The Top 5 Roofing Materials

Whether you’re building a new house or replacing a roof there are a variety of options when it comes to the type of roofing material to use. However, it can be difficult to determine what the best option for your home is.

Being on the Pacific West Coast there are a few recommended roofing materials and we want to cover some of the benefits as well as what to be aware of which each option.

Composite/Asphalt Shingles

Composite shingles are a very common roofing option. They have a relative low cost and have a decent life expectancy of 20 years (if maintained). They are also durable and resist the harsher weather frequent on the west coast. Another benefit of composite shingles is that replacing or repairing individual shingles is relatively easy as it’s easy to find replacement materials.

If you choose composite shingles, it is important to keep in mind that they are still porous. You’ll need to watch out for and prevent moss and plant growth.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are another common roofing material, partly because of the abundance of wood in BC, but also because many home owners love the look of wood shingles. In fact, having wood shingles may increase the property value of the home.

Compared to composite shingles however, wood shingles are more expensive and require a bit more maintenance. They do have a better life expectancy of 30 years which, in some cases, may help to offset the cost as a replacement might not be needed as soon, especially if you plan to own the home long0term.

Wood shingles are also susceptible to moss and plant growth and will require cleaning and maintenance.

Metal Roofing

The life expectancy of a metal roof is between 40-80 years, making it one of the top three materials for long-term wear. Aesthetically metal roofs have suffered but are increasingly becoming better designed and in many cases can copy the look of other roofing materials including wood/cedar shingles. They are also low-maintenance, which can increase the appeal for new home-buyers.

A metal roof requires a difference set of skills to be installed. As with any other material it’s incredibly important to have it installed properly. Before you commit to metal roofing and a roofing company, check that the company has experience in installing metal roofing.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are more common in hotter, drier climates such as Mexico and the Mediterranean. Their durability gives them the highest life expectancy of any roofing material – 100+ years. Clay is not susceptible to moss and plant growth, and does not expand and shrink with the changes in temperature.

However, if you’re replacing your current roof, clay tiles may not be the right solution for your home. Clay tiles are a fair bit heavier than composite, wood, or metal shingles. Your existing roof may not be able to support that extra weight.


Slate, like clay, is a heavier roofing material, and is not recommended unless you are building a new house, or prepared to have additional framing added to your roof. It’s also more expensive than composite, wood, and metal shingles.

However, it’s extremely durable, is fire resistant, and has the 2nd highest life expectancy. When installed properly can last a minimum 60 years (with the potential to last up to 100). Slate roofs are aesthetically pleasing as the slate is often installed in multiple shades or textures to give a unique look to each home.


Budget and the framing of your roof play major roles in helping you determine which roofing material is best for your home. Before committing to a material, talk to different roofing companies to ensure they are proficient at installing the roofing material you are considering.

To learn more about different roofing materials and to help you determine what the best option for your home is, talk to the Roof Tech team at +1.604.888.7663 or