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Choosing the Right Roofing Material: 7 Key Factors to Consider

February 5, 2024 | 4 min. read

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When your roof is old or leaking, you only want to find the roofing solution that will protect your home for a lifetime.

Choosing the right shingle style and manufacturer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the roofing process – but how do you decide?

Rescue My Roof has been working with homeowners for over a decade, helping them achieve roofs that protect their homes and families for years to come. Using our expertise, we will guide you through the factors to consider before purchasing roofing materials. 

When selecting the perfect roofing material for your home, there are several factors to consider to ensure a wise investment that enhances your property’s aesthetics and provides long-lasting protection. From durability and climate compatibility to cost and energy efficiency, each factor plays a crucial role in decision-making. 

This article will explore the key considerations when choosing a roofing material. Ultimately, you’ll know how to make the best choice for your home.

Top 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Roof Shingle 

Choosing a shingle goes beyond finding a style and color you like. Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a roofing material:

1. Climate and Weather Resistance

Pinnacle Impact asphalt shingles.

The first and foremost factor to consider is the local climate and weather conditions. Different roofing materials have varying levels of resistance to elements such as rain, snow, hail, and high winds. For instance, durable and impact-resistant materials like metal or asphalt shingles might be preferable in areas prone to hurricanes or heavy storms.

A shingle with a high impact rating (class 4) and a high wind warranty would be preferred for areas prone to severe weather. Or, if you live in a warm climate, look into clay or asphalt shingles with cooling technology

Know your climate and look for shingle options designed with that climate in mind to maximize your roof’s longevity. 

2. Durability and Lifespan

Investing in a durable roofing material can save you money in the long run. Consider the material’s lifespan and its ability to withstand wear and tear. 

While some materials, like slate or metal, can last for several decades, others may require more frequent maintenance or replacement. The realistic lifespan of a roof in the roofing industry is 30 years. However, the average lifespan is 25 years for asphalt shingle roofs.

Depending on the materials, your roof may last anywhere from 20 years (cedar shake) to 50 years (metal roofs).

If your roof is properly installed and ventilated, you’re in the clear! As long as an act of God isn’t around the corner, your roof may make it to 25 years or above. 

3. Aesthetic Appeal

A newly installed roof with sleek metal shingles.

Your roof significantly contributes to your home’s overall curb appeal. Choose a roofing material that complements the architectural style of your house and aligns with your personal preferences. 

Whether it’s the classic charm of cedar shakes, the sleek look of metal, or the versatility of asphalt shingles, the aesthetic appeal should harmonize with the rest of your property.

4. Cost and Budget

Budget considerations are crucial when deciding on a roofing material. Evaluate the initial cost of installation, as well as long-term maintenance expenses. While some materials may have a higher upfront cost, they may prove cost-effective in terms of durability and longevity.

Learn more with “How Much Does A Roof Replacement Cost?

5. Energy Efficiency

With a growing emphasis on sustainable living, energy-efficient roofing materials are gaining popularity. Cool roofing options, like reflective metal or asphalt shingles, can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption, contributing to lower utility bills and environmental sustainability.

6. Installation and Maintenance Requirements

A contractor hammering roof decking.

Consider the installation complexity and maintenance requirements associated with the chosen roofing material. Some materials, such as asphalt shingles, are relatively easy to install and maintain, while others, like slate or tile, may require specialized skills and regular inspections.

Additionally, it is best to find a contractor that is manufacturer-certified. For example, Rescue My Roof is a platinum-level certified Atlas installer. We are able to offer additional warranties and have completed training to install shingles following Atlas’ standards.

Hiring a certified contractor decreases the likelihood of poor workmanship and workmanship-related repairs. This is especially important if you have a more complex roofing material (like metal or slate). 

Learn more with “10 Qualities to Look For in a Roofing Contractor.”

7. Warranties

A workmanship roofing warranty covers any future problems caused by installation errors. If your roof leaks or the roofing materials fail due to improper installation, your contractor is on the hook to fix the problem. 

Every roofing contractor should provide a workmanship warranty, but the length varies from roofer to roofer. It could be anywhere from 2, 5, 10, or 25 years to a lifetime warranty (life of the materials). 

Manufacturers provide a roofing material warranty to cover defective materials and components. If the installed shingles or another component has a manufacturer defect, they’ll cover the cost of the new materials (labor and tear-off costs excluded).

All shingles come with a standard, uniform warranty across all the leading manufacturers. However, these standard warranties are considered “limited”. 

If you are in your forever home, live in an area with severe weather, or are unsure about your contractor’s quality, choosing a material with a stronger warranty may be the best option. 

Choosing the Right Roofing Material

Choosing the right roofing material involves a careful balance of durability, aesthetics, cost, and environmental impact. By considering these key factors like warranties, lifespan, and energy efficiency, you can make an informed decision that not only protects your home but also adds value and beauty to your property for years to come. 

Whether you opt for the classic appeal of cedar shakes or the modern efficiency of metal, the perfect roofing material is out there, waiting to crown your home.

Want to learn more about choosing the right materials and contractors for your roofing project? Read “The Benefits of a 50-Year Roof Warranty” and “4 Reasons You Should Get Multiple Roof Quotes.” Do you need an asphalt roof replacement in southeastern Wisconsin? Contact Rescue My Roof today to get a free estimate.