Common Roofing Materials

A roofing system, traditionally seen as a roof covering, is actually the covering of a structure, consisting of all parts and materials needed to support it on top of walls, to protect from rain, sun, snow, extremes of heat, and winds. A roof is often part of the total building envelope, which includes the fascia, which holds the roof in place, and the awning, which covers and protects the structure from the elements. A roof has several functions other than to keep the structure dry. It also serves to increase the visual appeal of the house, with attractive tiles, roofs, or other decorative details.


The roofing system can be made of different materials, such as slate, clay tile, asphalt, wood shakes, tiles, glass fibers, gypsum, metal mixes, or any number of other materials. The most common type of roofing is the flat or pitched roof, which is the most economical and attractive. This type is usually made from asphalt shingles, clay tile, or slate. Other types of roofing include the sloped roof, which is more economical and evens out the roof’s pitch; and the single-ply roof, which is usually cheaper and easier to install than some of the other types of roofing. Also, this type allows for customization.

Roofing systems are divided into two common forms: the flat roof, which is a more common form; and the sloped roof, which has more space between sloped roofs. In the flat roof, all roofing materials are installed flatly on top of the roof structure, which protects the roof materials against weather and abrasion. Such roofs also provide insulation, which helps reduce energy costs. However, such roofing systems are prone to leaks and mildew. Such leaks can cause dampness and condensation which make the air in the home smell bad and make the inside of your home moist and hot.

Flat roofs are made from materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tile, gypsum, slate, or concrete. The sloped roofs, on the other hand, have two slopes, which are placed at right angles to one another. This two slope configuration enables snow to be runoff away from the house and drain away from the building in times of heavy snowfall. These roofs are highly efficient in snow and ice prevention but are not very practical and reliable in high wind conditions. They are widely used in areas with mild weather conditions.

There are several reasons why flat roofs are widely used and preferred by a majority of homeowners. For one, it is the easiest and cheapest type of roofing material to install. Flat roofs also come in a wide variety of colors and textures. Furthermore, such roofs do not need to be sealed or repaired whenever they start leaking or when exposed to extreme weather conditions. This is why it is popular for second homes and low-priced rental houses to use such roofing materials.

Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are made from different materials, which include clay, slate, gypsum, bitumen, gravel, and asphalt. Asphalt shingles are considered the most commonly used roofing materials in the US. However, they are prone to fire and are also noisy when run over by vehicles. Plus, asphalt shingles are highly vulnerable to weather damage. Also, asphalt shingles are costlier compared to clay or gypsum tiles, even though they are more durable and resistant to weather and insects.

Gypsum is commonly known as “Button Stones” because it resembles button tiles. These are another popular choice among roofers because they are durable, can be installed easily, and come in a wide range of colors. They are less expensive than asphalt and are easier to work with as well. Plus, they do not leak as easily. Yet, they are also vulnerable to weather damage and require regular maintenance from roofers.

Lastly, shingles are the most popular roofing material in the US. They are easy to install, cost-effective, and have an impressive lifespan. Roofing Bakersfield often prefers them because they are more stable than clay tiles or asphalt. Yet, as roofing roofers know, you get what you pay for and you should always ask your roofer about the materials he is using to ensure that the roof you will be working on will last for years and will not break down easily.