An Essential Guide to Choosing Your Roof; Everything You Need to Know

Roofing is one of the most important elements of a home, yet one of the most overlooked. It enhances the aesthetic appeal of your house and also increases the overall value of your property. Think of it as a worthwhile investment.

Great roofing improves your home’s energy efficiency by topping up the insulation, ultimately resulting in lower utility bills. It also protects your family against the elements and extreme weather conditions, which is why you shouldn’t compromise on the ideal roofing option.

Whether you’re building a new home or are thinking of replacing your roof, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide for you. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best roof!

5 Main Types of Roofing Options to Consider

There are multiple types of roofing options in the market, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Check out our ultimate guide to the main types of roofing materials below, including their pros and cons.

1. Metal Roofing

Most people associate metal roofs with old rusty and corrugated tins. Roofing technology has, however, progressed significantly, and modern metal roofs are not only durable but can also be designed to mimic shingles, wood, and stone.

Here are the 3 main types of metal roofing:

  • Copper roofing

It’s often used in high-end houses, especially upscale country cottages.


  • Aesthetically appealing.
  • Can last for decades when maintained
  • Is one of the most resistant materials to thermal changes.
  • Less noisy during rainstorms.


  • Very expensive
  • Requires a highly skilled roofing contractor. Copper tends to expand & contract with temperature changes, and the contractor will need to account for the shifts.
  • Steel roofing

This is one of the most popular metal roofing options and is often corrugated. It’s also very durable, comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from, and is available in multiple textured styles.


  • Easy to install, thereby reducing your overall installation costs.
  • Wind-resistant, fireproof, and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • Modern varieties are corrosion and rust-resistant.
  • Can last up to 50 years under ideal conditions.


  • Noisy during rainstorms.
  • Requires snow guards to prevent large chunks of snow from damaging the gutters.
  • Aluminum roofing

This type of roofing is available in multiple styles, such as the classic old-fashioned look, shingles, and a tiled look. It also comes in a variety of colors, including some that emulate other types of metals.


  • Corrosion-resistant.
  • Highly durable. Can last up to 50 years in ideal conditions.
  • Recyclable.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Can be customized to suit the style of your home.


  • Makes noise during rainstorms.
  • Expands and contracts with thermal changes.
  • Relatively easy to dent.

Overall, metal roofing is highly preferred due to its versatility, affordability, and low maintenance.

2. Asphalt Shingles

This type of roofing is available in both fiberglass and organic options. Fiberglass shingles contain a waterproof filler, a fiberglass mat, and an asphalt coat. Organic asphalt shingles, on the other hand, contain asphalt, ceramic, and paper.


Asphalt Shingles are easy to install and are affordable. They are flexible, can fit multiple roofing designs, including curved roofs, and are available in a wide variety of styles and colors.

This roofing option is also durable and comes with a long warranty of up to 30 years.


One of the major downsides of asphalt shingles is that they can crack or wrap under extreme temperature shifts. They can also grow algae and mold in humid weather conditions.

3. Asphalt Copper Shingles

This roofing option is fairly recent and is made from copper-treated asphalt shingles. It’s a bit costly compared to regular asphalt shingles, but it’s very durable and can last up to 30 years.

These shingles are mostly available in neutral shades such as browns and grays.


In addition to the benefits of asphalt shingles, the most striking difference is that these shingles are resistant to moss and algae growth. This is attributed to the copper.


Like regular asphalt shingles, this roofing option can warp or crack under extreme temperature changes. Unfortunately, the copper also leaches out after a while and can only offer around 12 months of moss and algae protection.

4. Wood Roofing

Wood roofing is mostly used in Tudor-style homes and Cape Cod cottages. It’s highly preferred because it develops a weathered look after several years and can last for up to 50 years, especially in dry climates. You, however, have to treat it regularly if you live in a fire-prone area.

There are 2 main types of wood roofs; shake and shingles. Shake wood roofs are made from hand split blocks of wood and have a rustic appearance. Shingles are machine-made, so all of them have a uniform shape and size.

