Your Ultimate Guide to Roof Covering Materials

roof covering materials

Whether it be age, a particularly bad storm or a fallen down tree, we all need to replace the roofs on our homes at one point or another. Knowing you need to replace your roof is only the first step in the decision. 

You’ve decided to have a new roof installed but you are not sure what material you want. We have created this guide to roof covering materials just for you.

A Brief Overview of Roof Components

There are many parts that fit together to make a roof sturdy, reliable and durable. Here’s a short overview of the different components that make up any slightly-sloped roof: 

  • Roof covering: this is the underlayment that protects your sheathing from wear and tear. 
  • Sheathing: the sheet material that is fastened to the rafters to cover the house. 
  • Roof structure: these are your trusses and rafters that support the sheathing. 
  • Flashing: the material that is installed into a roof system to prevent water leakage. 
  • Drainage: the elements installed onto your roof to assist in shedding water. 

The roof of your home has many jobs; protect your home from water and damp, keeping heat and cool temperatures in or out, assist in ventilation and of course, to enhance that curb appeal

Roof Covering Materials

The most important characteristic that roof covering should have is durability! Here we cover the different material options and their different advantages. 


Shingles can be made of asphalt or wood. Asphalt shingles are quite light and happen to be one of the least expensive roof covering materials. They stand up well to different weather situations and come in many different architectural styles. 

Wood shingles, however, make beautiful, distinct roofs. Wood shingles are more expensive than asphalt and generally require much more maintenance. They’re also known to be energy efficient. 


Tiles come in either clay or concrete, they’re extremely durable. The best thing about tiles is that they come in a wide variety of colors and finishes, but it is a heavy roof covering option. 

This can be an issue when replacing an existing roof, as your contractor will have to assess the current structure to make sure that it can support the heavier weight of the tile. 

One more advantage? They’re noncombustible. 


Slate tiles are made of natural, quarried stone. Slate is known to be virtually indestructible but far more expensive than other roof covering material options. 

Slate is a great option for areas that experience high volumes of snow, as it stands up to the added weight extremely well and is moisture-resistant. It gives a well-rounded classic look to your home’s roof. 


Metal roofs come in a variety of materials such as copper, steel or aluminum. The greatest advantage is that they insulate below and conduct heat, so your home is bound to be warm. 

They’re more affordable than other roof covering options, as well as durable. They can last up to 50 years with the right maintenance regime. 

A disadvantage? They can be dented during heavy storms or as a result of fallen trees. 

Decisions Decisions

There are many factors to consider when going through your options for roof covering materials. You should talk to an experienced contractor when replacing your roof, discuss the ideas and concerns that you may have. 

Don’t forget to keep in mind the area that you live in and the regular weather conditions your roof will have to endure, ensure that this forms a large part of your decision. 

Got more roofing-related questions? Check out our blog for more solutions. 

Leave a Reply