tiles. These tiles are made with earthen clay, molded into different shapes (usually in the shape of disc slabs) and then heat them on fire to harden it. They are left to dry for many days so that they can get their proper shape and reddish color. If these tiles are coated with glaze, then they become Ceramic tiles for roofing.

    People have been using clay tiles from a long time now. These tiles give a rustic and old look to the house, which is eye pleasing. Many antique lovers go for this look and use clay tiles for roofing.


    These tiles look aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. They give a new metallic look to the whole house just like Italian houses. These tiles are proved to be a good choice for hot and humid climates. They keep the whole house cool.
     Also, these tiles are energy efficient and can be recycled to make these tiles again. These tiles are heat and wind resistant. These tiles also prevent the roof from fungal infections.


    Clay tiles are more expensive than other soft roofing materials. They need high maintenance as well. These tiles are brittle, due to which they break easily if someone steps on it. So, you need a replacement for these tiles more than any other material in the list.

    These tiles are not durable against strong weather condition. They will not stand a chance in a hail storm or a tornado. So, if you want something durable for your house or building then these tiles are not for you. Also, these tiles are heavy in weight. Thus, you can’t use these tiles unless you put some reinforcements under the roof as well.

    Build-up roofing (BUR)

    Build up roofing is a multi-layered roofing of different materials. These materials include asphalt, tar and finely crushed rocks. These layers can vary from 4 to six according to the needs and climate. This type of roofing is only good for flat roofs as it will give a more surface to materials and the rocks won’t slide off the slope.

    In BUR, roofing felt is applied on the roof. Then, hot asphalt is added to this felt, which sticks with it. Then, a layer of hot tar is applied on it and in the last, finely crushed rocks are thrown all over the roof. The final look comes out as a stony and rough roof.


    This roofing is comparatively cheaper than other expensive materials. It doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. It is very durable because of his multi- layered protection. It is heat resistant as well as pesticide resistant. BUR roofing will not go anywhere in the stormy weathers like hailstorm or thunderstorm.


    BUR roofing is heavy in weight because it consists of different material layers. These layers can put too much pressure on the walls and the base of the house and roof can collapse. So, you can’t go for it unless you install some reinforcements under the roof as well. It is not eco-friendly as you can’t recycle all the materials after the usage.

    Another back draw of this roofing is that it gets sticky in dazzling sunlight of the summer because of tar and you will not be able to walk on it. Also, it is really hard to shovel off the snow from these roofs in comparison to other smooth roofing surfaces. Thus, it will no be a good choice for the houses in desert region or snowy ones.

    Rolled roofing

    With new technology, humans have found new ways to save time while doing it right. Rolled roofing is one of those inventions. As you can guess from the name, rolled roofing is the material rolled all in so that it can easily be applied whenever needed. It’s a less time-consuming roofing which can be done in less than a day.

    The rolled roofing material is made of hot asphalt impregnated with mineral granules. The base material is fiberglass mixed with asphalt. These rolls are 100 square feet in length and 3 feet in width. It is widely used to cover flat roofs.


    It is an easy-to-do, convenient and less time consuming material for roofing. You can apply it on your by using a blow-torch or just steel nails. Rolled roofing acts as a waterproofing. So, it is usually used on the roofs of big warehouses, tanks or garages. It does not require any maintenance. Once you install it, then you’ll be tension free.

    It has a very low cost as compared to other roofing materials. It is also less dangerous and fire resistant. It can comparatively go through some tough weathers as well. It has a very little weight because of thin layer and will not be affected on walls’ strength.


    Rolled roofing is not eye pleasing to look at. It is just like a work done thing. It won’t look good on a fancy house and stand out as ugly. It does not have a long-life span. A rolled roofing stays still for like 8 to 10 years only, which is low as compared to other roofing materials like shingles or tiles. So, rolled roofing are usually used for unoccupied spaces like garages or warehouses.

    Once, it gets damaged, you can’t fix or repair that specific portion only. You have to replace the whole sheet in order to fix the damage. It is also less durable. Strong weather spells for a long period of time can cause the tearing off the rolled roofing from the surface.

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