roofing material

Picking the Right Roofing Material for Your Home

A new roof is expected to last for many years, therefore, careful consideration is important when you’re selecting a roofing material for your home. Factors to consider are the roofing material’s appearance, durability, and relative cost.

Asphalt Shingles

Known for being easy to install and inexpensive, asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the United States. Asphalt shingles, also known as composition roofing, are made of either fiberglass or cellulose that’s coated with asphalt and ceramic granules. Asphalt shingles are lightweight and available in a variety of colors. A well-maintained asphalt roof should last at least 20 years. The two main types of asphalt shingles are laminated shingles and traditional three-tab shingles. Laminated shingles, also called architectural or three-dimensional shingles, have more depth and offer more design possibilities than three-tab shingles. Laminated shingles look similar to a shake roof. Three-tab shingles cost less than laminated shingles.


Metal roofing is usually made of aluminum, steel, or copper. A metal roof is lightweight and fire-resistant. Metal roofing materials come in a wide variety of styles, including shingles and tiles. Metal roofs that have the appearance of wood, clay, or stone are a recent innovation for this material. While metal roofing costs more than asphalt shingles, the higher cost may be worthwhile because a metal roof should last at least twice as long as an asphalt one.


Valued for durability and aesthetics, clay tile roofs are also heavy. Homeowners who are considering a clay roof should make sure their home can handle the roof’s weight. Clay roof tiles come in a variety of shapes and colors. Curved clay tiles are the traditional choice for Medditerean, Mission, and Southwest style homes. A clay roof is more expensive than asphalt or metal, however, 50 years is a conservative estimate for the life span of a clay roof.


Slate, a quarried stone, is heavy, durable, fire-resistant, and elegant. Due to its weight, the home’s structure may have to be reinforced prior to installing a slate roof. Slate comes in several colors, including purple, black, grey, and green. A slate roof can be expected to last a century or longer. Homeowners should expect to pay more for slate than metal or asphalt.


A wood roof is commonly made of cedar, but redwood and southern pine are sometimes used. Wood shingles are cut by machine and are thinner than wood shakes, which are often hand split. Although wood shingles and shake can be treated for fire resistance, some local building codes don’t allow them due to the fire risk. A wood roof requires maintenance to prevent the growth of moss, mold, and mildew. While a wood roof costs more than asphalt, it’s cheaper than slate and clay. The durability of a wood roof is associated with how well it’s maintained.

Davis Roofing proudly serves the Northern Virginia area. Our roofers have over 45 years of experience in helping neighbors with their roofing needs. If your roof needs repair or replacement, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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At Davis Roofing, Inc. we pride ourselves in delivering outstanding service at an affordable price. We provide the same services as the area’s largest roofing companies for a fraction of the cost.