The Best Roofing Material for Your Region

What’s the best type of roofing for your region? Where you live helps determine which types of roofing material are right for your home. There’s certainly a lot of overlap, but it will help you make a good long-term decision about roofing material if you understand how each type handles the climate in your area.

Fifty years ago many housing developments were built with a track house style where all the houses looked almost identical. From the two car attached garage to where the front door was located and of course all the shingle roofs were of the same color. Well those days are over. With the new roofing materials available you will see houses with wood shakes right next to a home with corrugated metal roofing.

Roofing Tutor set up this guide to make you more aware of material by region based on climate rather then personal likes and iIn this Roofing Guide, you’ll find that we split roofs into a regional overview, you’ll find several types that are suitable to your neck of the woods.  See individual roofing guides for more details about each material.

Roofing Types and Where they Work Best

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most common and most versatile type of roofing material.  Asphalt shingles are used throughout North America on all types of homes. Shingles hold up very well to most weather conditions including heavy rain, snow, moderate winds and small hail.

Shingles are most susceptible to consistently high heat and sunny weather.  In hot, dry climates their longevity can be reduced by 20-40%. They may curl in the heat or get soft which means that they can be more easily blown off the roof by high winds. In warm climates, choose light-colored shingles that reflect the heat for best results.  However, even in the south, asphalt shingles are among the most affordable and popular roofing solution.

Metal Roofing

This is another roofing material that does exceptionally well in all types of climates.  New metal roof styles are increasing its popularity.  It handles all types of weather and will prove durable for 50-100 years, possibly longer.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

If you’re looking for a natural, traditional roofing material, wood shingles and shakes are difficult to beat.  They offer good versatility as long as they are made from high-quality material like redwood or cedar. The only climate concerns related to these products involve constant sun or very wet, damp climates. When exposed to high heat consistently, they may be more prone to splitting or cracking.  In the Northwest and other rainy areas, poor-quality wood shingles and shakes may be more susceptible to rot, so choose your material wisely.


The first slate roofs in the U.S. were in Colonial New England.  Some of them are still in use!  That’s how durable this roofing material can be.  It holds up very well in any climate. Slate does a good job of keeping out heavy rains and can have a cooling effect on the house in warm regions.  Slate is as versatile and durable as it is attractive.

Clay Tile

Clay tile is best suited to climates in the South and Southwest that do not get heavy snow, ice or hail.  All of those weather conditions can damage clay tile roofing, though it is much more durable today with new formulations and additives which increase its strength.  Clay tiles are ideally suited to keep out heavy rains and prevent the heat from consistent sunshine from penetrating into your home.


As you can see, no matter where you live, you’ve got very good options for roofing material. You’ll find attractive, durable choices in the style and price range you’re looking for.

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