Roofing Materials: Choosing The Best For Your Roof

In the world of roofing, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Now, sometimes it might seem like everyone has the same roof, with asphalt shingles and similar color tones, but there are all kinds of different options. While asphalt is one of the most economical choices, you may find something else better that fits your house and style preferences. So, before you plunk down money on shingles, make sure you know not only the available options but also the best roofing material for your particular project.

What is the Best Roofing Material


When it comes to what is the best roofing material, asphalt will always be on the list. It’s relatively durable, is cost-effective, and can be installed faster than most other options out there. It is by far the most common form of roof installed today (at least in the United States). On top of the cost and time benefits, asphalt shingles can flex with the heat, making it great for any environment where the weather changes throughout the year (such as here in Charlotte).

Wood Shingles (Shakes)

There is nothing like wood. While composite materials are available, designed to try and replicate the look of wood, it isn’t fully possible to do so. Wood shingles are beautiful and offer a rustic, charming, and warm appearance to any home. However, no matter how beautiful wood shingles and roofs are, there are several downsides to them. For starters, wood shingles have one of the shortest life spans of any roofing material. 

Second, shingles will need regular maintenance and care to last. Wood shingles also aren’t great for heavy rain locations or where wildfires are prominent. Instead, these are best in dry climates where the chance of heavy rain or wildfires is minimal. But, if you are interested in the look, few other building options can compete.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles provide the benefit of aluminum while also giving some visual appeal to asphalt. Now, there’s no confusing the two once you’re close enough to look, but it does look similar enough to asphalt from a distance. Metal shingles are durable and have a very long life. However, the main downsides to these shingles are that the cost may double or triple that of asphalt. In the event of damage to the shingle, it will need to be replaced because aluminum does not return to its original, pre-damage state (like squeezing a soda can then trying to remove the crease).

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

There are several metal roof options to choose from if this is something you’d want to go with. Metal roofs have an especially long shelf-life, and when it is time to replace the roof, it can be recycled (you might be able to cash in on the value of the metal as well upon recycling, which is nice). A seamed metal roof has raised seams that serve several functions. First, it helps add some visual interest to the roof. 

Second, it helps direct moisture down, so it doesn’t stick or collect. And third, the seams interlock together, preventing moisture from seeping in under the roof. This makes it especially desirable when it comes to cold weather climates where it snows a considerable amount. It is also fire retardant, so it’s fantastic for houses out west as well.

Clay Tile

This is a classic look of California and the American Southwest. The thickness of the clay helps repel the heat of the sun, which makes it perfect for that area of the country. The clay can handle high temperatures without cracking. However, clay isn’t great if there are extreme temperature changes because the clay will crack if it goes from extremely cold to extremely warm in a short period. Additionally, clay is already heavy, so while it’s fine for heavy rain, the added weight could damage a roof in the event of heavy snowfall.

Clay tile can be a good option for you as clay also handles salty air well, just as long as you don’t have several large trees near your house. Falling branches can quickly crack and damage the clay. You’ll just need to keep in mind the price, as clay is one of the most expensive roofing options around (it can sometimes be up to 10 times the cost of asphalt for certain kinds of elaborate designs, although, at a minimum, it will likely be three to four times the cost).


Slate is one of those building materials that instantly offers a beautiful visual for any home. Like wood, there’s nothing like slate. However, slate has some characteristics of clay, so it’s easier to break. Slate is also more difficult to repair, so not all roofing repair companies will be able to work with slate. Besides, slate is an especially expensive material to roof with (realistically, it’s probably the most expensive option, outside of maybe solar shingles, but there are at least financial incentives).

The biggest perk of going with slate is the lifespan. There is a reason why you’ll see so many classical, Victorian-era houses with slate. Slate, when taken care of, can last several centuries, so if you go with slate, you’ll never have to roof your home again. In this case, the cost is very much worth it.

Help With Your Roofing Project Is A Phone Call Away

It can feel like a challenge when it comes to picking out the right roofing material for your home. With various choices, not to mention color options, you can easily feel overwhelmed when picking out a new roof. Here at Charlotte Roofing Specialists, we want to help you make the best decision for your budget, home, and longevity. So whether you know exactly what kind of roof you want, or you are all questions, and you need answers, our team here is just a phone call away. So reach out and contact us whenever you need. We’re here to help.


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