Most homes in the United States have asphalt shingles. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to other types of shingles, can easily be repaired, and resist fire. They also come in many different colors and designs, so you can easily tailor them to the look of your house. Most homes look just fine with asphalt roofing.
On the other hand, these shingles have a short lifespan, lasting between 15 and 30 years at best. They do scar in hot climates, and they can grow mildew and moss. The process of making and then disposing of asphalt shingles is quite costly on the environment.
Metal shingles are made to look like other types of shingles, including cedar and slate. They are durable and last at least 50 years with little maintenance required. They can also be installed over existing roofs, removing the need to take down your roof. They do well in protecting against weather damage, and they are not very damaging to the environment. They do need to be painted sometimes, and they can be quite expensive. You will certainly need a roofing contractor to install them.
Wood shingles add insulation to your home and are easy to repair or replace. They require a lot of maintenance, but if you take care of them properly, they should last 30 to 50 years. They are not good at fighting fire, and they can rot, split, or mold.
Tile comes in a variety of colors and patterns. These are easy to maintain and are fireproof. They are quite heavy, though, and cannot be used on older homes that do not have the right structural requirements in place. They can also be damaged by walking on the roof, but are durable against weather damage.
Homeowners typically choose slate roofing because of its distinctive appearance and fireproof properties. While it is quite expensive and requires specialized installation, once it is installed it has a long lifespan. Like tile, slate shingles can be quite fragile if you are walking on your roof.
Concrete shingles reinforced with fiber come in many styles and colors. These often resemble tile, stone, or other popular, but expensive, roofing options. In contrast, concrete singles are more lightweight than other options and resist fire and insects well. They require little maintenance and are not damaging to the environment. However, they can be expensive if you do not have an affordable option for purchasing them.
If you feel uncertain about the type of shingles that would work best for you, contact a roofer and ask his or her opinion. Consider the style of your home and the lifespan you need for your shingles and you will be able to make the right choice.