To many homeowners a roof is just a roof—so long as it protects the home, it does not matter what it is made from. Yet some roofing materials perform better than others. They can increase the energy efficiency of the home and keep it safer from the elements longer. While there are cost differences, high-quality roofs can boost property value, so let’s see how the different roofing materials stack up.
Asphalt shingles balance cost and efficiency well. They are among the most affordable roofing materials and protect your home for 10 to 30 years. Manufacturers build asphalt shingles in different colours and blends, making them suitable for a variety of home styles. There are also architectural shingles for greater durability and a more rugged appearance.
Metal offers supreme protection, but it is substantially more expensive than asphalt. It is the standard roofing material on agricultural buildings because it resists wind, rot, sun and fire. Moreover, metal is lightweight, recyclable and long-lasting.
Slate roofs can last centuries—and that type of protection does not come cheap. Because this material is heavier than most others, it requires a sturdier roofing structure. For this reason, slate roofs are less common nowadays and fewer contractors can perform the installation.
Wood adds a natural aesthetic and can help protect a home for decades if maintained. As an organic material, it is prone to weathering and decay—especially moss growth. Likewise, it offers low fire resistance without special treatment. For these reasons, homeowners who want wooden roofs often seek shakes. They are thicker and withstand weathering and sunlight much more effectively.