11 Types of Roofing Materials For Renovating the Roof


Types of roofing material give a brief of various roofing materials so that you can participate actively in the selection process.

Roofs play a vital role in protecting your house and household from daily weather and other natural calamities. Roofs are much more susceptible to wear and tear compared to other house elements.

Hence, over time, the roofs will get damaged due to prolonged exposure. Also, the lack of proper maintenance will damage the roofs further and risk your house’s safety and protection layer. When the roofing tiles or other materials develop cracks or form chips around the edges, water will start to seep through and make the ceiling damp, putting the entire property’s structural integrity into question. This is the time to start considering options for roofing materials.

Here are some of the most commonly used roofing materials for renovating roofs and giving them a brand new or revamped look. With this guide, you can easily decide which material will suit your home’s roof and which won’t.

11 Different Types of Roofing Materials for Roof Renovation

01. Built-up Roofing (BUR)

The built-up roofing material is made from numerous elements that are stacked over each other to form a thick layer. Usually, it is the asphalt material that forms the base of BUR in most cases. But sometimes, other materials can also be used to form the foundation, even though the chances are less. Felt is added between the asphalt layers to increase the thickness and to make sure that no two layers can come in contact with each other and cause any damage. This type of composite roofing material is not only durable and long-lasting, but it also adds aesthetic value to the entire structure.

Built-up roofing on terrace

02. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of roof materials that can be found in both urban and rural areas. Each shingle has a fiberglass base, on top of which mineral granules and asphalt are mixed. The exposed layer is either the same fiberglass as the base or a clay plate. These can withstand a lot of wear and tear, which is why they are used in areas with extreme weather conditions. Apart from this, the asphalt shingles cast an appealing look; which is why they are used in villas, mansions, and estate houses. Asphalt shingle roofing is affordable, effective, easy to install and easily repairable as individual shingles can be replaced. But it is not that durable and gets affected by wind, particularly on a sloped roof.

Asphalt shingles

03. Clay Tiles

Clay tiles can be found in most Indian houses. They are affordable, traditional, and durable. These are available mainly in two forms: a sleek, rectangular shape that provides the illusion of bricks, and an interlocking chain of tiles with a semi-circular edge towards the lower slope surface. The clay tiles are made from wet soil and mud and then baked inside a furnace. When not glazed, the tiles have a fiery orange or reddish appearance. But sometimes, they are glazed to transform them into creamy textured roofing tiles.

Clay tiles

04. Standing Seam Metal

In major areas where there is heavy snowfall or rain, the standing seam metal roofing style is more prevalent. Here, each metal panel meets with each other in a raised manner while staying interlocked with each other. As a result, they can keep the moisture out and prevent the dampening of the ceiling, safeguarding the structural integrity of your house. Even though the installation costs of these seam roofs are quite high, they are a one-time investment due to their longevity.

Metal roofing

05. Metallic Shingles

In case you aren’t thrilled with the standing metal seams, the metal shingles will be a great option, as they are one of the most attractive roofing materials. These are mostly made of aluminium or steel. Aluminium is extremely light and cheap, which is why it is great for covering huge areas of roofs. Apart from this, most metal shingles are made from aluminium because the metal is highly malleable and stamping is much easier. On the other hand, steel metallic shingles or sheets are highly durable and can last for many years.

Metal shingles

06. Wooden Shingles

Wood is one of the most loved materials when it comes to the exterior and interior decor of a house. Therefore, wooden shingles are quite loved by people across the country. These are available in different forms, shapes, and designs, which is why it’s possible to create a unique and mind-boggling look. Despite the fact that wood is somewhat vulnerable to weather conditions, choosing the weatherproof coated wooden tiles and shingles will allow you to enhance the overall beauty and appeal of your home. 

Attractive roofing material wood shingles

07. Concrete Roof Tiles

In apartments, large mansions, and other such heavy-duty construction structures, the roofs are made from concrete tiles. It is a modern roofing material, and the shape and size will vary according to the roof type. For example, on flat roofs, concrete tiles are quite large, so that they can cover a maximum area with a small number of tiles. On the other hand, if it’s a sloping roof, smaller concrete tiles are used because these roofing structures won’t be able to withstand the heavy weight of the concrete flat blocks.

