How to choose the best material for your roof?

best roofing materials

Nowadays there are so many types and styles of roofing materials that trying to choose the proper one for your roof can be a really tough work.

Before taking any decision, you have to take into consideration how long you want that roof to last, if you want it to complement the design of the house, the price or if you prefer eco-friendly and natural products.

Have a look at this list of the most popular roofing products. Which material is the best choice for you?

Wood shingles

They are commonly made of cedar, but can also be made of other rot resistant woods, such as redwood. Wood gives a natural look but it has a short lifespan and requires periodic maintenance.

Wood shakes or wood shingle roofs require fireproof treatment and are not recommended for fire-prone regions.

a house with wood roof

Plastic polymer

These durable synthetic roofing shingles can be recycled when replaced. They require little maintenance but do not provide as much thermal insulation as other alternatives.

Regarding fire resistance, some of these synthetic products require the installation of a special underlayment to obtain a Class A Fire Rating, so we must be aware of which product we are going to install.

plastic polymer roof

Clay tiles

They are made of clay that is heated to very high temperatures in large kilns. Although they come from a natural raw material, their production process requires a lot of energy. Large amounts of CO2 are released in their manufacture with a consequent negative impact on the environment.

Once placed on the roof, they require little maintenance and can have a long life under normal conditions. However, they are quite brittle and can break if they are subjected to impact. They are also somewhat more expensive than wood or metal.

Although the most common are Pan and Roman tiles, clay tiles are now available in a variety of shapes that can mimic other materials such as slate tiles.

clay tiles in a roof

Concrete tiles

They are less expensive than clay tiles and can last a long time. They are made from natural materials but, like clay, they require significant energy to be produced.

The water absorption of concrete tiles is also higher to that of clay tiles or other non-porous materials such as slate. This is why concrete roofs tend to mold and mildew more than other alternatives.

concrete tiles roof


It can be made by steel, aluminum, copper or zinc. Metal can be recycled when replaced, but requires significant energy to manufacture. Its durability depends on the material.

Its durability is highly dependent on the material used and is often superior to asphalt or wood roofs, but without reaching the lifespan of ceramic or slate.

One of the biggest disadvantages of this type of material is the noise it can produce during rain, hail or storms.

a metal roof

Asphalt Composition Shingles

They are usually made of either organic paper fiber mat or fiberglass impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules. It is not expensive but it is neither very durable nor eco-friendly. Their service life is usually not more than 15 years.
asphalt composition shingles roof

Roofing felt

Normally use for flat roofing, this material is lightweight and provides an inexpensive way to waterproof a roof. On the contrary roofing felts are vulnerable to damage and usually they have a short lifespan.

roofing felt

Natural slate

Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials. The value of natural slate lies in its impermeability, durability and versatility.

natural slate detail

A good quality slate roofing is very durable and will out-perform better than other roofing materials. Besides, roofing slates are fireproof, immune to insects, fungus and any kind of microorganisms. It is the most long-lasting natural building material ever.

A poor quality roof needs constant repair and maintenance, but when good quality slate is used, not only the cost of re-roofing can be effectively discounted, but the repair and maintenance expenses during its lifetime are extremely low.

On the other hand, natural slate appearance is one of its strongest attributes. Its natural color, texture and grain, when applied to a pitched roof deliver a clean, sculptured and strikingly beautiful appearance.

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The reliability and beauty of the products make it the ideal solution for architectural purposes, no matter the style or trend, because they adapt to any architectural design.

a house with slate roof