A common question that people ask roofers is what is the best material for their home. There is no best material. Each material has its costs and benefits. Below we list out common roofing materials in Arizona with their pluses and minuses.
Asphalt shingle roofs are the most popular roofing material in Arizona. Most shingles consist of a fiberglass mat between two layers of asphalt.
There are two types of shingles: regular 3 tab shingles and architectural shingles. Regular shingles are 50% cheaper than architectural shingles on average. They have a flat look and not much texture or style. Since they are thinner than architectural shingles they last 5 – 10 years less long.
Benefits: Shingles are really inexpensive. In fact, they are the cheapest roofing option for a pitched roof by far. They have good fire resistance as well and some shignles are highly hail and wind resistant. Some models will include copper or zinc to curb mold growth.
Drawbacks: There are no major drawbacks. They last around 20 years which is great value for money. They add less resale value to your home than other roofing options.
Green Factor: Some shingles are coated with a UV resistant finish to make them hold up to the sun better and retain less heat at night. Energy efficient shingles will save you money with cooling costs during the hot Phoenix summer. Althought they can be recycled, most shingles end up on the landfill.
Cost: $2 to $4 per square foot, installed.
Tile roofs are the second most popular roofing option in Arizona. They can be made of clay or concrete. Concrete tiles are a lot cheaper but they do not last as long and can lose their color over time. Tile roofs are a must for certain styles of homes such as Tuscan.
Benefits: Tile roofs last much longer than most other roofing materials. Tile roofs can last as long as 75 years. The underlayment will need to be replaced every 20 years still although the tiles can be reused. A tile roof will increase the resale value of your home.
Drawbacks: Tile roofs are heavy. You might have to hire a structural engineer to examine your rafters to see if you building can support it. If not you will have to add in additional supports to your ceiling which can cost a few thousand dollars. Tile roofs are 2x more expensive than shingle roofs on average.
Green Factor: Tile roofs are eco-friendly. Not only do they last a long time but they can be recycled to make other things.
Cost: $5.5 – $10 per square foot, installed.
Metal roofs are popular for certain types of homes, especially modern ones.
Benefits: Contrary to popular opinion metal roofs perform really well in Phoenix. This is because they do not absorb much heat and they are coated with a finish to reflect the sun’s energy away from the roof. Metal roofs are among the longest lasting materials and require next to no maintenance. Metal roofs have great fire resistance and some metal roofs are good at resisting hail.
Drawbacks: Metal roofs are expensive. Also, some metal roofs have groves in them that can catch debris.
Cost: $3.5 – $11 per square foot, installed.
Wood Shingles and Shake Roofs
Wood roofs have declined in popularity over time and the quality of materials has decreased.
Benefits: Phoenix is an ideal place for a wood roof since it is so dry. Some shakes have 50 year warranties.
Drawbacks: Wooden roofs are not fire resistant without special coatings so some building codes restrict them. They are also expensive compared to shingles. If your shingles are not treated with pesticide they might be eaten by termites.
Cost: $5 – $12 per square foot, installed.
Green Factor: Wood roofs are environmentally friendly. They can be made into mulch after use.
Foam roofs are the most popular roofing option for flat roofs in Arizona.
Benefits: Foam roofs insulate your roof, leading to a 7 – 15% decrease in cooling costs. Each inch of foam has an R-value of 6.5. Foam roofs can last 25 years with proper maintenance.
Drawbacks: Foam roofs require more maintenance than other flat roof options. They are also more expensive than some options.
Green Factor: Since they reduce your energy costs they can be seen as eco-friendly. Foam is made from petroleum and usually ends up in a landfill after use.
Cost: $2.5 – $6.0 per square foot for the first 1 of foam.
As you can see every material has its pros and cons. Determining which material is best for you largely depends on your budget.
To find out what all of your options allow us to give you a free quote. We service all of Phoenix, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Chandler, Peoria, Cave Creek, and more. We have decades of roofing experience and we are A+ rated with the BBB.