When it comes time for a roof replacement, there is no shortage of roofing shingles to choose from—each with unique benefits, features, and styles.
Although it’s great to have options, we understand it may feel overwhelming to narrow down the endless array of styles to select the perfect choice for your roof. To help you, we’ve created the following guide that highlights the distinctive attributes of each type of popular roofing shingle, so you can make the best decision for your Indianapolis home!
Details of Popular Types of Roofing Shingles
1. Asphalt Roofing Shingles
Pros: Lightweight, weatherproof, cost-effective, and offered in versatile colors and styles to customize your home
Cons: Shorter lifespan than other roofing materials
Asphalt roofing shingles are widely considered the country’s most popular roofing material. Each roofing shingle includes a base mat (made from cellulose fibers or fiberglass) coated with waterproof asphalt and topped with ceramic granules.
Since asphalt roofing shingles are offered in many styles, colors, and designs, they are incredibly versatile. You can select from a thinner, one-dimensional option, called “three-tab” roofing shingles, or a thicker, multi-dimensional variety, called “architectural roofing shingles,” to customize your home.
Homeowners love asphalt shingles because they are waterproof, fireproof, affordable, and perform well in hail, wind, rain, or snowstorms. They are also easy to install and inexpensive to replace if they suffer from high winds or other types of shingle damage.
2. Synthetic Roofing Shingles
Pros: Impact resistant, eco-friendly, and can mimic slate, wood, and other materials
Cons: Offers less insulation than other roofing types, and installation can be expensive
Synthetic roofing shingles, also known as composite roofing shingles, are made from a combination of recycled materials, like rubber, plastic, and polymer, making them an excellent option for homeowners concerned about their carbon footprint.
While synthetic roofing shingles offer valuable benefits, like long-lasting color, fire resistance, and impact resistance, they can be expensive to install. Unfortunately, since few roofers have the proper training and expertise to work with this material, contractors may be hard to come by, and their rates can be steep.
Also, it’s vital to perform a cost-benefit analysis before installing synthetic roofing shingles. For instance, if you’re looking for a low-cost, lightweight alternative to slate, synthetic roofing shingles may be a great option. However, they won’t last nearly as long as slate roofing shingles, so you may end up paying more to replace them with real slate down the road.
3. Cedar Shake Roofing Shingles
Pros: Beautiful, natural appearance and long lifespan when properly maintained
Cons: High-maintenance upkeep and prone to damage from pests, moisture, and fire
Cedar shakes, otherwise known as wood shakes, are hand-cut from cedar trees and offer a timeless, rustic appearance for your home. While wood shakes are beautiful and can last longer than asphalt shingles, they come at a higher price point and are prone to damage from fire, water, and insects, like termites, woodpeckers, and beetles.
Before installing cedar shakes, it’s crucial to verify they are allowed in your region’s fire code. It’s also important to make sure that you’re willing to invest the time and resources required to take care of them. However, if you maintain your cedar shakes, they’ll add rustic beauty to your home for decades to come.
4. Metal Roofing Shingles
Pros: Lightweight, long-lasting, and energy-efficient
Cons: Noisier and more expensive than other roofing types
If you’re looking for roofing shingles that will last a lifetime, metal roofing shingles are an excellent choice. On average, this material lasts for 70-80 years! Though metal roofing can be a steep investment upfront, it’s certainly one that will pay for itself over its long lifespan.
You can select from different types of metal, like aluminum, copper, steel, or zinc, for your roofing shingles. You can also choose different styles to customize your home, like standing seam roofing shingles that feature a series of ridges running up the roof slope or stone-coated metal varieties that can mimic tiles or wood shakes.
Typically, homeowners in areas with frequent storms, like Indiana, opt for stone-coated steel roofing since this material provides excellent hail protection. Plus, homes that endure frequent rain should consider installing additional insulation to minimize the “drumming” sound of raindrops on their metal roof.
5. Tile Roofing Shingles
Pros: Durable, long-lasting, and weatherproof
Cons: Cumbersome and expensive
Tile roofing shingles can encompass a wide range of different styles, from the clay roofing shingles popularly found on Spanish-style homes in the American Southwest to slate tiles made with natural stone.
Slate tiles are an excellent investment for homes in the Midwest since they are incredibly durable and can endure heavy snow, hail, and other winter weather conditions. Slate tiles last 50-100 years, making them a worthwhile investment.
However, slate tiles are expensive, and they sell at a higher price point than any other roofing shingle on the market. They also often demand additional framing to accommodate their weight as well as specialized installation techniques, requiring additional labor costs.
Get Reliable Shingle Installation for Your Roof with JD Hostetter
We hope this guide has empowered you to make the right decision for your upcoming roof replacement, regardless of which material you decide to install.
If you’re still on the fence about which roofing shingle to choose, we encourage you to read more about the benefits of cost-effective, waterproof asphalt shingles—the country’s most popular roofing product! At JD Hostter and Associates, we install these shingles with the highest degree of expertise.