Considering the Different Types of Roofing Materials & Their Benefits

Skywalker Roofing Company
Considering the Different Types of Roofing Materials & Their Benefits
December 31
By Luke Wilson | Roof Inspection, Roofing

What to Put Over Your Head?

Choosing what roof to put over your head is not a decision to take lightly, as it stands guard over your home or business 24/7/365. No doubt you want a roof that provides reliable protection, is visually appealing, and matches your budget. There are many factors to keep in mind, including the particulars of your local climate, the slope of your new or existing roof, your aesthetic preferences, and what will provide for the best roof longevity.

Choosing the right roofing material for the job is one of the most important decisions to make when planning for your new roof or roof replacement. Modern roofing technology provides you with no shortage of roofing material options; how do you decide which roof is right for you? Let the pros at Skywalker Roofing help you explore some of the features of the different types of roofing materials available for your consideration.

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Different Roofing Materials and Their Benefits


Shingles continue to be one of the most common choices for covering a roof. Asphalt shingles are cost-effective and easy to install. You can also opt to upgrade to longer-lasting fiberglass shingles, which also provide excellent fire protection. Shingles are available in a wide variety of colors, and there are now shingles available which mimic higher-end materials like slate, tile, and cedar shakes. Shingle roofs are fairly easy to repair, too. If a small part of your shingle roof needs attention, a capable roofing contractor can often replace that part without needing to replace the whole roof.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine, and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. Shakes are basically just wooden shingles made from split logs. They are used all over the world and are valued for their “natural” look. Most wood shakes and shingles have been treated with fire retardant and chemical preservatives to make them less susceptible to fire or decay. Treated wood shakes resist moisture and are considered an environmentally friendly option since they come from a renewable resource.

Clay/Concrete Tiles

Tile has a proven performance record as a superior roofing material. Tiles are available in many colors, shapes, and sizes, and are popular in Spanish, Mediterranean, and colonial-style architecture. Roof tiles can be flat or round, simulate wood shakes, or be used to replicate centuries-old roofing materials. Tile sustains its color better than other roofing materials and provides superior resistance against high winds. It isn’t the cheapest roofing material, but tile is one of the longest-lasting, and it requires very little in the way of maintenance.


Slate roofing provides superior durability and has been prized for its natural beauty and longevity for centuries. Slate is one of the more expensive roofing materials, but a slate roof is likely to last you for a lifetime. If you like the look of slate but want a cheaper option, composite or synthetic slates are also available. Composite slate is also easier to work with and install than natural slate. Slate roofing is a true art and should only be undertaken with a qualified professional roofing contractor.


Metal is a good roofing choice for many reasons. Metal roofs are lightweight, weighing about 4 times less than a tile roof and about half as much as an asphalt roof, while also being highly resistant to wind, rain, snow, and fire. Metal roofs are less expensive than tile or slate and can also be made to appear like wood shakes or tiles, without additional weight on your roof or additional expense out of your pocket. Metal roofs can even reduce heating and cooling costs, thanks to their light-reflecting capabilities.

 Flat and Low Slope Roofing Options

Flat and low slope roofs are popular choices for commercial applications but are also used in residential applications as well. Flat and low slope roofs are some of the most affordable roofing solutions. Besides being economical to install, they can also allow for some multipurpose use of the roof surface. Here are some of the material options for flat or low slope roofs:

  •  Single-Layer Membrane

A popular choice for commercial construction, single-layer membrane is also known as elastromeric or plastomeric roofing membrane (depending on the material). These single-ply membranes are available in neoprene (polychloroprene), EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets, and polymer-modified bitumens. Of all these types, EPDM (synthetic rubber) is the most common flat roof material for both residential and commercial roofing.

  • Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen cap sheet roofing is created by starting with the proven technology of buildup roofing and adding polymer-reinforced roof wear layers or cap sheets. The polymer attached to these cap sheets also provides flexibility and elasticity in low temperatures.

  •  Buildup Roofs

The buildup roof is considered by some as the “grandfather of roofing.” Buildup roofs are created using multiple layers of a special type of roofing felt. This felt is asphalt-stuffed and set in bitumen. The roof felt-tar layering is repeated in overlapping layers until the assembly is two to four plies thick. A wear surface of crushed stone granules is usually applied to the top layer of hot tar to protect the full roof assembly from UV and weather exposure.

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Why You Should Choose Skywalker Roofing For All Your Roofing Needs

It’s important to choose the right roofing material but choosing the best product won’t do you much good if it isn’t properly installed in the first place. Selecting the best roofing contractor for the job is critical! If you’re looking for a top-quality, manufacturer-authorized, local roofing contractor for your roof install or replacement, look no further than Skywalker Roofing!

Skywalker Roofing is one of the premier roofing contractors in North Carolina, serving both the Piedmont Triad and Triangle areas, as well as the Roanoke, VA area. Skywalker Roofing has now completed over 15,000 projects, and we continue to provide individualized attention and expert work for each of our customers. Quality is never sacrificed for quantity. Skywalker Roofing is proud to have earned the elite statuses of Platinum Preferred Contractor through Owens Corning and Quality Master through Certainteed, and we offer lifetime workmanship warranties and true 50-year, non-prorated warranties for labor and materials on roof installations! We even offer a 2-year warranty on our roof repair services! If you need a roof install or replacement in the Piedmont Triad, Triangle, or Roanoke, VA area, check out Skywalker Roofing and give us a chance to show you why Skywalker Roofing is THE best roofing contractor for the job.

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Owner - Skywalker Roofing

Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.

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