Pros & Cons of Roofing Materials

Shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles, and more…oh my! Here are the pros & cons of each roofing material so you can make the right choice for your overhead protector.


Most people give very little time or consideration to roofing material until it’s time for a new roof on their home. At that point, the types of roofing materials and whether to use shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles, and more can feel overwhelming.

Here are some pros and cons for some popular roofing material options:

Pros & Cons of Asphalt Shingles

More than 70% of US homes are roofed with asphalt shingles; however, that number is declining due to more energy-efficient and durable roofing material.

COST: $3.00-7.00/sq. ft


  • Affordable
  • Large variety of colors & styles
  • Good fire protection
  • Compliment most styles of homes
  • Long-lasting & durable—can last up to 30 years
  • Easy to repair


  • Can deteriorate quickly in hot, sunny climates
  • Can crack under rapid temperature changes
  • Can develop mold or algae in shady areas
  • Need to be replaced more frequently than other roofing materials
  • Least eco-friendly option

Pros & Cons of Wood Shingles & Shakes

Cedar, redwood and cypress shingles and shakes deliver a touch of natural beauty to any roof. What’s the difference? Wood shingles are machine-cut with clean edges. Their slightly more expensive cousin wood shakes are thicker and hand-cut for a more rustic appearance.

COST: $5.00-9.00/sq. ft


  • Natural beauty
  • Insect-resistant
  • Moisture-resistant
  • 10-15 year longer lifespan than other roofing materials
  • Good insulation
  • Recyclable


  • Prohibited in areas prone to wildfire
  • Untreated wood requires regular maintenance & cleaning
  • Can develop moss or algae
  • Repairs can be costly

Pros & Cons of Metal Roofing

Used in the past for barns and some homes, metal roofing is enjoying a recent resurgence due to a demand for durable eco-friendly roofing.

COST: $5.00-13.00/sq. ft


  • Large variety of colors & styles that can mimic other roofing materials
  • Controls energy costs with insulation
  • Quick, cost-efficient installation
  • Extremely long-lasting & durable—can last up to 100 years
  • Effectively sheds rain & snow
  • 100% recyclable


  • High initial cost, compared to other roofing materials
  • Noisy in rain or when hit by falling objects
  • Can dent easily
  • More costly to replace

Pros & Cons of Roof Tiles

An ancient option that’s been thoroughly modernized, tiles are available in traditional clay, concrete, and fiber cement (a blend of wood and clay).

COST: $11.00-22.00/sq. ft


  • Pleasing curb appeal
  • Large variety of colors, textures & styles
  • Fire-resistant
  • Insect-resistant
  • Long-lasting & durable—lasts at least 50 years
  • Recyclable
  • Reflects sunlight


  • Heavy, could require additional support
  • Most expensive roofing option
  • Very breakable
  • Repairs tend to be more complicated and expensive

Pros & Cons of Slate

Composite and vinyl slate is expected to last up to 60 years, and some European structures have slate roofs that are centuries old.

COST: $9.00/sq. ft


  • Luxurious looks
  • Synthetic slate is lightweight yet strong
  • Low-maintenance
  • Eco-friendly & recyclable
  • Durable


  • Improper installation can result in moisture issues
  • Genuine slate is extremely heavy and can require additional support
  • Breakable if walked on
  • Requires specialty contractors

Whether you’re in the marketing for residential or commercial roofing, the material you choose has a lasting impact. If you need help choosing the right roofing material for you, contact IC Roofing today at (513) 372-5393 or