Are you in the market for a new roof but aren’t sure what type you should be looking for? With so many types and materials of roofing available, it can be difficult to know what you should look for when buying a new roof. Whether you’re building a new home from scratch that needs a roof or choosing a new roof for your existing house, you need to choose from the many roofing materials readily available. This may cause you to wonder, “What is the best roof for me?”

This guide helps you select the best roof for your home by explaining the pros and cons of common roof types, including asphalt, metal, slate and rubber.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt is one of the most common types of roofing because of its affordability. However, asphalt roofing offers many different advantages. Some pros of asphalt roofing include:

  • It is easy to install, so installation is affordable.
  • It is Class A fire-resistant, meaning it can withstand fire for up to two hours.
  • This roofing material is easily attainable and comes in various styles and colors.
  • In many cases, asphalt roofing is simple to repair if the roof deck is in good condition since you can apply new shingles on top of old shingles.

Even though asphalt roofing is common, that does not mean it doesn’t have its disadvantages. Some cons of asphalt roofing include:

  • Asphalt roofing degrades over time due to exposure to the sun and surrounding environment. Its life span is somewhere between 15 and 30 years. This is shorter than other materials that last up to 50 years.
  • Asphalt roofing requires relatively high maintenance due to its degrading over time. Asphalt shingles can crack in extreme heat or when there are extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • The color of asphalt shingles will fade over time.
  • Asphalt roofing is not eco-friendly as asphalt is a semi-solid form of petroleum.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing refers to many different materials like steel, aluminum and copper. Of course, each material has its own advantages, but some general pros of metal roofing include:

  • A wide variety of metal materials and styles can complement most colors and architectural styles.
  • The durability can be increased with metallic coatings and factor paints.
  • The life span of a metal roof is about 60 years.
  • Metal roofing is fire resistant and great for reducing wildfire hazards in dry states and areas.
  • Metal roofing increases the value of your home.
  • Metal roofing is recyclable and eco-friendly.

Metal roofing has disadvantages as well. Some cons of metal roofing include:

  • It is difficult to install and therefore expensive. The material itself can be more expensive too depending on the type of metal.
  • Some metal roofing materials, like steel, can rust, making it a poor choice for coastal locations and corrosive environments.
  • Falling tree branches or hail may dent the roof.
  • Metal roofs require some maintenance, like occasional painting.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a gorgeous real stone roofing option with many advantages. The pros of slate roofing include:

  • A slate roof is incredibly beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Choosing a slate roof is a sure way to make your home stand out.
  • The slate roof has an incredible life span. When installed correctly and maintained well, a slate roof could last up to 150 years.
  • A slate roof is completely fireproof.
  • Water cannot penetrate slate so the roof cannot be affected by things like mold.
  • A slate roof can be recycled and is therefore eco-friendly.

Before you get blown away by the advantages a slate roof has to offer, take a look at some cons of slate roofing:

  • Slate roofing is one of the most expensive types of roofing.
  • Slate roofing is very heavy and can put a strain on a home’s structure. The underlying roof structure must be built to withstand the heavier weight, which will add to the framing costs of your home.
  • Tree branches that fall on the roof could potentially cause expensive damage to slate roofing.

EPDM Roofing

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer and is a rubber roofing option. Pros of EPDM roofing include:

  • EPDM roofing is generally low-cost compared to other types of roofing.
  • EPDM roofing is 100% recyclable and therefore eco-friendly. It is also compatible with solar cell arrays and can help reduce energy costs.
  • It is fire-resistant and can slow the progress of fires.
  • EPDM roofing is durable against wind and hail.

On the other side of things, some cons of EPDM roofing include:

  • EPDM roofing is not aesthetically pleasing. It is made of large sheets of black or white rubber.
  • EPDM roofing is not resistant to petroleum-based products and can begin to break down if it contacts these products.

PVC Roofing

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. PVC roofing is commonly used for commercial and industrial roofing. Some pros of PVC roofing include:

  • PVC roofing is resistant to wind, water and fire.
  • PVC roofing is fully recyclable and therefore eco-friendly.
  • PVC roofing helps with energy efficiency because white PVC reflects the sun’s solar energy.

PVC roofing also has some disadvantages to be aware of. The main cons of PVC roofing include:

  • PVC roofing has a complicated installation process and can be expensive.
  • PVC roofing may be subject to cracking in extremely cold weather.

TPO Roofing

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin and is a rubber roofing usually used to cover flat or semi-flat roofs. Some pros of TPO roofing include:

  • TPO roofing has incredible resistance to ozone, ultraviolet rays and some chemical exposure.
  • TPO roofing is fire resistant.
  • TPO roofing is easily recyclable and therefore eco-friendly.
  • TPO roofing is less expensive than PVC roofing and reflects solar heat better than EPDM roofing.

Some cons of TPO roofing include:

  • It is a newer technology and lacks a proven track record.
  • TPO roofing life span is only somewhere between 10 and 20 years.

Get Expert Help Choosing the Best Roof for Your Home

Now that you understand the pros and cons of each type of roofing, think about your needs, environment and budget. When you’re ready to install a new roofreach out to Drake’s Construction & Restoration roofers in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and let the experts help you choose the right roof that fits your needs!