Your Guide to Selecting Roofing Materials

When it comes to putting a new roof on your home, one of the most comon questions is “What kind of material is best?”

Before considering your options, you should have a good idea of what to look for in your roofing materials, particularly in terms of durability, sustainability and cost.


Not all roofing materials are created equally, which means that they won’t all have the same lifespan. In Vancouver, your roof will face exposure to harsh weather that has the potential to cause serious damage.

Look at impact resistance ratings when considering your roofing materials. Class 4 is currently the highest resistance rating and many roofing materials are available in this class.


Some roofing materials are made from recycled materials, while others like cedar are purely organic and have minimal impact on the environment. There are also synthetic shingles that have a longer lifespan. Additionally, some materials like slate tile shingles work well for energy efficiency which helps to lower your heating and cooling costs.

Some of these materials are more expensive up front and may not be appropriate for your location. The good news is that they will save you money in the long run in various ways and you may also be eligible for a tax credit to help offset the costs.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material and they can last anywhere from 12 to 20 years depending on the quality of shingle and the weather where you lifve.

Storms that bring hail, debris and high winds put your roof at risk for damage, so impact-resistant shingles are a good investment if you live in an area that sees a lot of hair. These are designed to minimize roof damage during severe weather events that can reduce the lifespan of your roof. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for installing impact-resistant shingles on your home.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles, also known as wood shakes, are a popular roofing option due to their aesthetic appeal. This material is generally a beautiful cedar wood and is ideal for homes looking for that rustic look. These roofs are highly resistant to insects and bugs, but they do require annual maintenance to keep them in top shape. Regular roof inspections should be part of your roof maintenance if you have wooden shingles.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing has quickly become a very popular roofing material in the last decade. Metal roofs are the most expensive option, but they are extremely durable and can last 30 to 50 years with proper care and maintenance.

When metal roofs were first introduced, many homeowners were unhappy with them due to the excess amount of noise they produce. Modern installation techniques incorporate sound absorbing materials into the installation which significantly reduces outside noise.

Metal roofs are excellent insulators which can help reduce your energy bills. These roofs are also recyclable which can reduce your cost when it does come time for a replacement since they can be recycled rather than disposed of at the dump which reduces disposal costs.


Slate roofing is one of the most durable roofing materials available and can last up to 100 years. Slate also is fireproof and has a high impact resistance.

Slate roofing tiles are made of natural materials which makes them highly sustainable and feature a dark stone look for your roof which helps it stand out from the rest of your neighbourhood.

The major drawback to slate roofing is that its a relatively expensive material, and not every roofing system is able to use them. Because of their construction, slate roofing tiles tend to be the heaviest roofing material on the market, so its important to ensure your roof structure can support the weight of slate roof tiles before making a decision.

No matter what type of roofing material you’re considering, In Awe Roofing can help. We have years of experience installing all types of roofs including each of the materials listed above. We can provide professional recommendations for your home’s roof to ensure you get the best material for your home.