June 10, 2019

Types of Roof Shingles: How to Choose the Best

Different roofing materials can be appropriate for varied extreme climates. Find the best types of roof shingles for your area today!

Time to read:
5 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

Many people underestimate the complexity of their roofing projects. In reality, a new roof is a carefully engineered protective layer that’s designed to stand up to internal and external abuse. It needs to keep the elements out, reduce heat exchange, and last a long time.

That’s a lot of pressure to put on a single part of y0ur home or office. If your roof fails, moisture gets in, mold grows, rot sets in, electricity fails, and the entire structure is at risk. Because of this, it makes sense to use the best shingles possible for every roofing project.

Shingles and tiles are some of the most important components in roofing. There are other materials like membranes that are appropriate for commercial or flat roofs, but shingles and tiles are still the building blocks of many residential roofs around the world.

However, not all shingles are created equal. There are a number of factors that go into choosing the best shingle type and material for every roof. It’s about more than just aesthetics; choosing the right roofing shingles can also depend on your location. Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best materials for your area.

The best shingles for extremely cold climates

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Colder climates are punishing for certain building materials. Freezing temperatures can cause cheaper shingles to become brittle, and snowfall can lead to excessive moisture and weight on the roof.

Any time that a roof is exposed to extreme heat, cold, high winds, or precipitation, the life of the shingles can be negatively impacted. The following materials stand up to the cold and snow the best:

Metal roofing and shingles

Properly treated metal roofing or shingles can last more than 50 years in extremely cold climates. Metal is also resistant to water and can allow snow and ice to slide off of steep roofs easily. This can be both good and bad for homeowners.

Snow can build up on certain areas of the roof causing an increase in weight. This should be anticipated and the roof structure reinforced to prevent damage. It can also be problematic if the snow or ice are sliding off of the roof in large quantities.

Make sure you ask your roofing professional about snow guards and other precautions to control this. It’s also recommended that metal roofing be well-insulated in colder climates to prevent excessive heat loss.

Asphalt shingles

Not everyone can afford metal roofing or more durable materials. Fortunately, fiberglass asphalt shingles are still a cost-effective option in colder climates. The freezing temperatures may reduce the longevity of asphalt shingles, but the upfront cost combined with the lower cost of roof repair make it an attractive alternative for some.

It’s also a good idea to consider impact-resistant asphalt shingles that are designed to stand up to hail and ice storms. This may be a bit more expensive, but it can increase the life of the roof and reduce the need for frequent repairs.

Other cold-weather roofing options

Wood and concrete roofing materials can also perform really well in freezing temperatures. Both are extremely resistant to damage that comes with ice, and they have the capacity to support large amounts of snowfall. Wooden shingles like cedar shakes are a popular aesthetic choice, too.

However, both come with hefty price tags and can require serious structural reinforcement to support the weight of the roofing materials.

The best shingles for warmer climates

Areas like Florida, California, Texas, and other parts of the South can be prone to subtropical climates and year-round heat. Scorching temperatures mean increased UV exposure, heat transfer, and additional wear and tear on roofs. Those who receive a lot of sun on their roof may find solar roofing options to be cost-effective.

When humidity joins forces with triple-digit temperatures, some roofing shingles and other materials can fall prey to mold growth, rot, and other damage. Choosing materials that can stand up to the extremes is essential. Otherwise, you’ll end up with costly repairs or a full roof replacement long before you expect to. Some of the best shingle choices for warmer climates include:

Clay and ceramic roof tiles

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Terra cotta has long been a popular roofing choice in hotter climates. The clay tiles are made using heat, and can stand up to extreme temperatures for up to 50 years. The shape of clay and ceramic tiles also works to control airflow and prevent heat exchange.

There are certainly some drawbacks, though. Clay and ceramic tiles can easily double the cost of high-quality asphalt shingles, and can have the same effect on the weight of the roof. Both your bank account and your roof’s structural components will need to be reinforced to handle the installation.

Aluminum roofing materials


Recycled aluminum roofing materials are as good for your energy bills as they are for the environment. Special coating can help metal roofs to reflect the sun’s UV rays, and the way that the materials are installed can create an additional barrier to heat transfer.

New technology has made metal roofing materials as stylish as they are efficient. This, combined with the versatility, have made metal roofs increasingly popular in warm climates. The price is higher than traditional asphalt shingles but still manageable for many homeowners.

Concrete roof tiles

Concrete roofing materials can prevent heat transference due to their density and thickness. The shape and installation methods also act to facilitate airflow and lower utility bills during the hottest months.

The weight of concrete roofs can be problematic, though. Make sure that you talk to your roofing professional about how well your home or office structure will stand up to the added stress.

Connect with professionals today!

Whether you live in an extreme or relatively temperate climate, your roofing choices will matter. The right shingles or materials can lower heating and cooling costs, and save you money in replacement costs over time.

Reach out to the experts at Roofr today! We can connect you with the best roofing contractors or suppliers for the job, and provide estimates to give you a better idea of how much your project will cost.

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