Roof Reboot: Choosing the Best Type of Roofing Material


Your roof is an unsung hero, standing guard against rain, snow, and everything else Nature throws your way. Yet, when it’s time to replace the roof, the range of materials can feel overwhelming. This guide will help you explore the best type of roofing material for your residence or business. You’ll find the perfect fit, transforming your roof from a forgotten friend to a reliable guardian.

Roof Ready: Understanding Popular Roofing Materials


Different types of roofing materials meet different needs, and each has its advantages and considerations. Likewise, some roofing materials are better in certain climates. Here’s a helpful roofing materials list to get you started:

Asphalt Shingles:

This go-to choice for many homeowners is affordable and easy to install. They come in various styles and colors, offering some design flexibility. However, asphalt shingle roofs have a shorter lifespan compared to other materials.

Modified Bitumen & Built-Up Roofing (BUR):

This multi-layered system offers excellent waterproofing. Additionally, it is durable, making it a popular choice for residential and commercial flat roofs. BUR installations are complex, so they require skilled professionals.

Fleeceback Roofing:

This durable roofing material comes from modified bitumen and has a fleece backing. The puncture-resistant material is easier to install than traditional BUR. This option is suitable for both residential and commercial flat roofs.

Liquid Applied Roofing:

Contractors apply this seamless roofing system with a coating material that creates a watertight barrier. The material is lightweight, flexible, and able to conform to odd roof shapes. This material works well for flat and sloped roofs on residential or commercial buildings. Note: Liquid-applied roofing requires meticulous, professional application and may not be as durable as other options.

Rubber Roofing:

This category includes three specific types of single-ply roofing membranes. Roofers call these modern roofing materials EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), and PVC (polyvinyl chloride).


Moreover, the eco-friendly membranes are low-maintenance, durable, highly reflective, and UV-resistant. Indeed, their flexibility makes them ideal for flat roofs and roofs with pipes, gutters, and skylights. But don’t let their versatility fool you — they also provide excellent waterproofing protection.

  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofs are champions of durability and longevity, lasting for decades with minimal maintenance. This type of roofing material is fire-resistant, weather-resistant, and energy-efficient. While typically more expensive than asphalt, metal roofs can be cost-effective in the long run because of their lifespan. Metal roofing is a great option for both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Slate Roofing: Offering timeless elegance and unmatched durability, slate roofs are incredibly fire-resistant, adding value to your property. However, slate is a heavy material requiring a strong roof structure. As one of the most expensive roofing options, slate tends to be more popular in high-end residential settings.

Modern Roofing Materials Take Center Stage

Innovation is shaking things up in the roofing world! Here are some modern options gaining traction:

  • Metal Shingles: These shingles combine the beauty of slate or tile with the lightweight convenience of metal. They offer a stylish and durable option for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Synthetic Slate and Tile: These lightweight alternatives look like natural slate or clay tile. Moreover, they cost and weigh less than traditional slate or clay roofing. They’re a great choice for homeowners looking for a classic look without the hefty price tag.
  • Solar Shingles: These innovative shingles integrate solar panels directly into the roof, generating clean energy for your home. Solar shingles are a perfect option for homeowners looking for green roofing.

Understanding the Cost of Roofing Material


The cost of roofing projects varies, depending on the size and complexity of your roof and your chosen material. Labor rates in your area can also affect the final cost of replacing your roof. If you need existing roofing materials removed or disposed of, expect to pay a little more. 

Here’s a ballpark range for popular roofing materials:

  • Asphalt Shingles: $3,000 – $7,000
  • Modified Bitumen & Built-Up Roofing (BUR): $8,000 – $20,000
  • Fleeceback Roofing: $10,000 – $25,000 (slightly more expensive than BUR because of the fleece backing
  • Liquid Applied Roofing: $10,000 – $30,000 (can vary depending on the specific material and roof size)
  • Rubber Roofing (EPDM, TPO, PVC):
    • EPDM: $8,500 – $30,000
    • TPO: $9,000 – $35,000
    • PVC: $10,500 – $31,250 (PVC tends to be slightly more expensive than EPDM and TPO)
  • Metal Roofing: $8,000 – $15,000+
  • Slate Roofing: $15,000 – $40,000+

Remember, these are just estimates. Get quotes from qualified roofing contractors for a more accurate picture of costs.

Time to Secure Your Roof’s Future with Union Roofing

Now that you’re armed with knowledge about different roofing materials, it’s time to take action! Contact Union Roofing today for a free consultation. We provide top-quality roof installation and roof repair, as well as roof maintenance and restoration. You can find our customers throughout greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Let our experienced roofing professionals help you find the perfect fit for your home or commercial building. We’ll ensure your roof provides lasting protection and peace of mind now and in the future.

Time to Get Your Roof in Tip-Top Shape! Get a FREE Quote Today!

Your Roof FAQs: Answers to Common Roofing Questions

How long will my roof last?

The lifespan depends on the material, installation quality, and maintenance. Asphalt shingles typically last 15-30 years, while metal roofs can last 40-70 years or even longer. With proper care, slate and clay tile roofs can last for centuries.

What factors should I consider when choosing a roofing material?

Factor in your climate, budget, roof pitch, desired aesthetics, and long-term plans. Also, consider the initial cost versus the lifespan and maintenance requirements. Then determine the most cost-effective option for your situation.

Can I install a new roof myself?

While some materials might seem DIY-friendly, roof installation is a complex job best left to experienced professionals. Improper installation can lead to water damage, structural issues, and safety hazards.

How often should I have my roof inspected?

Experts recommend that you have your roof inspected by a professional at least once a year. Do you live in an area with severe weather events like storms with high winds? If so, you should have the roof inspected more frequently.

What are some signs that my roof needs replacement?

Look for missing or damaged shingles, leaks, sagging rooflines, and excessive moss growth. These are all indicators that your roof might be nearing the end of its lifespan.

How can I extend the lifespan of my roof?

Regular roof maintenance is key to maximizing your roof’s lifespan. Book yearly roof check-ups with a skilled roofer to catch and fix small problems before they become major headaches. 

You can also take simple steps to maintain your roof. Start by cleaning any debris, then cutting overhanging branches and keeping gutters clear. By maintaining your roof properly, you can prevent water buildup and damage.  

Are there financing options for roof replacements?

Many roofing companies offer financing options to help make roof replacement more affordable. Replacing your roof is an investment in your property, and financing options can help spread out the cost over time.

Be sure to ask your roofing contractor about available financing options and choose the one that best fits your budget. The right financing choice depends on your situation. Compare rates and terms before deciding.


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An attractive roof enhances curb appeal and boosts property value. Let the experts at Union Roofing meet your roofing needs with superior products and unparalleled service. Find out why we are the best roofing company in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, earning top ratings with Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and Home Advisor. Contact Union Roofing today for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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