Modern roofing material concrete roof tiles

08. Green Roof (aka Living Roof)

There are a lot of people who are trying to make their homes as “green” as possible these days. These people keep the environment in mind when renovating the various parts of their homes. If this sounds like you, a green roof might be a great option. Green roofs have a strong base as well as some kind of thermal insulation and a vapour barrier on top of them. But more importantly, they include soil, grass, and plants that make them “green.” It is also called a ‘living roof’ because it is covered with plants.  These roofs can last for up to 40 years. They improve the air quality in and around a home and provide better insulation than other types of roofs.

Green roof or living roof

For more knowledge of green materials check out the below article:

09. Solar Roof Tiles

When renovating your roof, you get a chance to make it energy efficient.  Solar roof tiles or solar shingles are modern roofing materials and the most energy-efficient options. They are made of the same material as the solar panel which is a solar cell. Their appearance is that of concrete or asphalt roof tiles, making them a more aesthetically pleasing option than solar panels. Furthermore, the more the roof area covered with solar shingles, the greater the savings on electricity.

Solar roof tiles

10. Synthetic Roof Tiles

Also known as composite roof tiles, they are made from recycled and/or engineered materials. They suffice for aesthetic purposes by giving the appearance of wood or slate and are also affordable compared to wood, slate, or any other natural roof tile material. These are light in weight and easy to install and are famous and preferred for their durability and appearance.

Synthetic shingles modern roofing material

11. Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing, also known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing, is a popular option for low-slope or flat roofs. This type of roofing material is made from synthetic rubber, which is highly durable, flexible, and resistant to weathering, UV rays, and fire. Rubber roofing is also lightweight and easy to install, as it comes in large rolls that can be cut to fit any size or shape of roof.

One of the main advantages of rubber roofing is its low cost compared to other roofing materials, such as metal or slate. Rubber roofing also requires minimal maintenance, as it doesn’t crack or split like asphalt shingles or wood shakes. It can last up to 50 years or more with proper installation and care.

Rubber roofing is an eco-friendly option, as it’s made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of its lifespan. Rubber roofing can also improve energy efficiency, as it reflects heat and light, reducing cooling costs in the summer.

Rubber roofing

How to choose the best Roofing Material?

With so many different types of roofing materials, it can be a real challenge to choose the best one for your home. You cannot afford to make mistakes because if you end up with the wrong material, your house’s integrity and structural strength will be at stake. As mentioned by Hubert R. Snoke and Leo J. Waldron (1939) in their report ‘Building Materials And Structures Report BMS29,’ initial costs, cost of maintenance, fire resistance, and appearance are factors that influence the choice of roofing materials generally.

We have listed some of the Points for Selecting the Best Roofing Material

  1. Start by deciding which type of roofing material can withstand the weather conditions and suits your area the most. If you reside in coastal regions with salty air, then clay roof tiles are a good option. Standing seam metal roofs are ideal for homes in snowy or rainy areas because they keep moisture out. Solar shingles are effective in tropical regions where there is a good amount of sunshine.
  2. The shape of your roof is also an important factor to consider. Different types of roofs will require different roofing materials. For instance, a built-up roof is the best choice for flat roofs only.
  3. Curb appeal is another thing to keep in mind while selecting the roofing material. Improving the aesthetics of your home will only benefit you, both while you live in it and when you sell it. Some of the more attractive roofing materials are clay roof tiles, wooden shingles, green roofs, and synthetic roof tiles.
  4. Lastly, the cost of roofing material can never be neglected, unless the price is not your concern. Today, modern roofing materials like synthetic roof tiles, asphalt shingles, metal shingles, and concrete roof tiles have bridged the gap between affordability and aesthetics.


The roof is an essential component of any home, but it is also the most vulnerable due to its constant exposure to the elements. Having a basic idea of the different types of roofing materials available will put you in a good position to decide the best roofing material for your house renovation.

If you still have second thoughts regarding roof renovation, then check out the links below and get a clearer picture.

Roof replacement vs Roof repair: Which is Better?
Does the New Roof Really Increase Home Value?

Image Courtesy: Image 2, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12

Author Bio

Sanjukta Ganguly – I am Sanjukta Ganguly from Kolkata. I have 9+ years of experience in content writing. I have written for multiple niches and genres like, health, travel, pregnancy, love and relationship, dating, hosting services, and WordPress, Press Release, Web Designing, Case Study, Thesis, Proof Reading, Academic Writing, etc. I can handle the work of 4000-5000 words daily.

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