Different Roofing Materials: Pros and Cons

Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by Kravelv

Building construction requires extensive planning and research. Without proper planning, the structure will encounter severe problems that can put the project at risk. One element that contractors need to discuss is the roofing material for the building.

Many roofing materials on the market provide specific functions and benefits that cater to the contractor’s needs. As the building owner, it’s best to know the pros and cons of each roofing material so you can weigh your options and choose the one that suits you most.


Tile Roofing

Tile roofing can help you achieve a rustic style for your building. Many building contractors consider it a classic, distinctive roofing style that will never go out of style. Although mainly used by residential buildings, it can also look great in commercial buildings.


  • Tile roofs can help you achieve a unique curb appeal, making your building stand out more.
  • It lasts longer than other roofing materials, with a lifespan that extends up to years. Other building owners with the tile roofing system say they can last for 50 years with proper maintenance and care.
  • If you have highly flammable items within your commercial building, tile roofing has fireproof properties. Aside from being fire-resistant, it also prevents algae, insects, and molds from forming.


  • Some contractors usually avoid tile roofing because workers find it heavy. Even using a lift to carry them to the roof installed with specialty roof hatches for easy access, roofing contractors still have difficulty laying them as quickly as possible.
  • Tile roofing requires contractors to take extra care when laying down because they break easily. If you have tile roofing, ensure that you hire the best to prevent any damages.
  • Tile roofing may also cost a lot, so it’s best to prepare an extra budget for this.
  • The underlayment needs extensive maintenance. You need to replace the underlayment between 8 to 20 years.

Composition Roofing

Another type of roofing material you can install for your commercial building is composition roofing. Instead of using only one, the roofing incorporates multiple materials to create a roofing system. Composition roofing usually involves asphalt shingles, and they come in three types of composite shingles such as:

  • Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are sturdy and appealing. Manufacturers use ceramic-coated mineral granules and a heavy fiberglass mat base to provide the roof some protection and dimension.

  • Presidential Shingles

It’s a more luxurious shingle type with a cedar-like appearance but has the capability of composition roofing. Most building owners love the look of presidential shingles because of its elegance and efficiency.

  • 3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are the most inexpensive and least durable option out of the other two shingles. Roofing contractors call them 3-tab because the shingle has three tabs. It’s a cheap alternative if you want to avoid other traditional roofing materials.


  • Composition roofing comes in various styles, so it’s hard to run out of options.
  • It’s also an affordable roofing option for short-term purposes. Its lifespan extends between 12 to 17 years.
  • Experienced roofing contractors can finish the installation faster with composition roofing.


  • As mentioned a while ago, it’s an excellent option for short-term purposes only. If you want a roofing material that will last for longer than 17 years, avoid composition roofing.
  • Asphalt shingles cannot resist heat effectively, so you can expect your building to heat up faster. If you experience frequent shifts in weather patterns, the shingles will expand and contract, leading to damage.
  • They’re also not the best at being environmentally friendly because of the petroleum-based product added. Most damaged asphalt shingles usually end up in landfills, causing environmental damage.

Cedar Roofing

Lastly, you have cedar roofs that provide one of the best roofing aesthetics for any building. Some commercial buildings regard them as residential roofing. However, you can find several establishments like inns, hotels, and even rustic-style restaurants using cedar.


  • It’s a roofing material that will make any building appear highly appealing. The cedar roofing’s natural beauty helps in inducing a calming feeling when seen by the public.
  • Cedar roofing has natural insulation properties. Meaning, it can prevent heat from passing through and keep your building’s interior cool.
  • If you replace old and worn-out cedar roofing, you can drop it off at a recycling facility since it’s a natural material.
  • Cedar roof also lasts long, withstands damage from insects, and can handle stormy weather.


  • You need to prepare a higher budget if you want to install cedar roofing on your building. Purchasing and installation cost more than other types of roofing.
  • The frequent maintenance bothers some building owners. It needs weekly cleaning to prevent moss, molds, or mildew from damaging it. You might also need to utilize prevention treatments to increase its protection levels.
  • Avoid storing highly flammable materials in buildings with cedar roofing because they catch fire quickly.

Now, you can finally choose the perfect roofing material for your building by weighing out each of its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure to consult with an expert to have an informed perspective and avoid any mistakes.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook