Homeowners in need of a roof replacement have multiple roofing materials available to them today with varying lifespans. Aside from their longevity, the different roofing materials each have their own characteristics—both positive and negative—that can have a significant impact on your investment. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular roofing materials preferred by homeowners.


There are quite a number of different roofing types in the market today. But we just cited a few that are usually being used by some homeowners. These are the shingle roof, wood roof, metal roofing, and tile roofing. Professional roofing contractors are equipped with these knowledge in order to give you the best quality of roofing services. Thus, we will share to you some advantages and disadvantages with the four roofing types we have mentioned.


Advantages of Asphalt Shingle Roofs


Asphalt 3-tab shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials. The average cost of asphalt shingle roofing is $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot. Architectural asphalt shingles are also an option at a much higher price point— $22 to 28 per square foot.


Asphalt shingles are affordable to install. They can be applied directly over old shingles, providing the roof deck is in good condition. Asphalt shingles are considered Class A fire-resistant— withstanding a fire burning for up to two hours. If you live in a fire-prone area, discuss roofing options with your contractor as many other roofing types may be superior to asphalt. These shingles are readily available at most home improvement stores.


Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingle Roofs


Asphalt shingles have the shortest life span of the roofing materials mentioned in this post. An asphalt shingle roof should last 15 to 30 years, but other roofing materials can last 50 years or more.


Asphalt shingles are vulnerable to strong winds, heat, and storm damage. While asphalt shingles are recyclable —and often used in the pavement— they are not considered environmentally friendly. Producing these shingles creates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.


Advantages of Wood Roofs


Wooden roofs have a longer lifespan than asphalt roofing— lasting up to 25 years. The lifespan of your cedar-shingled roof is highly variable depending on your local climate, the type of wood used, and the thickness of the cut. Wooden shingles are aesthetically appealing for homeowners by providing a natural look.

Cedar and wood shingles weigh less than other roofing types, like clay or slate, but still offer strength and moisture protection. Wooden shingles are environmentally friendly and are made from natural, biodegradable materials.


Disadvantages of Wood Roofs


Wooden shingles can be more expensive than other roofing types— ranging between $4.50 and $9.00 per square foot. Wooden shingles require additional, periodic fire retardation and may be banned in your municipality due to fire concerns. Talk to your contractor if you live in a fire-prone area. Wooden shingles and shakes require periodic treatments with preservatives and fungicides in order to keep the roof from drying out, warping, cracking, and attracting mildew.


Advantages of Metal Roofing


Metal roofing is a broad term that encompasses different materials, including steel, aluminum, and copper. Metal materials are available in a wide variety of styles and more than 100 colors that complement most any architectural style. Metallic coatings and factory-installed paint can also increase durability.


Metal roofs are noted for their extended lifespans— lasting 60 years.

Metal roofing materials are fire-resistant. Metal roofing can also lower your insurance rates because of its fire resistance, especially in states like Texas and California that are vulnerable to wildfires. A metal roof will also increase the resale value of a home.


Disadvantages of Metal Roofing


Metal roofs are a significant investment for homeowners. Materials can range from $7.00 to $9.00 per square foot, and the installation of a metal roof can cost between $21,000 to $50,000. Homeowners will need to find a highly qualified licensed and experienced contractor who specializes in metal roofing.


Advantages of Tile Roofing


Tile roofing is extremely fire resistant, and is non-combustible. They are also resistant to rotting and insects. Tile roofing has an extremely long lifespan— lasting up to 100 years.

Investing in a tile roof can significantly reduce your monthly energy bill. Tile shingles are one of the only roofing materials that contain inherent qualities for energy reduction.


Disadvantages of Tile Roofing


Like metal roofs, the cost for tile roofing materials and installation is substantial. Materials can range between $4.00 and $10.00 per square foot. Tile roofing materials can be extremely heavy and may put considerable strain on the structure of your home. It is important to discuss how tile shingles will impact your home with a structural engineer.