Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Materials: Asphalt, Metal, and Slate

Ribbed Metal Roof and Cupolas Under Blue Skies

Your roof is a big part of your home and your home’s value. Here at Roof Toppers, we spend a lot of time up there—on people’s roofs that is— and have seen just how much roofing issues can cost a homeowner, both in headaches and cash. The great news is that today’s roofing industry has made considerable strides in installation and roofing material technology. This also means that the homeowner has a lot more options to choose from when it comes time to install a new roof or replace an old one. With all the options, it might be difficult to find the right fit for you. Let us explore the different options. 

The Classic Shingle 

You’re likely somewhat familiar with this type of roofing material, as it is the most common. Shingles are the roofing material of approximately 85% of residential properties in the country. Most of the time, these shingles are made out of asphalt. These types of shingles have a top layer of granules that protect the layer of asphalt underneath. The innermost layer of the shingle is made out of fiberglass and its part of what makes it resistant and quite effective.

Pros:

  • They are the most affordable. Asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and that makes the savings to the consumer quite significant. 
  • They are easy to install. The material is relatively lightweight and the installation process is straightforward. For professional and experienced roofers, this means installation is usually much easier.
  • Various colors and patterns. Even just a slight shade difference can make a considerable impact on the look of your home. Shingles have many great options when it comes to the shade. 

Cons: 

  • They have a shorter life expectancy. A properly-installed shingle roof will have a shelf life of about twenty years. Depending on the weather and other damage, it might be less or more. 
  • They can be susceptible to wind damage. Here in El Paso, we do have plenty of strong winds and the occasional wind storm. These events can damage the roof a lot easier.

Metal Roofs

In a previous blog post, we went into depth about the metal roofs and how they appear to be having quite a resurgence. Their popularity has grown in recent years, as homeowners look for new options that might have an impact on their energy bills. 

Pros:

  • Excellent longevity. Metal is reflective and therefore is far more effective in reflecting UV rays that wear away at other types of roofing material. 
  • Energy-efficient. Because of their properties, like the reflectivity mentioned above,  this type of material will repel the sun rays and help with maintaining a steady temperature in your home. Many metal roofs will qualify for an Energy Star rating. 
  • They are environmentally friendly. These roofs are often made with recycled materials and can also be recycled at the end of their lifespan. 
  • Fire-resistance. These roofs are also quite promising in the fire-resistant department. This adds a whole other layer of safety.
  • Increases property value. A metal roof will likely increase your property value and add value to your home if you try to sell. 

Cons: 

  • It’s a little pricier. It’s true that a metal roof can cost you a little bit more than traditional shingles. That’s because the metal materials need to be specially manufactured and constructed for quality. 
  • Installation is trickier. If installing a metal roof, you want to make sure that you have a seasoned professional who understands how to do the job right.  A badly installed metal roof can run into problems very quickly. 

Slate Roofs

Slate shingles are a very appealing material to use for your roof. Made out of natural stone, the shingles have been used for decades and have proven to be a timeless material with inherent beauty.

Pros:

  • Aesthetic appeal. Any type of natural material will always be a very popular choice. Natural stone has a natural timeless quality that gives a home an entirely different look. 
  • Life expectancy. If you’ve ever visited parts of Europe, you may notice that many older buildings have slate roofing. The life expectancy of a slate roof can be hundreds of years! If you have good quality stone, expect a lifetime of service. 
  • Adds property value. Having a slate roof is a very unique feature and makes your home stand out above the rest. It adds a considerable amount of property value if you ever decide to sell. 

Cons:

  • Variations in material. Because slate occurs naturally, there are variations in the stone that can lead to cracks and affect the quality. Some variations may age or crack more easily. 
  • Slate roofs are heavy. This type of roofing material is heavy and may not be suitable for all homes. You want to make sure your home can sustain the weight before you make the investment. 
  • Installation process. Like a metal roof, installing a slate roof requires an experienced roofer that knows how to handle the material. Going with someone that doesn’t know what they are doing will cost you dearly. 

The materials mentioned are perhaps the most common or discussed roofing materials. There are also wood shakes and cedar. These have wooden tiles and can have a good life expectancy if they are treated and maintained properly. Yet, wooden materials for roofs have somewhat fallen out of favor in recent decades. 

Roof Toppers is ready to answer any question you might need regarding the best material for you. We specialize in metal roofing. You may want to explore some of your options and see what’s available. Call us today. 

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