Different Types of Roofing Materials

Different Types of Roofing Materials

Roofing is one of those topics that we are almost universally familiar with and have some understanding about. However, there are many different types of roofs, each offering different benefits and drawbacks. It’s important for property owners and builders to understand the different types of roofs, their pros and cons, and how each relates to your specific situation. After you’ve had a chance to learn a little more about roofs, you may find yourself wondering whether one type of roof is right for you and your needs.


Roofing felt or felt board, is a fairly inexpensive and long-lasting roofing material. It’s also fairly weatherproof. A fiberglass roof, as its name suggests, is made of fiberglass – a man-made, lightweight material that’s naturally strong and flexible yet extremely wear-resistant. Unlike roofing felt, a fiberglass roof doesn’t have a final layer; instead, the lower layers are sheathed in shingles, which can be installed in place to create a sturdy and durable finish.


Rooftop membranes are a common type of roofing material that combines synthetic underlayment or sheathing with traditional roofing materials such as asphalt or slate tiles. The membrane serves as a water barrier, allowing moisture to be released from the roof and into the air, which keep the structure free from leaks and other signs of potential damage. These types of membranes are often used on single-story homes and buildings where there is a problem with mold and mildew, but they can also be adapted for use on multi-story structures.


There are two main types of roofing materials: single-ply and multi-ply. Single-ply roofs are either constructed with one continuous sheet of material or divided into single sheets, which are then fitted together and fastened with flashing. The installation process is relatively simple and easy. You just cut away excess shingles, push the first few segments of roofing down, and then replace them onto the flashings. Multi-ply roofs differ in that they usually contain several layers of either asphalt or slate-tiles rolled or extruded onto a foam backing. They require a different method of installation than single-ply roofs, as you must reach all the way to the base of the house in order to fasten the materials.


Other roofing materials such as tiles and slate need to be fitted over a felt base prior to installation. Installing these materials over a felt foundation can be tricky and is best left to experienced roofing contractors. In addition, you may want to consider the addition of a fire barrier below your roof, as well as additional venting for attic exhaust fans. The roofer will be able to provide you with more information on all of these things when you meet with them.


Rubberized Underlayment – All roofs should have some sort of an underlayment to help seal and insulate the underlying materials. The most common materials used for this are gravel, clay or silica sand, felt paper, and rubberized polyethylene. The rubberized underlayment acts as an insulator against moisture and also helps to direct and collect rainwater. A properly installed rubberized underlayment by spring roofer can extend the life of your roof by up to 20 years!