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How to choose what roofing material is right for your home?



How to choose what roofing material is right for your home?

Whether you’re building a new one or replacing an old one, the same fact remains – roof work is a serious investment. And since you are gonna be investing a lot of money into this project, and a lot of time, you need to get some things right at the very beginning. Namely, in this situation, we are speaking about choosing the right materials.

Commercial roofing styles and materials vary widely, their utility depending on many factors. Namely, your geographic location, local weather, and your budget will greatly influence the viability of a roofing material you choose. For this reason, we have written up this little article on the most popular roofing materials, and how to choose them.

Wood shingles

First, we have wood shingles. Now, wood shingles are made from thin pieces of natural wood. Cut into a wedge, usually made from cedar or yellow pine, wood shingles make up a gorgeous roof that has its own share of issues. 

With the longevity of about 25 years (50 if you maintain them meticulously), these roofs are affordable in temperate areas with mild weather. However, due to their fairly strong price and vulnerability to both mold and wildfire, wood shingle roofs are not the best choice for everyone. Still, if you can afford them, and if you are in the right area, wood shingles will provide you with a durable and beautiful roof. 


Slate is a type of stone that has been part of human architecture for centuries. And if you’re wondering what is slate used for, well, know that the most common choice is roofing for high-quality, expensive housing. Namely, slate is perhaps the most durable, but also the most expensive material on this list. If you maintain it properly you can expect it to last for more than a hundred years. It also commonly comes in a rather nice, bluish color, so it is definitely not lacking in the looks department as well.

While slate can cost up to 5 or more times more than a concrete tile, its price is mitigated somewhat by its durability. Namely, a slate roof, with some maintenance, won’t need to be replaced more than once per generation. 

Slate is perfect under basically any weather condition.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are very durable and strong, most often made from terracotta clay. However, you can find even stronger and more durable clay tiles made from fired clay (i.e. ceramics). Your roof is set up with these tiles by having overlapping layers of individual tiles placed over the surface of the roof. An issue that accompanies clay tiles is that they tend to be rather heavy, so you will need a sturdy roof and a good frame to back it all up. 

Now, clay tiles don’t have problems with decay or mold. However, they can crack, often. Replace cracked and broken tiles the moment you see them. Also, if you notice a development of efflorescence (i.e. salt build-up), you should wipe it off with a clean, dry towel.

These are great in very hot climates, but they cannot stand frigid temperatures or heavy snowfall. However, they are also excellent in areas that have a lot of rain.


Built-up roofs are a specific kind of roof that is made from alternating layers of materials. So, you get a layer of fiberglass, roofing felt, and bitumen (also known as hot tar). Now, these are very cheap to install and are incredibly fire resistant. Furthermore, the actual roof can last for up to 30 years. But, it is not without its problems.

The chemicals and materials used as part of a built-up roof have a very unpleasant smell when they are being set up. Furthermore, you can only get it on flat surfaces, so sloped roofs are out of the question. The effectiveness of BUR roofs under different types of weather depends on the quality of the BUR materials used, as well as the skill of the roofer. 


And there you have it folks, the best roofing materials that are just right for your home. Remember that this is a big investment, and a serious decision, you need to make. So with that in mind, try to think things through, and actually assess your situation and your needs properly. Remember to take your needs and wants into account, while at the same time balancing them with your budget. 

Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner.