There are several types of roofing materials to choose from, so how do you decide which one is best for you? Below is a guide exploring the different options available so you can make a more informed decision when it is time for you to get a new roof.

Different Roofing Materials

Some of the most common types of roofing materials are:
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Wood Shingles and Shakes
  • Clay Tile
  • Concrete Tile
  • Metal
  • Slate
  • EPDM or TPO for flat roofs

Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles are one of the cheapest options, they often don’t last as long as other materials. The average lifespan is between 12-20 years. They are made from either felt or fiberglass coated in asphalt, which is a petroleum-based product. Asphalt helps create a waterproof barrier, keeping your home protected. They are also embedded with mineral or ceramic granules to offer protection from the elements and UV radiation.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles or shakes are still a relatively cheap option, however, being an organic material, wood requires regular maintenance to protect your roof from rot, insects, and other pests. On average, a wood roof will last between 20-30 years with proper maintenance. Shakes are cut thicker than shingles and may last a little longer. They are usually made of either cedar, pine or redwood, and give a nice rustic look to your home.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are usually used in warmer climates and in more Spanish or other Mediterranean-style homes. They are made from molded clay or terracotta and baked at extremely high temperatures. They are one of the heavier roofing materials and are not suited for every house. Before deciding to have a clay roof, you need to make sure your structure can support it. Clay offers great fire protection and can last over 50-100 years if properly maintained, however, it can be prone to cracking and breaking in certain conditions.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete is another durable roofing material but is also heavy and not suited for all structures. They are insect and fire-resistant and often last up to 50 years when properly maintained. The tiles are often coated with a water-resistant material to help prevent water from reaching in between and ruining your roof.


Metal roofs usually last between 40-60 years when properly maintained. They are most often made from coated steel, however, other metals are also used, such as aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and alloys. This is one of the most common types of roofing materials in modern times and can be made to mimic more traditional styles. Metal roofs are also fire-resistant and not as prone to being damaged by animals or insects.

Slate Tiles

Slate is one of the most durable, long-lasting roofing materials, and one of the most expensive. It is usually found in bigger luxury homes for this reason. Since it is flat slabs of rock, it can be heavy, but it is also fire-resistant and animal and insect-resistant. It can last for well over 100 years when properly maintained.

EPDM and TPO for Commercial Roofing

For commercial buildings with flat roofs, the 2 most common types of roofing materials are EPDM and TPO. EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer and is a synthetic rubber membrane that lasts between 20-30 years when properly maintained. It is black, making it more suited for cooler climates since it absorbs heat from the sun. TPO is Thermoplastic Polyolefin and is lighter and stronger than EDPM. It is more suited to warmer climates since it reflects the sun. It can also last between 20-30 years when properly maintained.

Proper Installation

Whichever type of roofing you decide on, making sure it is properly installed is key to having it last for as long as possible. At Doug Brue Construction, we have over 40 years of experience providing expert roofing services, including installation, replacement, and repair. When your roof is installed by professionals, you can rest assured that it will last for longer than if you try to install it on your own. Each roof has its own needs, including ventilation, flashing, and weather protection requirements. Scheduling routine maintenance and having professionals make repairs, when necessary, prolongs the life of your roof. Some signs that your roof may need some care include leaking, broken shingles or tiles, and mold in your attic.

If you are looking for a trusted, experienced roofer, look no further than Doug Brue Construction, where we strive to bring you the very best services for all your roofing needs! Contact us today for an appointment!

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