Different kinds of roofing materials offer wide-ranging choices in roof construction

How long a roof will last is the most crucial consideration during roof selection because of the substantial investment involved in roof construction.  If the building is the single largest investment of your lifetime, the roof is the largest investment of the entire construction. Since the investment is huge, it is natural that people would like to understand the payback to decide the worth of roof.

Moreover, roof repair can be costly if it amounts to roof replacement and you must consult some roofing expert at Patriot Roofing & Construction Company to decide on it.  To keep roof damages under control, it is best to keep watch on the roof through periodical inspection. Spending money on inspection can save bigger costs of roof repair by avoiding heavy damages and extending the roof life.

All kinds of roof are not suitable for all types of buildings because it depends on the building style and the building structure. When you know about the options available and its suitability, it should be easy to choose a roof style and accompanying roof materials that complement the building architecture. Only the asphalt shingles roofs are versatile enough to match with different kinds of architecture and building style. The roof of European style buildings will be far different from Mediterranean style building and from the roof that you see in cottages and ranches.  Different kinds of roofs require different types of roofing materials that you will know about after going through this article.

Choosing the roof material

Roofs protect from the weather and keep the indoors dry by properly draining away rainwater from the roof surface. The kind of roof material differs according to the type of roof you want to construct. For the normal type of built-up roofs that have excellent water-resistant properties, tar and gravel are the most suitable materials used traditionally. Some modern materials like thermoplastics would also do fine provided it is the flat or almost flat roof. To construct sloped roofs with pitch up to 3 in 12 covering it with metal sheets or using a combination of tar and gravel with roll roofing and bitumen is a viable option. To place shingles or tiles on the roof, it is essential to maintain 4 in 12 slopes or higher to prevent rainwater sipping inside the shingles.

Different types of roof covering materials are available, and you can customize the roof by knowing its suitability for the design, style, and the building structure. For the purpose of this article, we will now discuss some roof materials for a flat roof.

Tar and gravel

As told earlier, the ideal roofing material for flat roof with pitch up to 3 in 12 is tar and gravel. The construction of such roof consists of laying asphalt or hot tar, and heavy roofing felt in alternate layers and then providing a layer of gravel or a coat of mica at the top to provide protection. The quality of roof depends on the number of layers with the lowest quality consisting of 3 layers and going up to 5 layers for the best quality roof.


When constructing sheds for short term use, you need some low-cost roofing material like rolls, also known as 90 pounds, felt that signifies the weight of material capable of covering 100 square feet. The material used for making this mineral surfaced roofing is similar to that used for asphalt roofing but has only one deep layer. As shingles consist of 3 layers, its longevity is much higher than the 10-year lifespan of rolls.

Modified bitumen

Modified bitumen roofs have many features that match with tar and gravel roof but has some special features too like added layers of polyester impregnated bitumen obtained from asphalt or tar or layers of fiberglass. Several layers of polyester membranes reinforce the roofing material that can withstand the elements of weather. Some modifier agents like APP or atactic polypropylene and BSS or Butadiene Styrene are added to the roofing material for improving the quality of asphalt.

EPDM rubber

Buildings that have low but flat or sloped roofs would find EPDM rubber roofing quite suitable and though not much used for residential buildings its popularity for commercial buildings is quite high.  Usually available as single ply EPDM rubberized material for roofing, it uses ethylene propylene diene monomer a special quality UV resistant rubber that does not require any added protection. The roofing material available in 45 mm and 60 mm thickness is lighter as compared to tar and gravel.


The durability and versatility of metals are drawing people towards it as an alternative roofing material. With metals, you can create any look you like. Metal tiles are especially suited for building in earthquake-prone areas or at places that experience rough weather. Metal roofs available in shingles or the form of panels can last up to 30 years.

Here are some roof materials for pitched roofs.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles reinforced with some organic material or fiberglass is the most common roofing material that you can see around. Fiberglass reinforcement not only adds more strength to shingles but also ensures longer life in comparison to organic reinforcement. For improved aesthetics, you can apply a coat of special laminate on asphalt without incurring much cost.


 Slate is the choice for laying classic roofs and available in various colors and grades. The slate roof adds elegance and style to buildings due to its varied texture that has a special appeal and looks too good. Low maintenance of slate roofs adds to it attraction that goes up many more times due to its prolonged life that can even last for 100 years.


Tiles made from clay or concrete are the widely popular roofing material that comes in various shapes and sizes. The roof structure must be strong enough to support tiled roof because of its heavy weight that can last between 50 and 100 years.

For making the right choice, use your knowledge in consultation with a roofing expert.

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