Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material. This is the least expensive roofing material for residential buildings. If you have a flat roof, you can also use tar, gravel or bitumen for a very low price, but these do not have as long a life span and require roof repairs often. Slate shingles have the longest life of any roofing material, but they are also the most expensive.
From Least to Greatest
Roll roofing is the cheapest form of roofing material. It is made of asphalt, and is laid in a single layer. Roll roofing has a short life span of only around ten years because it only has one layer, and should not be used in areas with harsh weather such as heavy rain or snow. It is, however, easier and neater to install because it is only made of an asphalt shingle mat. Roll roofing can only be used on flat roofs with a rise of around 7 centimetres and a run of around 30 centimetres.
The next lowest in price is layered roofing materials such as tar, gravel, and bitumen. and gravel roofs are built up with interspersed layers of saturated felt and tar or asphalt, and then topped off with a mixture of mineral and rock. If modified bitumen is the material used, then the layers are made of polyester or fibreglass instead, with bitumen in between. These materials are very low cost, but do not last very long and cannot be used in harsh weather climates.
Asphalt shingle roofs are the mid-range roofs in terms of price. They last for a reasonable length of time, around twenty years, and are usually found on pitched roofs. Dimensional shingles are stronger than asphalt and offer more design options, but are a little higher in price. They also last longer, around forty years. These types of roofs need adequate ventilation in order to prevent moss build up, but are overall good choices for roofing material.
Metal roofing costs more than asphalt, but is generally considered to be a good choice for roofing material. This is because it is light, durable, and adaptable, and offers a wide range of design, texture, and colour choices. Metal can be used on either flat or pitched roofs.
While tile and slate roofs are the most durable, lasting from fifty to a hundred years with minimal maintenance, they are also the most expensive material on the market. Installation can also be tricky and more expensive as a high level of expertise is needed to correctly install them.