5 Best Roof Types (And The Secret How To Make Them Last Years)

Oct 25, 2018

silicone roofing, New Roof Installation, Roof Repairs


Remember the chili-bowl haircut? Remember how awful it was?

Well, having a bad roof type is like having a bad haircut.


I can still remember my mom breaking out the mixing bowl and scissors every month to make sure my impression of a coconut was spot on.

And I was always wondering why none of the girls in school liked me.

Fast forward to today.

You may have a great haircut, but if you have a bad roof the same principle applies - what's on top matters more than you know!

Whether you're getting a new roof, repairing your old one, buying a house, or having one built you've gotta pay close attention to the material you're roof is made of.

Getting the wrong type can leave you repelling guests, losing money, and needing a costly replacement.

We are going to dive into the 5 most common roof types and cover a secret to making them last a long time!

Roof Type #1: Asphalt Shingle Roofs 

Ah, the "crew cut" of roofs. Everyone either has had one or still has one. There's nothing wrong with it, it looks nice, but it won't last long. You'll need work on it soon enough.
Typically found on your residential houses, asphalt roofing is the most common type in the U.S. for homes, and it's easy to see why.

Pros: They're cheap, effective enough, easy to install, and they have a great variety of styling.

They're ideal for the average home, and most people choose them because they will last a decent amount of time if nothing ever goes wrong. 

That's just the thing though...things usually happen.         

Cons: They fail in high temperatures, crack at low temperatures, they're not environmentally friendly, and they soak up the heat.

One of the only issues with Texas is that it is stinking hot! Heat does two things to asphalt shingles:

  • -It decreases their average life and makes them crack
  • -It is absorbed by the shingles and raises utility bills

While they're common, it's quite common to see people getting them replaced often and they are very prone to leaking due to their susceptibility to heat damage.

Roof Type #2: Metal Roofs


Metal roof types are like the bald-shaved head. It's functional, easy to get, but there's not much to it...and they're both shiny.

Sure, people can pull it off and look great, but it's a tough look and there's a couple of downsides to consider.

Pros: It can be installed over your roof, it is simple to install, and it is fairly aesthetic (if that's the look you want).

Essentially, metal roofs can simply be screwed onto your existing roof.

And since you're just screwing in plates, you can just lay them in their respective spots and bolt them together.

Depending on your preferences for your roof type, this might be the look you're going for on your structure.

Cons: It is a pain to modify, the venting is always noticeable (peaks of the house that run across the length), they too heat up drastically, and it is relatively the same in regards to durability (not long).

If you want to change any aspect of your roof or any part of it becomes damaged then you have to replace the entire metal sheet which can be a pain. 

Each ridge on your roof will require venting which is regarded as the most unsightly aspect. Typically, any leaks come from this venting area.

This type of roof works well with protective coatings, but they're almost a must since they suffer from

Roof Type #3: Rolled Roofs

The buzzcut of roof types. It's cheap. You can do it yourself. It's doesn't shout "I care about my appearance a lot!", and it won't last long.


Rolled roofing is most common on flat and sloped roofs with a minimal surface area that people see.

Pros: It's incredibly cheap and you (technically) have the ability to apply it to your own roof.

It comes in rolls of 100 ft. and it's easy to transport.

Cons: It has the appearance of "I'm ugly and I'm proud". It pretty much is only found in black and green.

It doesn't last long at all. The appeal of asphalt shingles is that if any shingle goes bad (which they do without protection) then you can just replace it.

Rolled roof acts like one big shingle, so if it goes bad then you typically have to replace the shingle.

Patch jobs on the rolled roof don't work well or last long at all.

They also soak up the heat and struggle to accommodate shifts in the structure.

In short, they're ugly, they crack in the heat, they don't last long, and they aren't energy efficient.

Roof Type #4: Slate Shingles


The fade haircut of roof types. It's sleek. It's modern. It...looks like a lot of upkeep and hassle.

Slate shingles are more of a modern trend. We are talking about the stone slabs of slate.

Pros: Cleaving and aesthetics are the best qualities of slate roof types.

Cleaving is a cool perk of this material.

Slate is made up of layers of rock, so it can cleave a layer off while still remaining intact.

This factor and the great looks are the main appeals of this roof type.

Cons: Poor pressure response, immense cost, and poor modifiability.

Poor pressure response means a poor durability.

Even though it can cleave under certain conditions, it will crack and break under pressure.

Which means if you live in areas with a lot of wind, rain, or might want a great seal on your roof.

The cost is pretty high, with averages around $600-$700 dollars per square of slate.

Roof Type #5: Tar & Gravel



Then there's this haircut...


Let's all cringe together.

Okay, so the tar and gravel roof type isn't really that bad...if no one sees it. But it's still lacking in...ahem...areas.

Pros: Cheap, simple installation, and that's about it.

It's often a rolled, tar, and gravel material that is melted together on the roof and given a gravel top-coat to weigh it down.

It's straightforward, but much like that forehead's mustache, it is best unseen.

This means this roof type is usually reserved for flat roofs that are out of sight.

Cons: It can leak early in its lifespan, be difficult to repair, be ugly, and soak up the heat as well.

The melts are difficult to get just right. This means they won't adjust to structure shifts and debris.

Because they're likely to have damage, the repairs that come with this type are often difficult to identify and repair quickly.

They're ugly so people get them on commercial structures that don't get a lot of eyesight on their roof, and they soak up the heat.

The Secret To Make Almost All Roof Types Last For Years! (It's okay to tell your friends!)

The secret to making your roof last for years to come isn't in the roofing material you use.

The secret is in what you treat the roof with!

Silicone roofing is the process of spraying a layer of synthetic silicone on top of your existing roof, and it remedies essentially every issue mentioned above!

This solution to extending the life of any roof type solves for 3 main areas:

  1. Heat reflection
  2. Hole sealant
  3. Overall protection

It reflects heat due to its composition. It's environmentally friendly and reflects 97% of all UV rays that zap and damage other roof types

It seals any holes you may have on your roof with its secure primer coating and reflective and durable top coat.

It provides overall protection to your roof by sealing the entire thing.

That means that you're protected against dirt, debris, UV rays, leaves and branches, and most any other non-destructive force.

It can't stop a tree from falling on your roof, but it can protect against most everything else.

Lastly, one of it's best features is that you can simply just spray it over your existing roof (even if there is already non-extensive damage)!

Application usually requires little to no roof replacement. Just spray it and you're good.

In Conclusion

Your specific desires, needs, and budget are going to determine what roof type works best for you.

Commercial roof types usually have flat roofs, and therefore typically require rubber, asphalt/rolled, or asphalt/gravel roof types.

Residential structures are given more flexibility with slate, metal, and asphalt shingles.

But whatever roof type you have, the secret to getting the most out of it to secure your structure and reduce heating costs is silicone roofing!

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