The Different Types of Roofing and Their Benefits

Choosing a roof material can be tough. There are so many avenues you can take, that it can be confusing which one is the best for you. Yet regardless of whether you are replacing an existing roof or installing a new one, your initial idea can be impacted later down the line, so making the right decision suited to your needs is vital.

This guide will go through a selection of the most used roofing types and their benefits, helping you to decide which type is the one for you.

Asphalt Composition Shingles

The Different Types of Roofing and Their Benefits: Asphalt Composition Shingles

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A good roofing type for those on a budget is asphalt composition shingles. They look good, and they also provide decent weather resistance. They may not be as durable as other materials, but they are still able to deal with harsh conditions.

The main advantage of asphalt is its affordability, including a low upfront cost. On average this type of roofing lasts between 12 to 15 years, which is exceptionally good value for money.

A number of people believe that asphalt shingles’ cheaper price tag means that there will be very little choice.  Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are three different styles and a full pallet of colours to choose from. It’s also possible to upgrade to 3-tab, which is incredibly popular due to its three-dimensional aesthetic.

Clay Tile

Clay tiles are one of the oldest roofing types you can find. They can be predated back to 10,000 BCE, and they’ve been used all over the world. The technology and crafting methods have adapted and changed since their first creation, making them an extremely versatile and popular tile.

You can expect high levels of durability with this type of roofing. The average lifespan is over one hundred years without needing to be replaced. There’s also a variety of styles you can choose from. It will resist rot or mold, and can easily deal with hurricane-force winds.

Something that makes it stand out is how it’s non-combustible. Clay tiles have been praised as being one of the most fire resistant roofing materials available on the market, which is why people that live in wildfire prone areas choose this material.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles will always be a popular roofing choice, and this is for a number of reasons. Aesthetically, they are nice to look at, offering a bold and sophisticated look that other materials can’t quite offer. The only material that is more popular than concrete is clay.

As concrete is a sturdy material, it lasts for a long time and can deal with bad weather for incredibly long periods. Another added advantage of these tiles is their ability to insulate the home at a comfortable level. Sound is also kept a minimum, something that’s particularly useful for buildings next to busy roads.

One of the biggest things that make concrete tiles stand out from clay is how easy they are to replace. In a situation where a certain section is damaged or in need of modification, they can be easily removed and replaced without the need of starting from scratch.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing has had a long history, and is often regarded as the highest quality roof material on the market. It has some of the best advantages thanks to how it’s made, making it a popular choice for a variety of people.

A lot of people choose slate for the way it looks; there are few materials that can match the beauty and elegance. It also has the added advantage of different sizes, thicknesses and colours, ensuring you can create the perfect look for your home.

Slate roofing is also environmentally friendly as it will long outlast its competitors, who all contribute a significant amount of waste to landfill sites.

Wood Shingle

Wood shingle, also referred to as shake, is a unique type of roofing that many homeowners are choosing to install. One of the main reasons for this is the variety, including colour, thickness, pattern and cut. However, they aren’t the easiest to install and will require an expert’s help.

The reason this roofing type has become so popular is because it is eco-friendly, versatile and renewable. Yet, due to this they can be more expensive than the alternatives, and also require a significant amount of maintenance on a regular basis.

Depending on the quality of the material, and how it’s installed, the average lifespan is anywhere between 30 to 60 years. It requires regular power washing and the application of cleaning solutions to ensure it stays resilient. If this is ignored, the roof can become discoloured and eventually unsafe.


A roof material that is often used on commercial buildings, PVC has had a sudden surge in popularity over recent years. This is due to it being cost effective, durable and environmentally friendly, as well as boasting a long lifespan. It’s also one of the most common plastics in the world, making it relatively cheap to purchase.

PVC can handle tough situations, including exposure to harmful chemicals, UV rays, fire and water leaks. The material is also reflective and is able to assist in avoiding damage and discolour from the sun’s radiation. This material also doesn’t require high levels of maintenance.

Overall, you can expect little trouble if you choose this type of roof. On average it will last between 20 and 30 years and will only require the odd clean. PVC quality can change from supplier to supplier, so always confirm how long they last before investment.

The Best Roofing Types

These are some of the best roof materials on the market that provide roofing solutions for the majority of people. Each one is unique in their own way, so always check the drawbacks as well as the benefits to find the one that’s best for you.

This blog was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of Beddard Roofing, specialist roofing contractors that cover the north west.

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