Types of Roof Finishes

Last updated on June 7, 2023

Discover the various types of roof finishes as we guide you through a comprehensive exploration of materials and styles, ensuring your home’s top layer is both stylish and functional.

roof sealant

Are you in the process of building a new home or planning to replace your old roof? If so, you may be overwhelmed by the variety of roofing materials available in the market. One crucial aspect to consider is the roof finish.

The finish not only enhances your home’s aesthetic appeal but also protects it from harsh weather conditions. In this article, we will explore different types of roof finishes and their benefits, helping you make an informed decision for your roofing needs.

So let’s dive right into it!

Solar Tiles

types of roof finishes

These tiles are designed to harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that can power your home. Solar tiles come in various shapes, sizes, and colors to match any architectural style or design preference.

One of the significant benefits of solar tiles is their ability to reduce your monthly utility bills significantly. They also increase the value of your property while reducing carbon emissions that harm our environment.

While they may be more expensive than traditional roofing materials upfront, over time, they pay for themselves through savings on electricity costs. Some states offer tax incentives or rebates for homeowners who install solar panels on their roofs.

Asphalt Shingles

They are affordable, easy to install, and come in various colors and styles. Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt granules that protect against UV rays and harsh weather conditions.

These types of roof finishes have an average lifespan of 20-30 years but can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. They require little upkeep besides occasional cleaning to remove debris or moss growth.

One downside is that they may not be as eco-friendly as other materials since they are petroleum-based products. However, some manufacturers offer recycled asphalt shingles made from post-consumer waste such as old tires or plastic bottles.

Metal Roofing

It can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, hailstorms, and high winds. Metal roofs are also fire-resistant and energy-efficient since they reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them like asphalt shingles.

There are different types of metal roofing materials available in the market such as aluminum, copper, steel or zinc. Each material has its unique properties that make it suitable for specific applications.

Aluminum is lightweight yet durable making it ideal for coastal areas where saltwater corrosion can be an issue. Copper has a distinctive look that adds character to any home but comes with a higher price tag than other metals.

Steel is affordable and versatile while zinc offers excellent resistance against corrosion.

Metal roofs come in various styles including standing seam panels which have raised seams running vertically along the roof surface giving them an elegant appearance; corrugated panels which have wavy ridges providing strength; metal tiles resembling traditional clay or slate tiles but with added durability; and shingle-style panels designed to mimic wood shakes without their maintenance requirements.

Slate Shingles

Made from natural stone, slate shingles can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. They come in various colors and sizes, making them versatile enough to fit any home’s style.

One of the benefits of using slate shingles is their resistance to fire and water damage. Slate is non-combustible, which means it won’t catch fire or spread flames if there’s a nearby blaze.

Its dense composition makes it impervious to water penetration.

However, installing a slate roof requires professional expertise due to its weighty nature; therefore hiring experienced contractors is essential for this type of roofing material installation.

Clay Tiles

These tiles have been used for centuries in various parts of the world and are known to last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. Clay tiles come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, making them versatile enough to fit any architectural style.

One significant advantage of clay tile roofs is their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or hailstorms. They also provide natural insulation by keeping your home cool during hot summers and warm during cold winters.

However, it’s essential to note that installing clay tile roofs can be more expensive than other roofing materials due to their weight. The installation process requires additional support structures since they weigh more than asphalt shingles or metal sheets.

Concrete Tiles

They are made from cement, sand, and water mixture that is molded into various shapes and sizes. Concrete tiles come in different colors, textures, and finishes to suit your home’s style.

They can mimic the look of other roofing materials like clay or slate but at a lower cost.

One significant advantage of concrete tiles is their durability; they can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rainstorms or strong winds without cracking or breaking easily. They have excellent fire resistance properties making them ideal for areas prone to wildfires.

Another benefit of concrete tile roofs is their energy efficiency; they help regulate indoor temperatures by keeping homes cooler during hot summer months while retaining heat during winter seasons.

Green Roofing (Living Roof)

It involves planting vegetation on the rooftop to create a natural layer of insulation and improve air quality. Green roofs can be extensive or intensive, depending on the depth of soil required for plant growth.

Extensive green roofs are lightweight and require minimal maintenance since they have shallow soil depths ranging from 2-6 inches. They are ideal for low-slope rooftops with limited access since they do not need frequent watering or pruning.

Intensive green roofs have deeper soils ranging from 6-24 inches and support more diverse plant life such as trees, shrubs, flowers or even vegetable gardens. These types of living roofs require regular maintenance like irrigation systems to ensure proper hydration levels for plants’ survival.

Green roofing offers numerous benefits such as reducing energy costs by providing natural insulation during hot summers and cold winters while improving air quality by filtering pollutants out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis.

Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is made of asphalt and comes in large rolls that can cover a significant area quickly. It’s commonly used on low-slope roofs, such as sheds or garages.

One of the benefits of rolled roofing is its affordability compared to other types of roof finishes. It’s relatively easy to install with minimal tools required, making it a popular DIY option.

However, there are some downsides to consider before choosing this type of finish. Rolled roofing has a shorter lifespan than other materials like metal or slate shingles and may require more frequent replacement over time.

Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofs are made of synthetic rubber or plastic materials that provide excellent protection against water damage and UV rays. They come in two types: thermoplastic olefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).

TPO membranes are known for their energy efficiency, while EPDM membranes have been around longer and offer superior durability.

One of the main advantages of membrane roofing is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike other types of roofs that require regular cleaning or coating to maintain their integrity, membrane roofs only need occasional inspections to ensure they remain in good condition.

