June 13, 2024

SummitShield: Advanced Roofing Solutions

Roofing Materials:  From The Design And Functionality To Durability And Cost-Effectiveness

Key Roofing Materials

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material for residential homes due to their affordability and durability. They are made from fiberglass or organic felt cloth that is coated with asphalt and granular mineral materials. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles and colors to match any architectural design. On average, asphalt shingle roofs can last 15-25 years before replacement is needed. Their main advantages are a reasonable price point and simplicity of installation compared to other roofing options. Homeowners will need to replace asphalt shingles when they become cracked, brittle or stripped of mineral granules from weathering over time.

Concrete/clay tiles

Concrete and clay tiles are popular roofing choices for those desiring a more distinctive, classic look. The tiles are formed from durable hardened clay or concrete materials and installed to overlap like shingles. Concrete tiles are among the heaviest roofing options while clay tiles are lighter. Tile roofs have a very long lifespan often exceeding 50 years. Their thick profiles and tight fits provide excellent protection from wind, rain and shade temperature fluctuations. The tradeoff is a higher upfront cost than asphalt shingles. Regular maintenance like removing debris and mold is also required to preserve tile roofs.

Metal roofing

Many types of pre-formed metal panels and shingles are now used for roofing applications. Standing seam metal roofing involves mounting weather-resistant metal sheets together in overlapping vertical seams. Materials include galvanized steel, aluminum and copper which are long-lasting options. Metal roofs have a sleek modern aesthetic and also reflect heat away very effectively thanks to their thermal emissivity. However, the noise of rain or hail hitting metal roofs can be an issue in some residential areas. Installation of metal roofing also demands experienced contractors to avoid leaks from loose seams over time.

Wood shake/shingle roofing

For a rustic natural look, cedar shake or shingle roofs made of split wooden planks remain a popular choice. They provide aesthetic appeal blending easily into country or mountain architecture. However, wood roofing requires very frequent maintenance and refinishing with quality sealants and stains every few years. It is also flammable and can go up in flames easily during wildfires or from airborne embers. Homeowners’ insurance rates also increase with wood roofs. Nevertheless, when properly installed and maintained, cedar shake roofing can last for decades.

Emerging Options

Vegetated/green roofs

In light of environmental sustainability goals, vegetated green roofs are gaining attention in urban centers. They add visual appeal and help reduce stormwater runoff from buildings. Different modular tray systems allow for easy installation of a multi-layered engineered structure on which various drought-resistant plant species can thrive. While beneficial, initial costs are quite high compared to traditional roofing. Extra load capacity of the building structure below must also be ensured. With proper selection and care of plant varieties, green roofs have great longevity even exceeding 50 years.

Solar roofing shingles/panels

Another emerging option is photovoltaic solar panels or shingles which generate electricity from the sun’s energy. Some asphalt shingle and metal tile models incorporate photovoltaic cells that blend seamlessly into the building facade. They provide dual benefits of weather protection as well as clean renewable power generation. However, solar roofing systems carry a premium cost over standard materials. Net-zero ready homes are likely to adopt such integrated solutions more for greater long-term energy savings and sustainability. Breakthroughs in solar cell efficiency and manufacturing can bring down costs compared to separate PV installations.

Factors to Consider


The look of the roofing material and its compatibility with the architectural style of the home is an important initial selection criteria. Asphalt shingles come in various colors, profiles and textures to complement any roof design. Metal, concrete tile or cedar shake options have very distinct appearances compared to basic three-tab shingles.


Upfront costs will differ greatly depending on the material – asphalt shingles are the most affordable while clay tiles or new solar roofing systems fall at the higher end of expenses. Long-term operational expenditures like maintenance requirements and potential energy savings also factor into the total cost of ownership.


Roof lifespan varies and is a function of the material composition, quality of installation as well as climatic conditions. Asphalt shingles and wood shake roofing need replacing every 15-30 years. Concrete/clay tiles and metal roofs can endure much longer, up to 50+ years and potentially never requiring full replacement.


Green and solar roofing choices significantly boost sustainability and energy independence with their multiple environmental benefits. However, standard asphalt and metal roofing are also adequate material selections that provide long term reliability when properly installed and maintained.

Regular inspections and minor repairs are important for all roof types to extend their usable service lives as much as possible. With careful evaluation of priority aspects like appearance, budget and durability requirements, homeowners can make informed choices on roofing materials suited for protecting their investment for many years to come.

In Summary, embark on a journey through the diverse world of roofing materials, where durability, aesthetics, and sustainability converge to protect and enhance homes and buildings. From traditional choices like asphalt shingles to innovative options such as metal and solar panels, explore the array of materials available to suit every style and need.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it