Different roofing materials are available like shingles, tiles, and even glass.

Choosing the Best Roofing Materials

When choosing a new roof for your home, the most important factors to consider are longevity, cost, durability, and energy efficiency of the materials. Following are the six most popular roofing materials – from least expensive and durable to most expensive and durable – to help you choose the right roof for your home.


Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles will last for about 15 to 30 years. They are the most popular roofing material because of their cost effectiveness. When it comes to durability, never choose the cheapest asphalt shingles, even if cost is a major issue for you.

Look for shingles that have a decent hail rating, a good indicator of impact resistance and overall durability. Roofing material manufacturers are not legally required to report their hail rating, so if you don’t see one, don’t buy that brand. Hail rating is particularly important with asphalt shingles, because their quality ranges wildly.


Wooden shingles and shakes

This roofing material – made of fire-resistant woods such as cedar or redwood – should last between 30 and 50 years. While they last longer than asphalt shingles, they are not as durable. Although they are fire resistant (and can be sprayed with fire retardant), they are not fireproof.

Wood shingles and shakes are also prone to cracking, so look for a manufacturer with a good hail rating. When it comes to energy efficiency, wood is a natural insulator and is typically twice as efficient as asphalt shingles.



Metal roofing materials – steel, copper, zinc alloy, or aluminum – will last about 30 to 50 years. While metal roofs are slightly more expensive than asphalt and wood, they are significantly more durable.

Metal roofs are impact resistant and will hold up well in bad weather. Also, they need a lot less maintenance than most roofing materials, and they are very energy efficient. While asphalt shingles tend to hover around the outside temperature (whether high or low), metal roofs act as an insulator. This keeps your home cooler during hot weather and warmer during cold weather.


Plastic Polymer

Plastic polymer roofs will last for 50+ years and are an incredibly durable roofing material. Polymer roofing shingles are created to look like slate or wood shingles, but they require significantly less maintenance.

Plastic polymer roofs have high hail ratings, and they’ll hold up well in bad weather. They are very energy efficient. Plastic roofs, like metal roofs, reflect energy rather than absorb it. This will keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter.



A roof made from slate can last as long as 75 to 150 years. One of the oldest roofing materials, slate is also one of the most expensive. Slate is extremely durable. It’s both fireproof and nearly indestructible in bad weather.

Professional installation is recommended, because slate tiles can crack under the weight of the average person. Finally, because slate is one of the densest roofing materials on the market, it’s incredibly energy efficient, helping to regulate your home’s internal temperature.


Solar glass

Solar glass roofing should last for the lifetime of your home. Although there are many manufacturers that offer solar panels for your roof, currently, Tesla is the only manufacturer that offers a solar glass roof. This option is fairly expensive to purchase and install. However, you may qualify for a tax credit to offset the cost, and it comes with a lifetime tile warranty.

Energy efficiency of most roofing materials is calculated in terms of how much energy is saved. Solar glass generates its own energy, and is therefore the most sustainable roofing material. In addition, solar glass roofing boasts an extremely high hail rating.


Final thoughts

While choosing the right roofing material is incredibly important, correct installation, literally, can make or break your roof. Absolute Exteriors has 20+ years of experience installing roofs and helping customers in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas choose the best roofing materials for the climate, slope of the roof, style of home, and budget. Give us a call for a free estimate on your roof replacement.

Learn more about bad roofing decisions that you need to avoid.

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