Pros and Cons of Some of the Most Popular Roofing Materials Used Today

One of the most important features of your home is going to be your roof. Ensuring that it’s installed properly and in good condition keeps the elements out of your home and literally a roof over your head. There are various types of roofing materials that you can choose for your house. According to a research study done by Irina Romanova and Nataliya Skanavi, a few things to consider when choosing the right roofing material for your home include lifespan, cost, corrosion resistance, sound insulation and thermal conductivity.

No matter what, no one type of material is going to be able to do it all. So, it’s important to consider the different pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials when renovating your roof.

Asphalt shingles

According to Best Pick Reports, asphalt shingles are designed to have a base layer mat, a waterproofed asphalt layer, and a top layer of ceramic fragments to protect the shingle from UV rays. You can either get them as organic shingles comprised of cellulose fibers derived from paper or wood or you can get the more environmentally friendly fiberglass shingles.


  • Less expensive, durable, and lightweight.
  • Reflective asphalt shingles will reduce the temperature of your roof.
  • Luxury shingles are available that give the appearance of a more expensive roofing material at a much lower cost.
  • A wide variety of colors and styles are available.


  • Susceptible to wind, hail, rain and sun damage as well as fungus or algae growth and plant/tree debris.
  • Require annual maintenance and periodic inspections.
  • Only have a 15 to 30 year lifespan.
  • Not very environmentally friendly as they are petroleum based.

Metal roofing

This Old House discusses metal roofing and the different things you need to know before installing it. Additionally, there are different types of metals that you can choose from. Considering the varying costs, durability and colors, you can choose from steel, aluminum, copper, terne and zinc.

The Spruce lists some of the common pros and cons of installing metal roofing.


  • Correctly installed metal roofing is no noisier than other types of roofing materials.
  • They have a 50+ year lifespan, making them more cost effective.
  • They’re resistant against fire, rot and insect damage.
  • They’re more energy efficient and can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%.
  • They are recyclable.


  • They can be ruined by severe hail; aluminum and copper are especially susceptible.
  • Installation and repair will likely require an expert.
  • Ridge vents for attic ventilation are generally more obvious.

Solar Tiles

Solar tiles are a great and simple alternative to having solar panels on top of your roof. A Forbes Magazine article covering solar tiles notes that they can either sit on top of existing shingles or replace various shingles across the rooftop. Because they’re still solar, they can produce between 13 and 63 watts of power, lowering your electric bill from 40-70%.


  • Sleeker than solar panels and blends especially well with asphalt and concrete roofs.
  • They’re durable and resistant to varying weather conditions.
  • Will lower the cost of your electricity bill.


  • Not offered by every solar manufacturer at this time.
  • They don’t currently work with all types of existing roofs (you may have to redo your entire roof to install them).
  • More costly than solar panels.
  • Not offered in a wide variety of styles and colors.

According to a Nationwide Homeowners article, a few other popular types of roofing that you may want to look into include stone-coated steel, slaterubber slate, and clay and concrete tiles. All types of roofing materials have varying pros and cons with installing them. Considering your budget and the advantages and disadvantages of each type, you can find the right roofing for your home.

Contact us today to discuss all your roofing needs!