Roofing Material Guide

roofing material guide which roof material to use guide

In addition to the various types and sizes, roofs also come in many different materials. From thatched roofs to metal roofs, tiled roofs to green roofs, the options today are vast.

Each roofing material has various advantages and disadvantages. The following guide will serve to highlight the pros and cons of each material and make your purchasing decision a whole lot easier.

Metal roofing

Thanks to increasing availability, metal roofing can be found on many conventional properties, in addition to high-end luxury homes. Zinc roofing, slate roofing and copper roofing are all examples of metal roofing.

Pros:

    • Metal is lightweight, so it can be applied to roofs that have a low load-bearing capacity
    • Has a 30+ year life expectancy
    • Fire-resistant
    • Distinctive contemporary look
    • Can be manufactured into any shape or design
    • Requires almost no maintenance

    Cons:

      • Can be expensive compared to alternative materials
      • Collects a lot of heat and can make your home uncomfortably warm
      • Is easily dented by hail and other heavy falling objects

      Green roofing 

      Green roofs are an eco-friendly alternative to modern roofing options. They are either partially or completely covered in vegetation and plants, and provide a range of benefits, including a unique green aesthetic.

      Pros:

        • Unique visual dimension
        • Sound insulation
        • Temperature regulation
        • Improved air quality
        • Rainwater retention
        • Increased biodiversity

        Cons:

          • They require a lot of regular maintenance
          • Because green roofing is so new, life expectancy is as yet unproven
          • Heavier and require more structural support to be implemented
          • Relatively expensive

           

          Tiled roofing

           

          Roof tiles are traditionally made out of locally-available materials. Two of the most popular roof tile materials are concrete and clay, but terracotta and slate are also common.

           

          Pros:

            • Requires little maintenance
            • Fire-resistant
            • 50+ years life expectancy
            • Distinctive styles and colours
            • Impervious to rot and insect damage
            • Environmentally friendly

            Cons:

              • They are heavy; they require sufficient load-bearing capacity in the roof structure
              • High cost 
              • Can be broken if they suffer a heavy impact

               

              Concrete roofing

              Concrete roofing is available as individual tiles or one single solid slab. Many homeowners opt for tiles for the aesthetic, but solid concrete roofs are cheaper and easier to install.

              Pros: 

                • Relatively inexpensive — concrete is cheaper compared to clay
                • Extremely strong — can withstand intense wind and storms
                • Resistant to wind uplift

                Cons:

                  • The colour will fade over time
                  • It is very heavy and requires a roof structure with sufficient load-bearing capacity

                  Clay roofing

                  Another popular roof tile material, clay has been used in roofs for thousands of years. They have survived this long because of their timeless aesthetic.

                  Pros:

                    • Life expectancy of over 100 years. 
                    • Extremely strong — can withstand intense wind and storms
                    • Impervious to rot and insect damage
                    • Requires little maintenance
                    • They can be recycled after removal, making them good for the environment

                    Cons:

                      • Difficult installation
                      • High cost
                      • Brittle

                      Thatched roofing

                      Thatched roofing is common for cottages but will rarely be used in new builds. Most thatchers exist solely for restoration work.

                      Pros:

                        • Unique look
                        • Environmentally friendly
                        • Provides insulation

                        Cons:

                          • Expensive
                          • Requires frequent attention
                          • Not fire-resistant

                          Asphalt shingles

                          Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material. Despite their name, asphalt shingles contain very little asphalt — sometimes as low as 5%. Most of their composition is made up of mineral fibre and cementitious fillers.

                          Pros: