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Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Material

Maybe it is time to replace your roof, but you still don’t know which material is the best to use. Roofs are an essential part of your home, so you need to give it proper attention. It can make your home more attractive, and a good roof can help your entire house to last for decades and beyond. No matter what the reason is for changing your roof, it is crucial to determine the ideal roof that will fit your home structure as well as your budget. Looking for the best roofing material can be challenging because there are a lot of available materials out there. Having a lot to choose from it can be tricky to decide which type will be perfect for your house. To help you decide, the best step to take is to look for a certified roofing contractor. They will be able to help you determine the right material to use for your roof. They will also provide you with an estimate, so you would have an idea of how much it would cost and be aware of the details of their service. To help you further, we listed some roofing materials in this blog as well as their pros and cons. If you want to learn more, read on.


Shingles are the most common roofing material in many residential areas in the nation. It is installed in almost 85% of the total residential areas in all of America. The most common material used for shingles is asphalt, although there are other materials you can use for it. 3-Tab shingles were widely used in the 70s until 80s when the architectural shingles became popular. Today, architectural shingles are most homeowners’ choice when it comes to their roofs not only because of their width but also their beautiful texture.

Pros: They are the most cost-effective roofing material there is. Plus, it is quite easy to install. You don’t need to maintain the roof now and then, so it can save you on cost. With its various colors and designs, it can be considered one of the most contemporary roofing materials you can use for your home. Another plus point for shingles is its resistance to fire.

Cons: There are seasons when shingles get challenging to install. When installed at freezing temperature, it tends to break immediately. Changing temperatures can be its number one enemy because it can damage in time.


Metal roofs continue to become one of the most popular roofing material used by residential owners. They can last for over 70 years and an excellent option if you want a long-lasting solution to your roof problems.

Pros: If you are looking for a roofing material with high durability, then metal roofs would work best for you. They are more efficient than shingle roofs because they do not absorb much heat. Another good thing about metal roofs is that they are up to 95% recycled. Once they’ve reached the end of their life, they can be recycled which makes them very good for the environment. Contrary to what others think that metal roofs look dull, they have various styles and designs, as well as color, that is why you can make sure that your roof will look stylish. Metal roofs also rate high when it comes to its resistance to fire. Metal roofs will not catch fire in case of lightning or fire. Unlike shingle roofs, they can survive to change weather conditions.

Cons: Compared to other roofing materials, metal is more costly. It is also not as easy to install as others because it needs special tools for successful installation. One should have specialized skills to be able to install metal roofs properly. Because it takes a longer time to fix this, labor costs also tend to go higher.


Slate shingles are typically used for sloped roofs. They are made from natural stones and can last for more than 200 years! You read that right. Slate shingles have been used as a roofing material for many years now.

Pros: No one can contest that slate roofing is the best when it comes to its lifespan. Some even prove that slate roofs can last for even 300 years. Its impressive life expectancy can be attributed to the material used to make it: stones. If you use premier stones, you can expect that the slate roof will be of good quality. They also look appealing so that they can add to the overall aesthetics of your home.

Cons: The quality of the slate dramatically depends on the rock used to form it. If you use stones of low quality, it will affect the durability of the slate. If iron is present in the stone, it can easily break the slate into pieces. Also, the slate is massive, and not all structures can handle this weight. It needs to be installed by skilled roof expert because it involves the use of specialized equipment for it to be correctly installed. Aside from being expensive, it also requires annual maintenance.

Wood Shakes/Cedar

Wood shakes or cedar roofs can last up to 20 years, if not treated. If maintained, it can last up to 40 years.

Pros: Cedar roofs are on top of the list when we talk about aesthetics. It can stand up to varying temperatures and strong winds. Since it doesn’t use synthetic materials, it is environmentally-friendly. It offers natural insulation and is energy-saving.

Cons: It is made of wood which makes it vulnerable to fire. Cedar roofs should be treated to make them fire resistant. Cedars are costly especially when being installed. It should be maintained well to avoid growth of mildew, mold, and moss.


Better known as EPDM or ethylene propylene diene monomer, synthetic rubber, is also used as a roofing material. This type of material continues to gain popularity because of its durability. Rubber roofing is also known for its affordability and low-maintenance needs. This material is a good investment because it can last for more than 30 years with regular maintenance. It is mostly used in the commercial areas but is gaining popularity for home installations as well. There are set prerequisites before your home can be installed with this roofing material.

Pros: First on the list of the benefits of using rubber roofs is that it is waterproof. They are less vulnerable to leaks compared to other roofing materials in the market. Besides, rubber roofs don’t need that much maintenance so you can save on cost. They are also environmentally friendly because they can be recycled once they have reached their final year. Rubber roofs make a good insulator so that you can save on energy, especially during colder seasons. It can stand against extreme weather conditions.

Cons: Not all roofing professionals have experience installing this type of material which makes it difficult for it to be fixed. It adds to the challenge when your home has HVAC units and chimneys because they can make your roof vulnerable for leaks. Rubber roofing is best for flatly structured homes. You may find it difficult to look for a roofing contractor who can handle this installation because it is not a standard roofing material.

Synthetic Materials

If you want your roof to look like wood, slate or asphalt without actually using them, using synthetic materials is the best way to go. Synthetic materials are made to resemble the real materials used for roofing. Synthetic roofing is made from plastic or rubber and has a life expectancy of over 50 years.

Pros: They can look exactly like your desired roofing material. Synthetic material is popular among homeowners due to its durability. They are not as vulnerable as other roofing materials because they are created from durable components. It doesn’t require regular maintenance for it to last for years. Also, it can survive strong winds as well as extreme weather changes and varying temperature.

Cons: The quality of the materials used may vary that is why it is crucial to hire a professional roofing contractor to ensure that quality is provided. Synthetic materials also cost more compared to other roofing materials.

Whatever the material you choose to use for your home, there will be advantages and disadvantages to it. You only have to make sure that you select the material that will fit your needs, the structure of your home, and your budget as well. One important factor to consider is the foundation strength of your home. If you choose a material that is too heavy, you might compromise the safety of your home. Also, remember that you have to ensure that you will want the right roofing contractor because some materials are challenging to install.

When there is a need to change your roof, consider hiring only the best roofing contractors to ensure quality results. A professional roofing company will be able to help you decide the ideal material that will fit your home, and they can work within your means.