What Are the Best Roofing Shingles for Homeowners?


One of the most important decisions you’ll make when replacing your home’s roof is the type of roofing shingles you’ll use. There are many different types of roofing shingles available, which is why it’s important to carefully research your options before making your materials selection.

By taking the time to understand the pros and cons of each roofing type, you can choose the shingles that offer the right combination of durability, reliability, and aesthetic appeal for your needs.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

One of the most commonly used roofing materials in the U.S., asphalt shingles are both affordable and easy to install. Because asphalt shingles are manufactured under strict requirements, they are consistently strong and flexible and won’t crack or shatter easily. Asphalt shingles may even be reinforced with fiberglass or cellulose without altering the shingles’ appearance.

  • Pros: Due to their popularity, asphalt shingles come available in a wide variety of colors. As one of the least expensive roofing materials available, asphalt shingles are also exceptionally affordable compared to other roofing types.
  • Cons: While highly durable, asphalt shingles boast a shorter life span than other roofing types. Moreover, they do not offer the same degree of insulation other roofing shingles offer.

Slate Roofs

Slate roofingSlate roofs are easily recognizable for their unparalleled beauty and distinctive sophistication. Shades of black, green, gray, red, and purple marry together perfectly for a roof that’s stylish, sleek, and strong. Capable of lasting up to 100 years with little maintenance, slate roofs are incredibly durable and resistant to even the most challenging elements, such as fire.

  • Pros: These roofing types are comprised of slate rock and offer superior durability and fire resistance. Additionally, slate roofs offer the highest degree of sustainability as the materials can be recycled easily.
  • Cons: Slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials but is well worth the investment for the value added to your home. Each square is quite heavy, so installation usually requires extra framing and can be quite complex without the right roofer.

Clay & Concrete Tile Roofs

a roof shingle that is being replaced by roofing contractors since the homeowners wanted a metal roofIf you’re looking to add texture and elegance to your rooftop, clay and concrete tile might be the choice for you. Available in flat, ribbed, and scalloped configurations, clay tiles are exceptionally durable; however, they can be quite heavy and difficult to install.

While concrete tiles are also heavy and require professional installation, they offer greater versatility and are less expensive than their genuine clay counterparts.

  • Pros: Both clay and concrete tiles are extremely durable and resistant to fire. Concrete tiles, in particular, also offer high energy efficiency to protect against thermal transfer in your home.
  • Cons: Because both of these tiles are so heavy, installation can be difficult without the right team by your side. Additional framing is usually required to install these roofing materials.

Synthetic Roofs

Synthetic Roofing

Often made of rubber and plastic, synthetic roofing has recently grown in popularity. Synthetic roofs are designed to mimic the aesthetic of other roofing types, such as slate or wood. Strong, easy to maintain, and often fire-resistant, synthetic shingles offer an ideal solution for just about any home.

  • Pros: Since synthetic roofing materials aren’t as fragile or heavy as their genuine counterparts, they are often easier to install, less expensive, and more durable. They’re also made of 95% recycled materials, so they’re the most eco-friendly option.
  • Cons: It’s important to select a high-quality synthetic roofing manufacturer, as some of these roofs can be prone to water absorption.

Wood Shingle & Shake Roofs

Cedar Roofing

For hundreds of years, homeowners have relied on wood shingles and shakes to weather the outdoor elements, and it is one of the most common roofing materials in Virginia. The main difference between the two is that wood shakes are handmade and rougher-cut than wood shingles, which are typically machine-cut. Because wood is a flammable material, it’s important to look for Class A fire-rated wood roofing when shopping for the right materials for your roof replacement project.

  • Pros: Offering a rustic aesthetic, wood shingles are usually made from natural products, such as white cedar, redwood, or cypress — perfect for Virginia homeowners.
  • Cons: Improperly maintained wood shingles can lead to mold growth, splitting, or wood rot.

Let Beyond Exteriors Help You Choose the Best Roofing Shingles for Your Northern Virginia Home

Selecting the right roofing materials for your roof replacement project can be challenging if you’re unsure what to look for. Luckily, Beyond Exteriors has the expert roofers you need to help make the right decision for your home.

From asphalt and slate to synthetic and concrete tile roofing, our team is proud to offer the highest quality materials from the industry’s most trusted manufacturers.

Allow our team to help you make the right choice for your roof by calling (703) 830-0863 to request a roof replacement estimate today!


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