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Selecting the perfect roofing material for your residential or commercial structure requires careful consideration of numerous factors. Climate, architecture, budget, and individual preferences are all influential in determining the ideal roofing solution. Thus, this article offers a comprehensive overview of various roofing materials, including their respective advantages and drawbacks.

Different Types of Materials For Roofing

The Different Types Of Roofing Materials And Their Pros And Cons

Asphalt Shingles Roofing

Asphalt shingles, consisting of fiberglass or organic material coated with asphalt and granules, come in different styles and hues. They are prevalent in North America.

Asphalt shingles are easy to install and cheap. They can last up to three decades and are wind and fire-resistant. They come in diverse hues and styles.

Asphalt shingles are not environmentally friendly, susceptible to extreme weather damage, and may develop mold or mildew.

Asphalt shingles cost between $1 to $4 per square foot and have a lifespan of approximately 20 to 30 years.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing, beloved by commercial and residential buildings, materializes in aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc. Various kinds of metal roofing are standing seam, corrugated, and metal shingles.

Durability and longevity (50+ years), fire, wind, and impact resistance, energy efficiency, and eco-friendliness are metal roofing’s advantages.

Nevertheless, some disadvantages are metal roofing’s expensive upfront cost, potential noise from rain or hailstorms, and the need for professional installation.

Metal roofing costs between $5 to $15 per square foot and can last up to 50+ years.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles, crafted from natural clay, make for trendy roofing material in warmer areas. They come in diverse colors, sizes, and shapes.

Advantages are abundant: durability lasting 100 years, insect, rot, fire resistant, and energy-efficient—and enhanced curb appeal.

Disadvantages include heavyweight requiring extra support, expensive upfront cost, cracking or breaking under the heavy impact, and professional installation.

Expect to pay $10-30 per square foot for clay tiles that have a lifespan of 50-100 years.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing, a premium material made of natural slate stone, boasts impressive durability, longevity, and timeless aesthetics.

The benefits of slate roofing encompass extreme robustness, longevity (100+ years), fire/insect/rot resistance, energy efficiency (cool roofs), and value-adding appearance.

Nevertheless, slate roofing entails substantial weight, calls for additional roof reinforcement, requires professional installation, costs $15-30 per sq ft, has an expensive upfront cost, and can break or crack under severe impact.

Slate roofs typically last 100+ years.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood shakes and shingles, crafted from natural wood like cedar or redwood, lend a rustic and organic vibe to edifices, constituting the primary advantage.

In addition, they are environmentally sustainable and aesthetically pleasing, with natural insulation and impact resistance also part of the package.

Nonetheless, wood shakes and shingles entail high maintenance demands and prove vulnerable to conflagration and insect infestations, which constitute their main disadvantages.

Moreover, their longevity of approximately 25 years and costs ranging from $6 to $12 per square foot may not meet specific individuals’ requirements.

Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing, a synthetic material comprising recycled rubber and plastic, finds frequent use on flat roofs.

Advantages of rubber roofing include being lightweight, easy to install, affordable, and long-lasting, with fire and wind resistance.

Disadvantages of rubber roofing are:

Rubber roofing costs between $4 to $8 per square foot and can last up to 50 years.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

The construction technique, built-up roofing (BUR), comprises numerous layers of asphalt, fiberglass, or natural elements. Roofers employ it on roofs that have a low incline or are level.

BUR offers affordability and durability, lasting up to 30 years and resisting fire and wind.

However, BUR requires additional roof support due to its heavy weight and may develop leaks over time. Its aesthetic appeal is also limited.

BUR costs between $3 to $6 per square foot and lasts approximately 20 to 30 years.

Green Roofs

Green roofs, alternatively referred to as living roofs, are roofing systems incorporating vegetation and planting onto the roof surface.

These roofs yield numerous benefits, such as energy efficiency through cool roofs and enhancement of a building’s aesthetic appearance.

Moreover, they aid in improving air quality and decreasing the urban heat island effect while naturally regulating insulation and stormwater management.

Despite their positive attributes, green roofs come with costly upfront expenses, require additional roof support, and frequent maintenance and watering.

In terms of cost and lifespan, green roofs are priced between $10 and $25 per square foot and typically last around 30 to 50 years.

Solar Panels

Solar panels integrated into roofing function by converting sunlight into electricity, offering the following benefits: heightened energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, reduction in electricity expenses and carbon footprint, an upsurge in property value, and eligibility for tax credits and incentives. However, drawbacks include:

Regarding costs and longevity, solar roofing expenses can range from $10 to $20 per square foot. They can last for roughly 25 to 30 years.

Other Roofing Materials

There are a plethora of roofing materials available, such as concrete tiles composed of cement, sand, and water. These materials offer durability, longevity, and various styles and colors.

Fiber cement is also long-lasting, durable, fire, and insect-resistant due to the addition of cellulose fibers.

EPDM, a type of synthetic rubber, is an affordable roofing material known for its exceptional longevity and durability.

TPO, a single-ply roofing material made of thermoplastic materials, offers long-lasting, energy-efficient, and durable roofing solutions.

Lastly, Modified Bitumen, an asphalt-based roofing material, is affordable, stable, and durable for those seeking reliable roofing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Materials For Roofing

Factors to weigh in roofing material selection: climate, aesthetics, budget, maintenance, and sustainability. The weather requires attention. The design must align. Include cost for material, installation, and upkeep, plus incentives. Cleaning and replacement are essential for maintenance. Evaluate energy efficiency and environmental impact, like insulation, reflectivity, and recyclability.

Master Roofers USA – Best Materials For Roofing in NYC

Master Roofers USA is New York City‘s top-rated roofing company for repair and replacement services. Our expertise includes asphalt shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles, slate roofing, wood shakes and shingles, rubber roofing, BUR, green roofs, and solar panels. To ensure customer satisfaction, skilled roofers complete each project to the highest standards. Contact us at (718) 957-0313 for a fast quote and to schedule your roofing project.


Choosing the suitable roofing material for your building is paramount, ensuring protection, energy efficiency, and pleasing aesthetics. Available materials include asphalt shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles, slate roofing, wood shakes and shingles, rubber roofing, BUR, green roofs, and solar panels, each with benefits and drawbacks. When choosing, consider factors like climate, appearance, cost, upkeep, and eco-friendliness. At Master Roofers USA, we specialize in repairing and replacing all roofing materials, delivering top-quality services in New York City.

FAQs About Materials Of Roofing

Asphalt shingles are prevalent due to affordability and effortless installation.

Slate roofing can last over 100 years.

It depends on the roofing material, roof size, and installation complexity. It can cost $5,000 to $25,000.

Asphalt shingles are most accessible due to their lightweight and simple installation.

It’s possible but not recommended. It may increase weight and hide underlying problems. Best to remove the old roof.

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