What Is The Best Residential Roofing Material?

A new roof installation is potentially the greatest investment you’ll ever make in your home. With so many residential roofing material options to choose from, you may be wondering which one is right for you. Each material has its own unique set of characteristics to consider, along with your own budget and personal tastes. Here is some information about many popular roofing materials to give you some valuable insights before you invest in residential roof replacement.

Asphalt Shingles

By far the most popular roofing material, asphalt shingles are especially cheap to install, repair, and maintain.  Asphalt shingles are manufactured in many different colors to accommodate the unique needs of homeowners. The majority of these shingle rooftops can last for about 20 to 25 years before needing serious repair or replacement. Asphalt shingles tend to hold up strong against heavy winds and provide adequate fire resistance.  However, rapid fluctuations between extreme heat and cold can cause these shingles to crack over time. Having regular roof inspections conducted by a trusted company is essential to keeping an asphalt shingle roof in good shape.


Metal roofs are usually manufactured in sheets or panels but are also available in shingle-style options. This rugged roof material is often more expensive to install but also has greatly enhanced durability. While warranties for a metal roof rarely extend beyond 50 years, a metal roof can last much longer if properly maintained. Metal roofs provide superior fire protection with many options having a Class A rating. A metal roof is also known to reduce cooling costs in a home by reflecting the sun’s radiant heat during the hot summer months. On the downside, a metal roof can be pretty noisy during rainstorms and is easily dented by hail.


Natural or synthetic stone slate is an attractive option which gives any home a stylish, classic appearance.  Genuine slate is widely considered to be among the most durable residential roofing materials out there but it is also quite heavy. In some cases, additional framing is needed to be built in order to support the immense weight of this roof material. This material requires minimal maintenance if installed correctly. It has an expected life of up to 60 years. It’s important to hire experienced roofing professionals to do the work due to the weight and additional challenges of installing this material.


Comprised of concrete or clay, roofing tiles are both a durable and aesthetically pleasing option for your roof.  Tile works well to increase a home’s curb appeal and is widely available in many colors and textures. This is the perfect material for homes seeking to emulate a Mediterranean or Spanish-style home. Concrete or clay tiles can break easily when walked across incorrectly; it’s advised to only have certified professionals perform inspections or repairs. This material has decent fire and insect resistance for the price and lasts 50 years or more.

Flat Roof Options

Since flat roofs do not have a slope they can be susceptible to water leaks. It is essential to have a professional company ensure every seam and edge is sealed. There are several types of residential flat roof materials. Three of the most common are:

  • Modified Bitumen is a multi-layered asphalt roof styled after the built-up-roof or BUR concept. This option tends to be popular due to its affordability.
  • TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a more expensive flat roof material appreciated for its energy efficient qualities.
  • EPDM is a rubber based material known to absorb heat. It often requires additional insulation.

Cedar Shake

Cedar shakes are perfect for accentuating the beauty of nature around your home. Cedar shakes are cut by hand to create a more genuine appearance. Cedar shakes look great and can be treated with a special oil to protect it from water and insects. When properly treated, cedar shakes can have a Class A fire rating. Cedar shakes can have a rating as low as Class C if left untreated. It’s always advisable to have this work done by trained and certified professionals. This ensures the shakes are treated correctly and the roof installation is solid. Choosing the right residential roofing material for your home can seem like a daunting task. Midwest Roofing is here to help. Our team of certified professionals have served customers from Columbia to Springfield since 2008. We provide superior roof repair and replacement services you can trust. We will help you select the right roof material for your home and guide you through the installation every step of the way. Licensed, bonded, and insured, Midwest Roofing employs a dedicated team of highly trained individuals eager to help homeowners just like you.