Types of Roofing Materials


Wood Shingles on Roof

Wood Shingles on Rooftop

The need to replace your roof is affected by many factors.  The natural elements (rain, wind, sun, ice, hail, etc.) are variables you cannot control.  When you put all these acts of nature together….you can have one heck of a storm.  Some roofing materials include rubber products, rubberized fabrics or a combination.  Just because specific roofing materials are rated to last a specific amount of years does not mean you will get the maximum amount of time out of it. You hope you do but that’s not always the case.  Below we are going to discuss the multiple types of roofing materials. We will discuss the most common residential sloped roofing materials along with their “Pros” and “Cons.

Asphalt Shingles


Asphalt shingles have been used over the past 100 years and are the most commonly used roofing material in the United States.  One reason is that these shingles are cheaper to purchase than most other roofing materials.  A contractor that is building 100 homes a year will use these as his profit margin is up the cheaper he can get his materials for.  This type of shingle is available in a multitude of sizes, styles, and color and is durable and easy to repair and old shingles can be recycled.


This type of shingle has a shorter lifespan than more expensive materials.

Wood Shingles


Wood shingles provide a great resistance to wind and impact during storms.  They provide increased energy efficiency by providing great insulation and promoting air circulation in the attic.  The wood ages naturally with its own unique style thus adding curb appeal to your home.


Wood shingles are time consuming to install driving up contractor costs.  It’s approximated that wood shingles cost 25% more to install than the common asphalt shingle.  As with any wood product, it will require continual maintenance.  Wood shingles are prone and vulnerable to a moss and mold build up.



Tile is a very resilient material and is able to withstand some of the harshest of elements.  Its life expectancy may be beyond 100 years.  The traditional style is the “Spanish” tile.  It’s environmentally friendly to make.


Tile is very heavy and may require specific structural design to your roof.  When attaching it to the roof, individual pieces need to be pre-drilled or supported by metal brackets.  This is one of the costliest roofing materials.



Made of steel, aluminum, or copper, metal roofs offer some of the best protection for your roof.  The metal is very light (1/4 the weight of tile and ½ the weight of asphalt shingles) in comparison to the other roofing materials. Many styles come in sheets making it easy and fast to install


It’s more expensive than asphalt but less than tile or slate material.   You have to be careful when walking on metal roofs so you don’t damage the contour of the ridges. A metal roof needs snow guards to prevent the gutters from damage.



Arguably the most attractive roofing material on the market.  It isn’t uncommon for a slate roof to last over 100 years.  Slate requires little maintenance and is resistant to mold and insects.


Slate costs 10 times as much as asphalt shingles.  Beauty comes at a price.  Like tile, it too is very heavy and requires proper structural support.  The use of slate as a roof material has lessened due to introduction of cheaper and easier to use materials.

Contact local roofing contractors to find out what shingles provide the best protection for the type of weather in your specific location in New Jersey.  There may be contractors with differing opinions so talk to several and look for consistencies.

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