Asphalt Shingles– More than 75 percent of all single-family homes in the US are roofed with asphalt shingles. Most roofing pros know this is standard material. That number is slowly shrinking thanks to the more energy-efficient and durable metal roofing. There are two types of asphalt shingles. Fiberglass shingles start with a fiberglass mesh mat. That mat is covered in asphalt and topped with granules which provide color and reflect some of the sunlight, reducing the energy required to heat and cool your home. Shingles made with fiberglass are lightweight and resist tearing. On the other hand, organic asphalt shingles begin with paper, often recycled, that is saturated in asphalt and covered with granules. While these shingles are heavier and harder to work with than fiberglass, they are usually more reliable in environments with higher wind. Although you can still see them on many roofs, organic shingles are not as common as they were 20 years ago. Manufactures have stopped making organic shingles due to their tendency to dry out, become less-waterproof, and because they are more prone to excess moisture absorption. Overall, asphalt shingles offer high fire resistance, a broad selection of colors and styles, and they are typically inexpensive.

Wood Shingles– Wood delivers a natural dose of beauty to any roof. Cedar, redwood, cypress and pressure-treated pine shingles are also available. Wood shingles are machine-cut and feature cleaner edges and a smooth surface to produce a more uniform appearance. Wood shakes are hand-cut from blocks of wood, so have a more rustic appearance. They’re thicker too, so slightly more expensive than wood shingles. There are many advantages of going with wood shingles. The wood ages beautifully and takes on a rustic appearance. It can also last 5-10 years longer than asphalt shingles and has a significantly higher insulation value than asphalt, reducing your monthly energy costs. One of the main disadvantages of wood shingles are that they are less fireproof than asphalt shingles. While it is possible to obtain higher fire rated shingles, they are significantly more expensive. Wood shingles will also require more maintenance if they are untreated to keep algae and moss from growing. The wood used to make the shingles is quite durable but any necessary repairs will be costly as it takes more skilled labor to install and repair them.

Metal Roofing– Metal has enjoyed a recent resurgence led by demand for durability, eco-friendly roofing and the introduction of new styles. Metal roofing is still produced in rolls, but most is rigid sheet roofing with vertical-seam panels and modular press-formed panels that can be painted or coated with granules. This process allows for a variety of appearance options including the traditional metal roof style and roofing made to look like shingles, shakes and tiles. The most common metals used are aluminum, lightweight steel and zinc. Metal roofs typically last 50-100 years and can be produced in almost any color. They also have a class A fire rating and can be installed quickly and within a tight budget. A downside of metal roofing is that, if your do not have an attic space, your living space can get noisy during a storm. If these panels are damaged during a storm, they can be more expensive to replace than asphalt shingles.