Roofing Types: Asphalt, Metal, and Plastic Polymer

Today, there are many types and styles of roofing to choose from than ever. Of course, each has its own advantages and shortcomings. And, they all can add a distinctive design element to your home as well. The question is, which one is right for you? We realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. So, here are the overviews of some types of roofing. Namely, asphalt, metal, and plastic polymer.


Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing for homes. It comprises over 80% of residential roofing market.

  • Materials -Made of either an organic paper fiber mat, which is better for wind resistance and cold weather, or fiberglass, which is more moisture and fire resistant, combined with asphalt.
  • Appearance -Available in traditional 3-tab shingles or thicker, laminated architectural shingles
  • Durability -Not very durable.
  • Weight –
  • Resistance -Good fire resistance and fair wind resistance.
  • Price -Inexpensive to moderate.


Although metal is more expensive than asphalt, metal roofing can last longer and is more wind resistant.

  • Materials

May be composed of steel, copper, aluminum or zinc alloy. Steel roofs come with either a painted finish or zinc coating. Copper roofs are installed unfinished as it acquires a protective green patina with age.

  • Appearance

Available in sheets or in shingles which resemble other materials.Can be installed with the fasteners, hidden or exposed.

  • Durability -Fair to very durable, depending on the material.
  • Resistance -Good resistance to fire and wind.
  • Price -For steel, moderate.For copper, expensive.

Plastic Polymer

Plastic polymer synthetic shingles are durable. They resemble either wood shakes or slate.

  • Materials -Molded from a high-tech, plastic polymer material
  • Appearance -Made to resemble wood shakes or slate.
  • Durability -Claimed to be not only long lasting but also low maintenance.
  • Weight -Light to moderate.
  • Resistance -Good resistance to fire and wind.