6 Best Roofing Materials Ranked by Durability and Cost

By January 19, 2019 July 3rd, 2019 Home Renovation

Written By Lindsey Joy

Choosing a new roof? Or currently building your dream home? Whatever it may be, you’re probably looking for a roofing material that’s going to protect your home without breaking the bank.

In order to help you make an informed decision, we ranked the 6 best roofing materials based on the most important factors that most homeowners consider: durability and cost.

#6 Asphalt Shingles

Longevity: 15-30 years

This roofing material is by far the most popular roofing material because of its cost-effectiveness. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. It’s a good idea to research all the available option first, even if cost is a major concern for you.

It is important that you look for shingles that have a decent hail rating, a good level of impact resistance as well as overall durability. Note that roofing manufacturers aren’t legally required to report their hail rating. But quality manufacturers are more likely to report this data. So, if you don’t see a hail rating, it isn’t a good sign.

One downside of asphalt shingles is that it’s a petroleum-based material which means it isn’t the most sustainable roofing material option available. However, they are recyclable. To ensure they don’t end up in a landfill, look for a local shingle recycling center.

#5 Wooden Shingles and Shakes

Longevity: 30-50 years

Roofing materials made of wood are typically made of fire-resistant woods such as cedar or redwood. But it is important to note that they aren’t fireproof.  While it is true that they do last longer than asphalt shingles, they are not as durable. Wood shingles and shakes are prone to cracking. As with asphalt shingles, you should keep an eye out for their hail rating.

#4 Metal

Longevity: 30-50 years

Common materials used are steel, copper, zinc alloy, or aluminum. Metal roofs are slightly more expensive than asphalt or wood, but are significantly more durable< Some other advantages of choosing a metal roof are:

  • They are impact resistant
  • Needs less maintenance
  • Very energy-efficient
  • Made from recyclable materials and are also 100% recyclable

#3 Plastic Polymer

Longevity: 50 years or so

Plastic polymers are incredibly durable roofing materials that look like slate or wood shingles but require significantly less maintenance. This type of roofing material has high hail ratings and is very energy-efficient. But if you’re after sustainability, then you might want to think twice before choosing this roofing material. Since plastics are built to last, this makes them quite unsustainable. However, you may find many manufacturers that use recycled materials.

#2 Slate

Longevity: 75 to 150 years

Known as the oldest roofing material, slate roofing is quite expensive but it stands out from the competition for reasons as follows:

  • Fireproof
  • Virtually invincible in most extreme weather conditions
  • Energy-efficient

Slate roofing is also 100% sustainable since it is a naturally occurring material, therefore, no toxins are used during the manufacturing process.

#1 Solar Glass

Longevity: Lifetime

Solar glass comes with a lifetime tile warranty and an extremely high hail rating. Overall, this roofing type is the best bet for homeowners that are more concerned with durability over cost. Solar glass roofing is also very energy efficient. And although it’s fairly expensive to install, depending on where you live, you may qualify for a tax credit to offset the cost. Lastly, solar glass roofing is the most sustainable roofing material on our list due to the fact that it generates its own energy.


If you have further concerns about other types of roofing materials for your home, give us a call or check out the rest of our blog.

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