With so many different types of roofing materials out there, it can be hard to choose which one is best for your home. Below we have provided the top 8 most popular types of roofing shingles, their approximate costs for installation, and a little bit of information on their benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s start with the most common shingle:

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are, by far, the more popular shingles used throughout the Pittsburgh Area.  With an average installation cost of $4,000 to above $8,000, these are by far the most cost-effective out there.

Asphalt shingles vary in their make, size, and colors. Some shingles made of asphalt will also include fiberglass or some form of organic materials.  Many of the asphalt shingles out there meet or exceed the Energy Star standards which are deemed appropriate in saving you, overall, energy costs in your home.

One of the larger concerns for asphalt shingles is their lack of ability to “weather” well in areas where the weather goes through drastic changes.  When the weather changes suddenly, there is a good chance that the asphalt shingles will crack.  Even in more temperate areas, asphalt is subject to cracking and damage since they are made from a weaker material. Another consideration about asphalt shingles is that they should only be used on roofs that have a steep pitch.

Asphalt shingles may come in weathered looks, slate looks, and textured/architectural looks.

If you need to repair asphalt shingles, it is required that the shingle is lifted and roofing cement is added both below and on top. Asphalt roofing problems may vary from curled corners to small roof leaks from damage. Depending on the damage, the repair may be as simple as a roofing nail or more extensive where metal flashing is added to prevent water from penetrating the roof deck.


2. Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are made from fiberglass and layered with a waterproof coating. They are more lightweight and fire-resistant. Their average install ranges from $8,500 to $16,500.

In general Fiberglass Shingles will have a longer warranty and are a bit more durable. They are also not as expensive as some other roofing materials and come with resistance to UV rays.

Fiberglass shingles use a urea-formaldehyde adhesive in the binding process. At the end of the binding process, they receive an asphalt blended coating that contributes to the waterproofing qualities.


3. Organic Shingles

Organic shingles are organic asphalt shingles that are made with recycled rags, paper, cardboard, and wood chips. They vary in price from $5,000 to $13,500 depending on the manufacturer and the installer.

Like the Fiberglass Shingles, they are considered waterproof, however, they are heavier and less durable than the fiberglass.

These types of shingles are also known as “felt mat asphalt shingles”.

Due to their organic nature, organic shingles are more prone to moisture and saturation problems. In areas of high humidity or an area with a lot of freezing, the shingles degrade and break apart much faster than their standard life expectancies.


4. Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles cost about $13,500 to $21,500 to install and are not made from cutouts like the three-tab shingles are. Architectural Shingles contain extra asphalt and have more depth. Roofs with low slopes are not good candidates for these types of shingles because they are more susceptible to rain intrusions in high wind situations.


5. Tile Shingles

Tile Shingles come in a variety of shapes and can be molded in many different ways.  The average installation cost of tile shingles varies from $16,000 to $32,000 and up.

Tile shingles offer a distinct styling ability for your home and often come in lighter colors which help to keep your home cooler.

Tile shingles are often seen on homes with a Spanish or Mediterranean influence and are some of the most long-lasting roofs around.  Some roofs can last upwards of 80 years or more. 

Aside from the high cost of the tiles alone, the installation costs of these tiles are also very high. In addition, tile shingles may be too heavy for your roof to hold and all of this has to be assessed prior to installation.  Be sure that your home structure is thoroughly inspected by a reputable roofing contractor before committing to installing a tile roof on your home.

Some common problems that may occur with tile shingles are leaks, cracks, holes, and cracked or broken tiles. All of these issues may come with a higher than average repair cost due to the nature of the tile shingle itself.


6. Wood Shingles

Wood shingles can be as affordable as asphalt or as expensive as tile shingles.  Their average install can range from $7,500 to over $11,000.

With the higher install costs, the overall costs are the highest among roofing shingles.  These shingles are more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and can last over 30 years.

The largest and most obvious drawback of the wooden shingles is that they are not fire-safe compared to the other types of shingles. Wood shingles are durable, but not as much as other shingles when faced with fire and sparks. In addition, maintenance is higher on a wooden roof due to taking preventative measures that prevent nuisance pests such as termites, mold, and carpenter ants.

Some common problems for wood shingles include cracks, missing/warped shingles, and insect damage.  Wood shingles can not be easily replaced so maintenance is essential.


7. Metal Roofing

Becoming more and more popular, metal roofing can vary from $9,500 to $44,000 installed.  The metal roof is an excellent choice for flat or steep roofs.  It is very affordable when made from low-galvanized metal.  Other more expensive types might include copper, aluminum, and zinc.

Metal roofs can last over 50 years.  One of the major issues with a metal roof is the louder sounds that come when there is a lot of rain or hail.  In addition, hail can easily damage lighter metal roofs and cause an aesthetic issue.

Some other issues with metal roofs include holes, rust, loose nails, leaks, and curled-up edges or seams.


8. Slate Shingles

Slate shingles cost on average $11,000 - $24,000 to install and have been known to last nearly 100 years. They have been known to have the most water and damage resistance of any known shingle out there. 

Slate shingles are ideal for frigid winter areas and come in a variety of green, blue, gray, and red colors.

With the higher price points and longevity, you can expect slate shingles to be more costly to repair and quite heavy.  Homes must be able to carry the weight of the slate in order to have a successful installation.

Generally, it is required that you have a slate shingle professional on call for repairs as not all roofing companies repair or replace slate shingles.

When it comes down to it, no matter what shingle you choose for your home, be sure to have it done by an experienced and reputable roofing company.  You should ensure that the shingles you choose have a warranty and that you can properly care for your shingles so that they last you and your home for the longest time possible.  Get a hold of the best Pittsburgh Roofer, to find out what shingle is best for you.  Visit EAS Roofing Today!