With numerous options available in the market, homeowners might have a tough time selecting the roofing material that will complement their home.

Roof design, durability, material weight, and construction cost are among the factors to consider when choosing roofing products. Some materials are required to meet certain standards before construction, depending on local building codes.

Choosing the right roofing material can help homeowners maximize their investment and their home’s safety. Provided below are the best choices for roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the U.S. used in an estimated 80% of American homes. They are made from either organic fiber mat or fiberglass infused with layers of asphalt and coated with mineral granules.

Most homeowners choose asphalt shingles because they are one of the least expensive choices and are easy to install. Moreover, they also come in an array of styles and colors.

This construction product provides good fire resistance and moderate wind resistance. Asphalt shingles can last 20 to 50 years, depending on the grade of shingles installed.


Slate is a popular material in New York, especially for high-end homes. This roofing product is made from natural stone commonly in dark gray color with an irregular appearance.

Since it is made from solid rock, slate tends to be heavy and needs a very sturdy roofing structure to support it. It is very durable and can withstand harsh weather, insect infestation, and fire. However, it can break when mishandled.

This roofing material is very expensive because of how slate is acquired and requires professional workers to install. When properly installed, slate can last for 50 years and sometimes even up to 100 years.

Clay Tiles

Clay is one of the oldest materials used in roofing and remains popular in the market. Its most commonly used color is terracotta but is available in other shades, including white and yellow.

They are durable, weather-resistant, and fire-resistant. However, the weight of clay tiles requires strong structural support and proper installation, which entails costly construction.

Moreover, homeowners must be careful not to walk on clay tiles. While they are sturdy enough to withstand most weather elements, stepping on them can cause them to break easily.

Under proper conditions, clay tiles can last for 50 years and even up to 100 years.

Concrete Tile

This type of roofing material originated in 19th century Bavaria. Concrete tiles were made by mixing cement, sand, and water. It has since stayed and remains as one of the most common materials for roofs.

Concrete tiles are very durable and extremely weather-resistant, especially the “s” tile design. However, they are heavy like clay tiles and require sturdy reinforcement from the roof’s framing and support from the house’s foundation.

Construction costs for this roofing material are less expensive than clay. The lifespan of cement tiles ranges from 35 to 50 years.


Metal is a very versatile and durable building material that is growing in popularity in the market. Metal roofs may be composed of aluminum, copper, stainless steel, or zinc alloy and are available in sheets or shingles.

This roofing material can withstand most weather conditions but requires the proper installation to reduce warping caused by extreme temperatures. It also is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient because of its recyclability and heat-reflective nature.

Its average lifespan was 40-70 years, but because of recent technology improvements, metal roofing can be manufactured to last longer.

Homeowners must be careful in selecting the metal material for their roofs as cheaper products easily dent with weather elements. High-quality metal materials are more expensive but have increased durability.

Wood Shake and Shingles

Wood shake and shingle roofs have been used for centuries and are among the oldest type of roofing material. Most homeowners prefer durable wood shake and shingles made from redwood, cypress, pine, or cedar.

Wood shakes are created by splitting rectangles from a wooden log. They and are thicker and more rigid than wood shingles, which are smoother and more uniform with thinner edges.

These roofing materials are durable enough to withstand most weather conditions but not as sturdy as other products. They need to be treated regularly to prevent damage and comply with the Building Code of New York to ensure safety and avoid fire hazards.

When properly maintained, they can last longer than the average lifespan of asphalt shingles.

Synthetic Roofing Materials

Synthetic roofing materials are made of manufactured products such as rubber, plastic, and polymers. Some are developed to replicate other materials, including the ones mentioned in this post.

Most synthetic roofing materials complement various architectural styles, and their lifespan can reach 50 years or more. These products are often more durable, lighter, and easier to maintain compared to natural materials.

For instance, a synthetic slate shingle is sturdier, easier to install, and less costly than its authentic counterpart. When selecting this synthetic material, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) suggests reviewing its full-size samples and checking the manufacturers’ brochures.

Moreover, plastic polymer roofs are known to be incredibly durable and can withstand most weather elements. They also are more energy-efficient as they are reflective of energy rather than absorbent. However, they are not as sustainable as other roofing products. It is advised to purchase them from manufacturers who use recycled materials.


Roofing materials can affect the structure’s integrity and homeowners need to select the one best-suited for their home.

While most residents can do their research on various options, it is advisable to consult professional contractors to advise them on the ideal material for their roof.

Request a Quote at Long Island Roofing and Chimney Today!

Long Island Roofing and Chimney is an experienced and reliable roofing and chimney contractor on Long Island. With over 15 years of high-quality professional roofing services, they will build an effective and attractive roof or repair an existing roof to extend its life for years to come. Contact Long Island Roofing and Chimney today at 631-205-6177 (Suffolk County), 516-605-6108 (Nassau County), or click here to request a quote.