Picking roofing materials is an essential decision for homeowners. The right roofing material can lower your energy bills, increase your home’s resale value, and make your home more comfortable and secure.

Homeowners might be overwhelmed by their options for roofing systems. So today, the team at Nova Exteriors is here to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of different roofing materials. We will cover common roofing materials and provide tips on choosing the right materials. 

Contact us today for expert roof installation in Alexandria!


Common Roofing Materials

Modern Types of Roof Materials

Below is a list of some of the most common roofing materials for homes in Alexandria, VA.


Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most common roofing material because it is affordable and easy to install. Additionally, asphalt has decent insulation properties and is also fire-resistant.

However, asphalt shingles are not that durable and only last about ten years on average. The upside is they are easy to clean and replace if you have problems.


Metal Panels

Metal roofing panels are incredibly durable and have an impressively long lifespan. A metal roof can easily last over 50 years with regular care and maintenance. In addition, metal panels prevent ice dams and use recycled materials like aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc. 

The main downside of metal roofing panels is their weight. You may need to install extra roof support to hold the heavy weight. Metal is also one of the more expensive roofing materials options for roof installation in Alexandria.



Slate is another popular roofing material due to its extreme durability and rustic, natural appearance. Slate is the single most durable type of roofing material and can easily last upwards of 70 years or longer. Like metal, you will probably need new roofing beams to support the weight of slate slabs. It is also one of the more expensive types of roofing materials.



Materials like concrete or terracotta tiles are highly UV-resistant and durable. Like other types of metal and stone, you will probably need to reinforce support struts to hold the extra weight. Tiles also come in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, so you can find something that meshes with your home’s unique aesthetic.


Why Roofing Materials Matter

 Affordable, Energy-efficient, and Durable Roofing Materials

Your roof is one of your home’s most important structural elements, and the materials you choose make a significant difference. Below are some reasons why your choice of roofing material matters for roof installation in Alexandria.



When choosing materials, you want to find options that give you the most bang for your buck. For example, asphalt shingles are the cheapest options, but they are not very durable and will require more repairs and maintenance than other roofing materials.

While asphalt might save you the most money upfront, other materials can reduce your costs in the long run after you factor in repair, maintenance, and replacement expenses. Metal and slate, for example, have high upfront costs but are incredibly durable and will last for an entire generation.



Roofing materials also matter for maintenance and cleaning. Some materials require more maintenance than others or may require special cleaning substances or techniques. For instance, maintaining metal roofing panels can be difficult due to dents and scratches.

Conversely, you can easily power wash slate and tile roofing materials. When choosing roofing materials, consider how much maintenance and cleaning you are willing to do. Ideally, you should have a professional inspect and clean your roof at least once a year to keep it in good condition.


Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another crucial consideration. Roofing materials have an R-value, which expresses their insulation properties. A higher R-value means the material is a better insulator, so picking materials with a high R-value can lower your monthly utility bills.

For example, typical 3-tab asphalt shingles have an R-value of about 0.44, while wood shingles have an R-value of about 0.94. Conversely, slate and metal both have low R-values at 0.05 and 0.02, respectively.



Last but not least is durability. The more durable the material, the better it can handle heavy rain, wind, debris impact, and other inclement weather issues. Slate and metal are the two most durable roofing materials options, although metal can be susceptible to rusting and corrosion.


Tips for Choosing the Right Roofing Materials

Working with a reliable and professional roofing company

Ultimately, the right type of roofing material depends on your needs and budget. Below are some tips to keep in mind when considering roofing installations.

  • Roofing materials should match your home’s design and style. Asphalt, for instance, meshes well with pretty much any house style, while slate works better with more rustic, natural looks.
  • Roof orientation also matters. If you have a steep slope roof, you might have trouble installing heavier roofing systems like metal or slate. Alternatively, flat roofs are easier to replace and update.
  • You can find most roofing materials in a wide range of colors and finishes. Metal roofing, in particular, has several color and style options.
  • Make sure to take into account foliage levels around your house. If you have several trees that could potentially fall on your roof, you might want to pick more durable materials like tile.
  • Talk to your roofing company about warranty options. Contractors typically offer two types of warranties: service and material. A service warranty covers any problems in installation or repairs, while a material warranty covers any defects in roofing materials.


Roofing Services in Alexandria

Nova Exteriors has served the Northern Virginia area for over 25 years and has helped countless homeowners update and repair their roofs. Whether you need repairs or full-blow installation, our top-rated team of contractors has the know-how and experience to help with any roof problem. When you hire us for roofing services, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of experienced and reliable professionals.

If you are looking for roof installation in Alexandria, VA, contact Nova Exteriors online or call (703) 322-1500 to schedule an appointment! Our experts can help you determine the best roofing material for your home and budget.

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