Roofing materials are as varied as the roofs themselves. Picking the right one for your needs takes careful consideration including budgetary considerations, what it will look like once it's finished and how well your roof shape can hold up to the material you want to cover it with.
The most popular shingles are made of asphalt. These are the easiest to install, they last for up to twenty-five years, if not more, they are waterproof, and they are the cheapest roofing material on the market. Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of styles and colors and they can be put on in groups of three or in longer strips, keeping the wind and rain at bay more effectively.
Slate and tile roofs are heavier than asphalt ones, so taking your roof size and attributes into consideration, your roof may not be able to take on the added weight. Slate is a wonderful material to use for a roof as it is lighter than other natural stone, and it has a near zero absorption rating, meaning no moisture is ever going to penetrate it. Slate roofing has been known to last for one hundred years or more, and then go on to a new roof for a whole new life. The hardware that the slate is attached with will wear out long before the slate itself.
Wooden roofs are beautiful, but need regular maintenance and checks to keep them weather tight. Wood roofing materials need to be specially coated with a flame retardant so that they will pass code in most areas. This needs to be re-applied on a set schedule so that the wood is always protected.
Metal roofing material is making a comeback. They are now stamped to create the look of more traditional shingles and are no longer just large pieces of metal hammered down, which were previously used mainly in commercial buildings. You can also get roofing materials that are made from recycled tires, a very environmentally friendly option that offers no wasted product once the roofing job is done.
No matter the look you are after, you must keep your roof size, shape, attributes and the weight it can withstand in mind as you choose your new roofing material. Different materials will give different looks, however, keeping with the theme of your home and that of the neighborhood will make all the difference once your new roof is in place. A qualified roofer in your area will make choosing a new roof a breeze.