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Types of Roofing and The Different Materials Used

Posted on February 19, 2021| Guides
Types of Roofing and The Different Materials Used

If your roof is looking a little worse for wear, is leaking or has concerning discolored patches, it’s time to consider a replacement. At one time, you only had asphalt, slate or clay to choose from but today there’s a whole range of advanced materials for roofing. Take a look at the list below to choose the right material for your project. We’ll also look at a few safety tips if you’re considering getting up yourself or hiring a professional.

Different Types of Roofing Materials

Solar Tiles

Grey Solar roof tiles


The roofing of the future is solar-powered. The newest solar technology can be fitted into ordinary or existing shingle tiles so are the perfect choice for summer homes. These solar tiles are pricey but an investment that will last for years to come as they will reduce your home’s energy costs.

Asphalt Tiles

Also known as asphalt shingles, this is the most common type of roofing in the United States. That’s because asphalt is an all-purpose tile that performs well in all environmental conditions. This type of roofing should last anywhere between 15 and 25 years depending on the harshness of the conditions but quality does vary.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a cheap roofing option that lasts many years but used to be somewhat unsightly. Today’s metal roofing is much more attractive as it is treated to look like slate or tile. Metal roofing can be noisy when it rains and is easily damaged but its smooth surface is great for sloughing off the snow. Be sure to ask about corrosion when purchasing as this can lower the lifespan of metal roofing.


Another classic roof covering, slate can last more than 100 years. It’s heavy, water-resistant and won’t catch fire however it is very expensive. Broken slate tiles can cost a lot of money to replace.

Clay/Concrete Tiles

These tiles are the most effective in extreme weather conditions. Some clay and concrete roofing can even stay put during tornadoes and earthquakes. Clay and concrete absorbs heat so can keep homes cool in warm, dry climates but tiles break easily and aren’t great at weight-bearing.

Orange and grey roof tiles made from clay

Green Roofs

A great environmentally-friendly option, green roofs require no tiles at all, only a layer of plants, grass, and moss that works to insulate homes. Green roofs can improve the overall air quality of where you live but they must be fitted by an expert who understands how to handle drainage and thermal insulation. Green roofs can last around forty years.

When choosing the right type of roofing for your project consider the environment, weather, cost and how you want your home to look. Good quality roofing is an investment that should last you a lifetime.

If you intend to lay your new roofing yourself, there are a few important things to consider:Working on Different Types of Roofing

Wear Non-Slip Boots of Shoes Made for Working On Roofs

It’s important to wear sturdy roofing boots when working on a roof. Ideally, you need steel toe caps to protect your feet from dropped tiles or tools. Your boots must be able to grip the material on which you’re standing so there’s little to no risk you’ll slip and injure yourself. Roofing shoes are another option for a lighter feel. While not as sturdy overall they still provide great traction but you should do your research and make sure to buy a pair that is recommended by a qualified roofing company or brand.

3 men working on roof with boots and shoes

Use a Safety Harness

The HSE reported 43,000 non-fatal accidents involving heights across all industries in 2017. Bearing this in mind, You shouldn’t be working up on your roof without some kind of safety harness. A harness could save your life if the worst happens and you fall from a great height. In some states, you’re required by law to wear a harness when working at height. The Occupational Safety and Health Administation (OSHA) has guidelines for professional that those doing DIY should also follow.

Assess the Weather

Before starting any outdoor work, you need to asses the weather. When working on a roof its even more important to know what’s in store so that you can protect yourself from the elements. If it’s cold you need to wrap up, but only wear clothes that do not restrict your movement. When it’s sunny you must protect yourself from heatstroke and sunburn. Generally, professionals advise putting your project on hold if it’s raining but if you have no choice but to make a repair, wear a proper outdoors jacket that does not absorb moisture.

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