5 Most Common Shingles

brick house with gray roof
Every building requires a magnificent roofing design to stand out from the rest, and to withstand bad weather. To put a durable roof on that will withstand heavy downpours, storms, and shield the family from adverse weather conditions, you will need strong shingles. The type of shingles you choose will also affect the temperature and moisture levels in your house.  For Birmingham roof repair give us a call.

Shingles are roofing materials, which are laid in levels, from the bottom edge of the roof to the highest point. These pieces are arranged in courses, and are adjusted to overlap with the previous level. Mostly, shingles are flat and rectangular, and are made from wood, plastic, metal, asphalt, fiber cement, clay, and tile. They are excellent insulators against extreme temperatures, and can give any house a colorful look.

Different homeowners prefer different shingles for the roofing of their homes. The choice of shingles is very important, as different types provide different levels of light penetration, heat and cold insulation, installation, and maintenance costs. They also can have an impact on the strength of the house. Here are the 5 most common types of shingles you will see on the roofs in your area.

1. Asphalt

These are the most common and inexpensive types of shingles. They are either made of organic compounds, fiberglass, or a mix of both. A layer of fiberglass always provides more safety. Despite having a shorter lifespan and low insulation degree, these shingles come with several benefits. They are waterproof, inexpensive, moisture and fire resistant, lightweight, and UV ray resistant. They are found on many roofs in our area, as well as in many homes countrywide.

2. Clay

Clay shingles are not as common, and the addition of different colors and designs makes it hard to realize that they are made from clay. They are heavy, so they can only be used on homes that have a strong structure. Aside from their weight, high installation costs, and brittleness, clay shingles possess excellent fire resistance, heat insulation and reflection, longevity, and energy efficiency.

3. Metal

Metal roofing shingles and panels are highly common due to their availability and long lifespan. They are available in zinc, aluminum and copper materials. They are manufactured with a low galvanized metal, thus making them maintenance free. However, they can be noisy when its raining, and are expensive to purchase and install.

The benefits of metal shingles include fire resistance, light weight, durability, solar reflecting capabilities, and they can be recycled. Metal shingles can also be used to harvest rainwater by attaching gutters at the edges of the roof and channeling them to a tank.

4. Slate

Slate shingles are cut from natural stone. They are really appealing and are available in black, green, red and grey. They are not found on many roofs due to their scarcity, poor penetration of light, and heaviness. However, they are waterproof, fire resistant, long lasting, and can withstand the coldest of temperatures.

5. Wood

Cedar Shakes or Wood shingles have been preferred by a good number of homeowners, but they are quite costly when compared with asphalt. They are provided in various materials such as redwood, cedar, and southern pine. They are, however, prone to mold, termites, and easily shrink and crack after it rains. They are neither fire resistant, nor moisture proof. On the brighter side though, they are light, long-lasting, beautiful, wind resistant, and energy efficient.

When roofing a house, you have to consider all the possible and inevitable weather changes that happen there. Additionally, the extreme seasons (Summer and Winter) should compel you to buy the roofing shingles that can withstand extreme heat and freezing cold. The presence of storms and strong winds (especially tornadoes) should also be factored in during the purchase of shingles.


The above list of shingles gives a clear view of the most affordable, durable and most appealing shingles to have on your home. It is upon you, the buyer, to choose the best shingles for your budget, and those that will provide great protection for extreme weather conditions. Some shingles have a lifespan of 50 years, with very little maintenance, while others will call for constant renovations, treatments, and replacements.