Roof Repair in Northern Virginia – Choosing The Right Roofing Material

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Picture of a brown house with a well maintained roof

Your roof is more than an aesthetic feature of your home. It also protects against the elements and insulates against temperature extremes. Choosing the right materials when repairing or replacing them can make a big difference in how well your roof performs.

Factors to Consider in Roof Repair

  • Lifespan: How long will the roofing materials last?
  • Durability: Will the materials hold up to natural disasters and weather extremes?
  • Weight: Are the materials too heavy for the home’s frame?
  • Slope: Does the roof have sufficient slope?
  • Appearance: Will the roofing materials complement the overall appearance and style of the home?
  • Environmental considerations: Are the materials eco-friendly and recyclable?
  • Building codes: Do the materials and roofing style meet all applicable building codes?
  • Cost: Does it fit within the homeowner’s budget?
  • Climate: Are the materials designed for use within that specific climate?

Roofing Material Options

You have several roofing material options today, including asphalt, slate, wood, clay, and wood. Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of each one can help you make your choice for roof repair in Northern Virginia.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is a common and affordable choice. Lightweight compared to many other materials, there is no need for additional framing or reinforcement, and its design blends easily with most architectural styles. Asphalt shingles are also available in a wide range of colors, styles, and patterns and can be mixed and matched to achieve the desired appearance. Their versatility makes them one of the most popular roofing materials, with about four out of five homes currently have this shingle type.

Although they are affordable and easy to install and popular for roof replacement in Northern Virginia, they do have a few cons, too. Asphalt shingles can be prone to wind damage and cracking, and they need to be installed in warmer conditions. They also might not be as durable as some other roofing options.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are made using natural, kiln-fired clay, making them fire-resistant. They can have either a traditional Spanish or Italian look or they can be made to resemble wood shakes or slate. Because they are made from natural materials, they are eco-friendly. However, the process to make them is energy-intensive. They are heavy, which means roofs may need to be reinforced to properly support them, and they can be fairly pricey.

Clay tiles are extremely durable and low-maintenance, but they can have a few drawbacks. They are brittle and can break under certain conditions. They are not necessarily wind-resistant, and they are expensive to install and maintain.


One of the oldest roofing materials, slate is durable and resistant to both wind and fire. Made from natural slate, it has a dark, irregular appearance. It is naturally eco-friendly and can last many years. Slate should only be used on roofs with steep slopes.

While slate has many pros, it can be extremely expensive, and it must be installed by specially trained workers. Its extreme weight also means that the roof must be reinforced to properly support it.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes are a classic choice. Made from rot-resistant wood, shingles and shakes are often treated to improve their fire resistance. They may be made from cedar, redwood, or other rot-resistant woods and will weather to a silvery gray. Because they are made from natural materials, they are eco-friendly. They are moderate weight and can be used on moderate or steep roofs. They are highly wind resistant.

Although wood shingles and shakes are versatile and attractive, they are not necessarily durable. They also may not have good fire resistance unless they have been properly treated and will require periodic maintenance to improve their lifespan.

If you are trying to weigh the pros and cons of various types of roof materials, a roofing pro can evaluate your current home and help you choose from several options. Weighing the pros and cons as well as including labor, materials, and exploring other options can help you choose the right roof for your home. Warranties may also be available, and we can help you ensure that the warranty will protect you from flaws that could leave you vulnerable. Contact us today to learn more about roof replacement in Northern Virginia or to schedule a consultation with our team.

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