Roofing Materials: How Do They Match Up To One Another?


A roof is among the most essential part of your home, so it’s crucial to ensure you know what to expect when deciding on roofing materials. Whether installing a new roof or updating your existing one, a good roof boosts your home value and ensures you and your family stay safe from harsh weather elements.

Reviewing roofing materials and products is one of the most pressing priorities for any roofing project. Significant considerations when choosing roofing include cost, durability, weather resistance, and roof pitch. It is best to consult a professional roofing contractor in your area to learn which material is best for your unique project.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of different roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing option for homeowners. They are the most budget-friendly choice and suitable for use in most climates. These roofing materials have a reasonable lifespan with adequate maintenance. Their easy installation helps save time and resources.

Shingles come in various designs and colors to match your home’s aesthetics. Choose from multiple top reputable brands to ensure durability.

Composite shingles usually comprise asphalt coatings on both sides of a fiberglass sheet. Granules of slate, quartz, or porcelain are commonly used for dusting the side exposed to weather elements. Although experienced DIY enthusiasts can install asphalt shingles, it’s best to hire a seasoned roofing contractor for the best results.


Here are some advantages of asphalt shingles:

  • Asphalt shingles are more affordable than most options.
  • They are fire-resistant for added safety.
  • Shingles are available in different colors and styles.
  • Easy installation offers added convenience.


Disadvantages of this roofing option include:

  • Asphalt shingles are prone to mildew and moss when not correctly maintained and cleaned.
  • The price of asphalt shingles fluctuates depending on the cost of crude oil.
  • These shingles aren’t suitable for flat roofs.


Asphalt shingle roofing may usually have a lifespan of between 15 and 30 years. Architectural shingles have longer lifespans than 3-tab shingles.

Slate Roofing

Although natural slate roofs are among the most costly roofing materials, they are highly durable. Slate is a dense material that requires solid roof decking and underlayment for a successful installation.

Slate offers class-A fire resistance making it one of the most durable roof materials. It can withstand harsh weather elements such as rain and wind and is resistant to fungus and mold. However, slate roofing installation is labor intensive and requires the help of a professional roofing contractor.

Since this roofing option helps boost curb appeal, most composite shingle manufacturers make products that mimic the slate’s aesthetic appearance.


Below are the top advantages of slate roofs:

  • Slate roofing is durable and keeps out harmful insects like carpenter ants and termites.
  • It absorbs minimal moisture and sheds water when installed correctly, preventing rot.
  • Slate tiles are fire-resistant and non-combustible.
  • This roofing material is aesthetic and boosts curb appeal and property value.


Disadvantages of slate roofing include:

  • Slate roof shingles are heavy and can weigh about 800 to 1000 pounds per square.
  • This roofing option requires highly skilled roofing contractors for correct installation.
  • Slate roofs are considerably expensive to purchase and install.


With regular maintenance, slate roofing can last over 100 years if installed correctly. Although most companies provide 50-year warranties, consider getting a slate roof with a minimum 75-year warranty.

Metal Roofing

After falling out of favor in residential homes because of their cost and simple look, recent innovations have caused a resurgence in the residential roofing market. Ranging from corrugated paneling to standing seam, these roofing materials come in various architectural designs to match different home styles.

Most metal roofs are made of stainless steel, zinc, or aluminum. But copper, tin, and galvalume metal roofs also exist. These roof designs require roofing professionals for installation.


Here are the most significant advantages of metal roofing:

  • Metal roofs are versatile, with some options mimicking the appearance of slate, shingles, slate, and tiles.
  • These roofs are suitable for rustic-style homes, including cabins and cottages.
  • Metal roofing can withstand extreme weather such as winds, snow, ice, hails, and hurricanes.
  • Metal is fire retardant and can help protect homes in fire-prone areas.


Some of the disadvantages of metal roofs include the following:

  • This roofing option is considerably more expensive than asphalt and wood roofing.
  • Metal roofs are difficult to install and need a professional roofer for correct installation.
  • The materials can be noisy during heavy rains or hail.


Most metal roofs have an average lifespan of 50 to 100 years. Manufacturers often offer 30 to 50-year warranties. Durability will depend on the local climate, installation process, and the type of materials used.

Concrete and Clay Tiles

Add texture and a touch of elegance to your roof using clay and concrete tiles. They come in various designs, such as flat, scalloped, and ribbed tiles. These tiles are durable but very heavy and need professional installation. They are suitable for areas with hot water and exposure to salt air.


Concrete or clay tiles have multiple benefits to homeowners, including:

  • These tiles are low maintenance and less prone to leaks.
  • They are an aesthetic option with different colors and designs.
  • Made from organic materials, these tiles are eco-friendly.


Below are some of the most significant disadvantages of clay and concrete tiles:

  • Concrete or clay tile are costly upfront.
  • They are heavy and need a structurally sound roof.
  • These tiles may break during repair or cleaning.


Clay tiles may last over 100 years, while concrete tiles come with a 50-year warranty. They can tolerate hail and high wind but are more prone to climate damage in the area with drastic changes.

Shake Roofs and Wood Shingles 

wood shingles or shakes roofs are a stylish roofing option for modern homes. Wood shingles and shakes have been used on houses since the early American colonies. Shingles and shakes are two common types of wood materials used on roofing.

The appearance of a shingled roof is more unified and polished than shake roofs. Wood shakes, on the other hand, have a thick texture and a rustic look because they are usually split by hand. Because each wood shake is unique, it adds depth and character to the surface.


Some of the pros of wooden roofs include the following

  • Wood roofing materials are long lifespans for their pricing.
  • Their unique design enhances your home’s aesthetics.
  • Wood is natural, biodegradable, and easily recycled.


Wood roofing has various disadvantages, like:

  • They are highly flammable.
  • Wood roof materials are high-maintenance roofing options.
  • These roof materials are costly to repair.


The average lifespan of wood shakes and shingles varies widely. Some last for 25 to30 years, while others last for 35 to 40 years.

Hire the Best Roofing Contractor in Greenville, SC

Lanier Roofing is one of the leading roofing contractors in Greenville, SC. We strive to deliver exceptional results that match our client’s needs. Our certifications with various roofing manufacturers show our expertise in handling a wide range of roofing materials.

Call us at (864) 990-4836 to request a free quote for your new roof or re-roofing project.

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