Choosing a new roof material is not an easy decision, but to make the process simpler, consider the following factors before making a purchase: longevity, durability, price, energy efficiency, and sustainability. These are the most important things to think about when buying a new roof. When you contact a roofing contractor at Top Tier Roofing, they can help you make an educated final decision. However, before you get to that stage, follow this guide to better understand the pros and cons of the most used roofing materials.


Asphalt shingles are the most popular material used. With proper maintenance, an asphalt roof can last up to 30 years. However, if you don’t buy high-quality asphalt shingles, it may only last up to 15 years even with good maintenance. As a result, know the quality before you purchase.

The quality doesn’t only affect the material’s longevity, but it also affects the durability. You can determine its durability by checking the shingles’ hail rating. You want to purchase class 4, as this is the best rating and means the shingles are extremely durable. However, if you don’t see a rating, it’s probably because it’s low.

If budget is your concern, asphalt is considered one of the most affordable materials to buy. However, if energy efficiency and sustainability is a concern, asphalt isn’t the material for you. Although it can be recycled and reused, asphalt is petroleum based and generates high levels of VOC emissions.


Metal has grown in popularity over the last several years. It can last longer than asphalt – up to 50 years with good maintenance. Additionally, it is weather resistant. Contrary to popular belief, metal roofs do not attract lightning more than other materials. Metal is also very easy to maintain and energy-efficient, acting as a natural insulator that will keep your home cool in the warm months and warm when it’s cold.

If sustainability is one of your concerns, a metal roof is the right option for you. This material releases no carbon emissions when created. Furthermore, when it reaches the end of its lifespan, it is 100% recyclable. If budget is a concern, you may shudder at the upfront cost, as it tends to be higher per square foot than other materials. However, many homeowners say it pays for itself in reduced energy bills.


One characteristic that was not originally considered is aesthetics. However, if that’s what you’re after, then you may be interested in the rich color and Spanish style of clay tiles. If you want to install a new roof and never worry about installing another, clay tile can last up to 100 years. This material is strong and weather-resistant, withstanding heavy rain and winds over 150 mph.

Much like metal, clay is also energy efficient and sustainable, as it was produced from earth minerals. It can also be completely recycled and reused. Unfortunately, another characteristic clay shares with metal is the high upfront cost. Again, you may end up saving more because it’s an energy-efficient material.

It is important to mention that clay is an extremely heavy material, which means there will be an additional cost to add reinforcement underneath.

Wood shingles and shakes

A less commonly used material is wood, predominantly because it is considered a fire hazard. However, if you don’t live in areas prone to fires, rain, or humidity, wood shingles and shakes have many advantages. First, this material can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. It’s considered very durable, although shakes are considered more durable than shingles. Wood is also energy efficient and sustainable, far surpassing asphalt in these characteristics.

Contact Top Tier Roofing

Now that you know some of the most important features of these four common roof materials, we hope you make a final decision you feel proud of. No matter what material you buy, proper maintenance is key. When it comes to repairs and installations, you can always count on our team. Our installers have over 25 years of experience, and all our work comes with a 5-year workmanship warranty. We strive to help homeowners protect one of their largest investments with superior products and workmanship. For a roofing contractor in Oxford, Alabama you can trust, contact Top Tier Roofing. Call 256-454-4969 anytime.