Different Roof Types: Which Is Right for Your Home?

March 7, 2023

Different Roof Types: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Each type of roof has its own pros and cons, related to the durability and longevity of the materials used, its energy-efficiency, the ease of maintenance and repairs, and the protection it offers your home. Whether you’re buying a new home and need to replace the roof, or if you just want to know what type of roof you should look for when looking at properties for sale, this guide is for you. 


Asphalt, fiberglass, and composite shingle roofs are affordable, durable, easy to install, and low-maintenance. Most shingles are available in a variety of colors, and can even mimic other types of roofing materials, like wood, tile, and slate, so you can enjoy the beauty of these roofing types without losing functionality. While the average lifespan of an asphalt shingle is around 15-30 years, that can change depending on the weather and climate in your region, as well as how much maintenance you put into your roof. An asphalt shingle’s lifespan can also be affected by the type of asphalt used. There are also differences in lifespan between three-tab, architectural, and luxury shingles:

  • Three-tab shingles – Thinner, and cut to look like three shingles. Faster installation and creates a uniform, brick-like pattern on the roof. Affordable, and last between 15-20 years.
  • Architectural shingles – Thicker, and create a durable texture on the roof. Use high quality material. Can last between 20-30 years and are weather-resistant.
  • Luxury shingles – Last between 20-30 years.

Solar Tiles or Shingles and Green Roofing

Solar tiles and shingles collect solar energy from the sun throughout the day, powering your home as-needed and storing extra energy in solar battery storage. This can dramatically reduce your energy bills, and allow you to take advantage of tax incentives and rebate programs that can cover much of the cost of installing solar roofing. Green roofing uses vegetation like grass or native wildflowers to cover the roof, to support pollinators. Green roofing can also reduce rainwater runoff and heat transfer.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has been in use since the 1800s, and roofing materials like aluminum and zinc are very affordable, low-maintenance, offer superior UV protection, and age beautifully. They can be pre-treated with sealants to reduce moisture retention, and are available in a variety of colors. You can even paint some styles of metal roofing. Metal roofing materials can mimic slate, asphalt, and wood. 

Slate Tiles or Shingles

Slate tiles and shingles are a very popular choice of roofing materials. Slate is beautiful and durable, though it is very heavy and not all homes can support the weight. Installation is also more expensive and requires a specialist for installation. Slate is fireproof and resistant to high winds and extreme temperature, as well as hail and storm damage. 

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are one of the most popular roofing choices in the world. They are a natural roofing option available in a variety of styles, like Spanish, French, Scania, and more. Clay tiles work well in hot climates. They absorb less moisture and require less maintenance, and are also very fire-resistant and can withstand strong winds. While they are lighter than slate and concrete, they can still add a lot of weight to your home’s structure. Despite their durability, they are also much more fragile than other roofing options. 

Concrete Tiles

Concrete roofing can mimic other roofing styles, like asphalt, slate, and even wood shingles. However, concrete is very heavy and not every home can withstand the weight. Concrete also requires more maintenance and has a much higher level of water absorption. 

Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is one of the most affordable roofing types. Rolled roofing is best for roofs with a lower incline, and should not be used on flat roofing. It doesn’t require an underlayment, but may not last as long as other roofing styles. 

Membrane Roofing 

Membrane roofing is best for homes that have low-slope roofs. Membrane roofing is manufactured with EPDM, which is a synthetic rubber sheet material that is durable, consistent, affordable, and lightweight. The downside of membrane roofing is that it can be easily punctured, and the seams between the sheets can lead to leaks.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing is one of the most common types of roofing for flat roofs. It provides protection against water, UV rays, extreme weather and temperature, and high winds. It is inexpensive and low-maintenance, and easy to repair. 

If You Need Roof Repair or Roof Replacement in Northern Maryland, Call Us Today

If you need roofing repair or roof replacement in Northern Maryland, call us today at Harford Roofing & Exteriors. We’re committed to using top of the line roofing materials to ensure your roof is cost-effective and long-lasting. We use premium 50-year shingles that have a 130 mph wind rating, and offer serious weather protection. We exclusively use Baltimore-based GAF HDZ Architectural shingles to extend the life of your roof. We also use top of the line rolled roofing products from GAF, Firestone, and DecTec, including asphalt, TPO, and PVC. We offer the best labor warranty in the industry on top of the manufacturer’s warranty. To learn more or to schedule a roofing assessment, call us at (443) 292-6020 or request a quote for roof repairs online.