Types of Residential Roofing

A well-functioning roof helps to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It also protects your home from damage caused by wind, rain and snow.

A quality residential roof adds curb appeal to your home and increases its value. It also helps to keep the interior of your home comfortable.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most Residential Roofing material in North America and come in a wide range of color options to complement your home’s architectural style. They are also durable and easy to maintain.

Many shingle types are available, including the traditional three-tab strip shingle and the textural dimensional architectural shingle. The latter features alternating areas or tabs of single and double layers, which creates a dimensional look that enhances your roof’s appearance. The manufacturer may add a shadow line, which is an intermittent band of darker granules on the single-layer areas, to further enhance the shingle’s visual appeal.

Asphalt shingle manufacturers also test their products for wind resistance. These tests ensure that your roof can withstand strong winds without lifting the shingles and exposing the underlayment to moisture.

Some shingle types are made to withstand damage from hail storms. These are called impact-rated shingles and can help reduce your insurance premiums. If you live in an area with frequent storms and hail, we recommend looking into this option. Energy-efficient shingles are also available and can help you save on your heating and cooling costs.


Metal roofs come in a wide variety of colors and styles. They are made of either steel, aluminum, or copper. They start out as coils or sheets that are roll-formed into different shapes and sizes. The steel gets a coating to prevent rust and then a baked-on paint finish. The aluminum and copper don’t require this and display their raw, natural metal surface.

Most metal roofing is mechanically seamed and fastened to the roof deck or underlying purlins (additional support beams added to the frame). The corrugated metal panels overlap and interlock each other for a watertight seal. The longer rib on one side has a drainage or anti-siphon channel, and the other shorter rib is designed to interlock with the last panel at the eave.

Modern metal roofing is lightweight and offers a variety of color options. In addition to matching the wall color and trim, these roofs reflect sunlight and cool a building’s interior. In warm climates, this can cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. It is also fire resistant and carries a resale value that can boost a home’s price.

Clay Tiles

Clay tile roofs have been used since antiquity and are one of the longest lasting roofing materials. They’re highly resistant to fire, wind, rot, mold mildew, insects and extreme temperatures. Their unique design can also enhance a property’s curb appeal. Clay, concrete and slate tile roofs are more expensive than shingle options upfront for both materials and installation; however, over the course of their long lifespan they can add substantial value to your home.

Often seen on historic American bungalows and one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s favored building materials, flat clay tiles have also been used in commercial roofing and on many public buildings including museums and national parks. Like barrel-style tiles, flat clay roofs are extremely durable and can withstand high winds.

Clay roof tiles interlock with each other, and their flanges hook over an edge of another tile to form a watertight seal. Some tiles are rounded or S-shaped, while others are flat. The rounded tiles are called Mission tiles and the flat ones are known as Mangalorean tile. The interlocking style of these tiles is a favorite in coastal areas where the salt air can corrode other roofing materials.

Slate Tiles

Slate is a type of metamorphic rock that can be split into thin sheets to make roofing tiles. It is a highly durable material that can withstand the elements and stand the test of time. It also offers many benefits for homeowners, such as being energy-efficient and fire-proof.

Slate is available in a variety of colors and shades, which means it can complement any home’s décor. It is a popular choice for patios and walkways, as well as in landscaping projects. It is also used for pool decks and outdoor kitchens.

Slate can add value to your home, as it is considered a high-end flooring material. However, it can be expensive and may not suit every home’s budget. Another drawback is that slate can be slippery, which makes it less suitable for wet environments. It can also be damaged easily, so it’s important to hire a professional to install it. Also, it is very dense, which can add extra weight to your roof and require your structure to be structurally inspected and reinforced. Due to these limitations, many homeowners opt for alternative products to natural slate.


Downspouts carry rainwater from gutters to the ground, preventing roof runoff and flood damage. If they become full of debris and fail to discharge properly, they can back up rainwater onto the siding of the house or flood a basement. Downspouts also help prevent soil erosion around a home’s foundation, which can damage the structure of the house and attract termite infestations.

The number of downspouts needed varies depending on the size and slope of a home’s roof. A homeowner can approximate the number of downspouts needed by multiplying the square footage of their roof by a roofing contractor’s pitch multiplier and then using a chart to determine if this amount is sufficient.

The length of a downspout can also vary. Some downspouts are straight, while others have a one-piece elbow that allows it to bend side to side. Downspouts can also be perpendicular or angled to the roof, which may prevent them from being obstructed by landscaping or fence posts. Downspouts can also be connected to splash pans that reduce the likelihood of saturating the soil near the foundation of the home.