How to Pick the Best Type of Roof Shingles

If it’s time to replace your current roof or if you’re just researching for your new build, Roofmaster will make sure your installation is done right! There are lots of options to choose from and each type of material has its pros and cons, and what’s right for one person might not be best for you and your home. To help you make the right choice for your property, we’ve gathered a list of popular options and the top factors to consider when picking the best type of roof shingles. Explore our roofing services and get your quote today!

Options for Your New Roof

When it comes to selecting the best type of roof shingles for your home, you’ll find a wide array of options available on the market. Each roofing material comes with its own set of advantages, disadvantages, and warranty coverage. Here are some of the most popular roofing materials:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most commonly used roofing material due to its affordability and durability. Asphalt shingles typically come in two types: Organic and fibreglass. Organic shingles are made of recycled felt paper saturated in asphalt, while fibreglass ones incorporate a fibreglass mat coated with asphalt.

The benefits of these shingles include:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Easy installation
  • Many colour options

Some of the drawbacks of this type of roofing material include:

  • Can be less resistant to extreme weather than other materials.
  • May have a shorter lifespan than other materials.

The warranty period for asphalt shingles typically ranges from 20 to 30 years, but this depends on the manufacturer and specific product.

Metal Roofing

Metal has gained popularity in recent years due to its longevity and energy efficiency. Materials such as aluminum, steel, zinc, or copper are used to make up the shingles or panels.

The advantages of metal roofing include:

  • Highly durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Fire resistant
  • Low maintenance

However, it also has some drawbacks:

  • Expensive upfront
  • Potential to be noisy during rainfall or hail storms

Generally, warranties for metal roofs range from 30 to 50 years or even a lifetime.

Slate Shingles

Slate shingles are made from natural stone, such as slate or quartzite. Their timeless elegance can last up to a century or more. While the warranty for these types of roofs can vary because of their longevity, it often covers a substantial period, like 50 years or more.

People love slate because:

  • It’s naturally beautiful
  • It’s fire resistant
  • It’s durable

However, slate can be heavy and expensive, so it’s important to take into account your home’s weight capacity and budget before investing in this material.

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Clay or concrete tiles are classic options known to have a long lifespan and an impeccable ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. Warranties for these roofing materials can cover anywhere from 30 to 50 years.

The durability, energy efficiency, and resistance to rot and insects make clay or concrete tiles an attractive option for homeowners. However, keep in mind that they are heavy and require additional structural support.

Considerations for Picking Your Roof Shingles

Several factors must be considered when selecting the perfect roof shingles for your home. Your choice will not only impact the overall aesthetic appeal of your house but also play a crucial role in its durability, energy efficiency, and protection against the elements. Here are some key ideas to keep in mind to guide your decision-making process:

Consider Your Budget

The roof is one of the biggest expenses and investments when it comes to home repairs. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to carefully consider which is the best option for your home and budget. Thankfully, with such a wide range of materials and styles available today, it has never been easier to find the right fit based on your needs. When ironing out your budget and the materials, don’t forget to include installation expenses, labour, and the total square footage of your roof to get an accurate picture of the cost.

Consider the Slope of Your Roof

The slope of the roof will also impact which materials will work best. Certain heavier materials, like slate, may not be practical based on this factor. Talk to your contractor to learn more about this and what materials won’t be possible. This will help narrow down your options and make it easier to make an informed decision.

Consider Weight Limits of the Property

In addition to the pitch, your property’s dead load weight tolerance will influence the type of material that can be installed. Exceeding the dead load weight can be hazardous if the structure can’t support it. On average, 15 pounds per square foot is the typical dead load for standard homes, but always ensure to discuss this when doing your due diligence with your contractor.

Consider Your Local Weather Patterns

Since roofs are exposed to weather elements on a constant basis, you’ll need to consider the impacts of your local climate on your new roof. Our intense winter and summer seasons in Canada can be harsh on outdoor structures, especially when you consider the added weight from snow and ice. Certain roofing materials, like asphalt shingles, are more durable than others and will hold up well during intense conditions. This means they’ll last longer and save you more in the long run.

Consider Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is a big deal for most homeowners, and the roof can greatly impact it. This is why it’s important to take time to really consider the style and colour that will work best with your home’s architectural style. Take a look around your neighbourhood to see what others have used and whether it compliments their home or looks out of place. This can help you determine what you like and don’t like when consulting with your roofing contractor. 

Consider the Maintenance Requirements

While some shingles may require minimal upkeep, others may demand more frequent attention and care. Consider your lifestyle, time availability, and budget for maintenance when selecting the perfect option. Materials such as wood shingles and shakes often require more maintenance due to susceptibility to rotting, moss, and algae growth. On the other hand, asphalt and metal are options that require less time and effort, with occasional inspections and cleanings being sufficient to keep them in good condition.

Consider the Energy Efficiency Potential 

Energy-efficient roofing materials can significantly impact your bills. Opting for shingles with high reflectivity and insulation properties can help reduce heat absorption, lower cooling costs, and create a more comfortable indoor environment. These properties also come in handy in the winter — they’ll work to keep warmth in, preventing higher heating costs.

Talk To Your Contractor

Once you do some independent research, talk to your local contractor to learn more about all of the options available to you. They are your best resource and can guide you in determining the best choice based on your needs and budget.

Need a roof replacement in Ottawa? Contact our expert roofing team at Roofmaster. We have been Ottawa’s trusted go-to roofing contractor since 1981. Our team has the knowledge and experience to help you make an informed decision. Contact us today for a consultation or to learn more about our materials and rates.