Another benefit is its flexibility when it comes to installation options. Membrane roofing can be installed using different methods such as fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted systems depending on your preference.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

It consists of multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics, such as fiberglass or polyester, which are built up to create a durable and waterproof membrane. BUR is commonly used on flat roofs but can also be applied to sloped roofs.

One significant advantage of BUR is its longevity; it can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. It provides excellent insulation properties that help regulate the temperature inside your home while reducing energy costs.

However, installing BUR requires specialized skills and equipment due to its complex layering process. Therefore, it’s essential to hire an experienced contractor who understands the installation process thoroughly.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) offers durability and energy efficiency at an affordable cost compared with other roofing materials like metal or slate shingles.

Wood Shingles/Shakes

Made from cedar, redwood, or pine trees, wood shingles and shakes offer natural insulation that can help reduce energy costs. They also have an attractive appearance that adds value to your home.

Shakes are thicker than shingles and have a rougher texture due to the way they’re made. Shakes are split by hand using a mallet and chisel while shingles are sawn on both sides for smoothness.

One of the main benefits of wood roofing is its durability; it can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. However, it requires regular upkeep such as cleaning debris off the roof surface regularly since moisture retention leads them susceptible rotting over time.

Synthetic Composite Shingles

These shingles are made from a mixture of plastic and rubber, which makes them resistant to harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms or heavy rain. They also come in various colors and styles that mimic natural materials like wood or slate.

One significant advantage of synthetic composite shingles is their longevity; they can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. They are lightweight compared to other roofing materials like concrete tiles or metal sheets, making them easier to install.

Another benefit is their energy efficiency; some brands offer reflective coatings that reduce heat absorption during hot summer months while keeping your home warm in winter by retaining heat inside.

Synthetic composite shingles provide an excellent balance between affordability and durability without sacrificing style options.

Rubber Roofing

It’s made from recycled materials and has excellent durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. Rubber roofs are easy to install and require minimal maintenance compared to other types of roof finishes.

One significant advantage of rubber roofing is its energy efficiency. The material reflects sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by your home during hot summer months.

This feature can help lower your energy bills by reducing the need for air conditioning.

Another benefit of rubber roofing is its flexibility; it can expand or contract with temperature changes without cracking or splitting like some other materials might do over time.

Corrugated Roofing

Corrugated metal sheets are made of lightweight yet sturdy materials such as aluminum, steel or zinc. They have a distinctive wavy pattern that provides excellent water shedding capabilities and can withstand harsh weather conditions like heavy rain, snowfall or hailstorms.

One of the significant advantages of corrugated roofing is its low maintenance requirements. It doesn’t require frequent repairs or replacements compared to other types of roofs since it’s resistant to corrosion and rust.

Another benefit is its versatility in design options; you can choose from various colors and finishes that complement your home’s style while providing long-lasting protection against external elements.

Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are typically made of materials like rubber, PVC, TPO (thermoplastic olefin), and modified bitumen. These materials are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall.

One significant advantage of flat roofing is that it provides additional space on top of your house to create a rooftop garden or patio. However, one downside to this type of roof finish is that it requires regular maintenance to prevent water from pooling on the surface.

To ensure proper drainage and avoid leaks in flat roofs, they must be installed by experienced professionals who understand how to slope them correctly towards gutters and drains. With proper installation and maintenance practices in place, a flat roof can last up to 25 years before needing replacement.

Solar Shingles & Solar Roofing

These innovative roof finishes are designed to harness the power of sunlight and convert it into electricity that can power your home. Solar shingles look like traditional asphalt shingles but have photovoltaic cells embedded in them, while solar panels are installed on top of a conventional roof.

While they may cost more upfront than other types of roofs, they can save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills significantly. Some states offer tax incentives for homeowners who install these systems.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all homes are suitable for solar roofing due to factors such as shading from trees or nearby buildings. It’s essential to consult with a professional roofer experienced with installing these systems before making any decisions about whether this type of finish is right for your home.

Energy-Efficient Shingles

These shingles are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional asphalt shingles, making them ideal for homes in hot climates. Energy-efficient shingles come in various colors and styles, so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics while saving money on your utility bills.

Moreover, some manufacturers offer ENERGY STAR® rated products that meet specific criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By choosing these products over conventional ones, homeowners can save up to 15% of their cooling costs during peak season.

In addition to reducing energy consumption and cost savings benefits of using this type of roofing material include durability against harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms or high winds. They also provide better insulation which helps maintain comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year while minimizing HVAC usage.

Overall if you want a roof finish that is both stylish and eco-friendly with long-term financial benefits then consider installing Energy-Efficient Shingle Roofing!.


What is the best finish for roof?

The best finish for a roof is polyurethane coatings, as they offer excellent impact resistance and durability for foot traffic.

What are the roof finishes?

Roof finishes include roof caps, drip edges, ridges and shingles, and chimney caps, which protect the roof from water seepage and frame rot.

What is the most durable roofing material?

The most durable roofing material is slate and clay tiles, but they are more expensive than materials like metal or wood.

What is the most cost effective roofing material?

The most cost-effective roofing material is asphalt, as it is the cheapest option, lasts 15 to 30 years, and is widely available in various colors.

What are the environmentally-friendly options for roof finishes?

Environmentally-friendly roof finishes include options such as green roofs, recycled metal roofing, cool roofs, and solar shingles.

How do different types of roof finishes impact energy efficiency?

Types of roof finishes impact energy efficiency by influencing heat absorption, reflection, and insulation, depending on the material and color used.

What factors should be considered when choosing a roof finish for a specific climate?

When choosing a roof finish for a specific climate, consider factors such as weather resistance, durability, energy efficiency, and appropriate materials for the climate.