Most wood roofs are made from cedar, pine, or redwood.


Wood roofing is aesthetically appealing, highly durable, and is a great insulator. All wooden roofs are also unique since the wood varies based on the tree it’s derived from.


Wood roofing is fairly difficult to install compared to other roofing materials and is expensive. It also requires regular maintenance and is susceptible to insect damage, fires, mold, and rot.

5. Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is often found on old homes and is typically shingles made from stone. It’s available in 3 main shapes (rounded slates, diamond cuts & square slates) and often comes in reddish-brown, green, blue and dark gray colors.


This type of roofing is fire, rust & rot resistant, low maintenance, and isn’t susceptible to insect damage. It’s also highly durable, but its life expectancy is dependent on the quarries the stone is mined from.


Slate roofing can shatter easily and is prone to breakage when subjected to heavyweight. It’s also expensive and heavy, so your home will need extra support to handle the additional weight.

Top Factors That Should Influence Your Roofing Decision

Most homeowners make their roofing decisions based on curb appeal. While design and aesthetics are important, there’s more to choosing the ideal roof. Here are the main factors you should consider;

  1. Local weather: the roofing material you choose should have the right kind of endurance based on the extremity of your local climate. For instance, if you live in a wet area, it would be unwise to get wooden roofing. Discuss the available alternatives with the roofing contractor so that they can help you get the best option for your house.
  2. The slope of your roof: consider the water draining abilities of your roof design before making a choice. Asphalt shingles are highly popular but are mostly suitable for roofs with a steep pitch.
  3. Material weight: Make sure your house can bear the weight of your preferred roofing choice. Some roofing materials such as wood are heavy and could impact your home’s structural integrity.
  4. Maintenance requirements: some roofing materials such as wood require regular maintenance. If you’re often busy, you should go for other alternatives such as metal roofing that need less upkeep.
  5. Energy efficiency: the best types of roofing materials can reflect heat and insulate your home against the cold, ultimately enhancing your comfort.

You should also consider the durability of the roofing material, overall costs (material + installation), and the style of your home.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Roofing in Livonia Michigan

Top Signs You Need a New Roof

You need to be very careful when it comes to roof replacement because the most critical indicators are usually subtle. This means that if you wait until the roof damage is apparent, then it’s too late, and you may have to fix other parts of your home.

This is why experts recommend that you inspect your roof at least once or twice a year. If you already own a home, here are 7 key signs that it’s time to replace your roof;

  • A sagging roofline

Rooflines are supposed to be strong and straight. So if you notice that it’s visibly sagging, curved, or dipping, you should immediately investigate the cause. There are instances where this could be caused by framing problems, but it’s often an indication that your roof deck is saturated. This is especially true when the sagging is accompanied by water damage, leaks, and shingle damage. If you don’t fix the problem quickly, it could cause your roof to partially or completely cave in.

  • Damaged shingles

Shingles are a critical element of your roofing system, so if you notice that they’re damaged, it’s time to get a replacement. The most common signs of damaged shingles include;

  • Damage around the skylights or chimney.
  • Missing or loose shingles
  • Curled shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Discoloration or damage around the vents.
  • Shingle debris in the gutters.

Make sure you schedule an inspection with the best roofing contractors in Canton, Michigan, so that they can determine how extensive the roof damage is.

  • Moss and mold growth

Moss and mold destroy your roof from the inside out. They grow when moisture accumulates between the roof layers or in your attic but has no way of escaping. This then causes mold spores to quickly spread in the spaces between the shingles since they are dark and damp.

Moss and mold growth not only affects the aesthetic appeal of our roof but could also cause extensive damage if not fixed.

  • Visible leaks

There are several reasons why your roof could be leaking;

  • Weak roofing materials allowing water to pass through the shingles.
  • Storm damage.
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Age.

If you wait until your roof is leaking, then you’ve waited for too long. Leaks become apparent during rainy weather, and while small ones can easily be repaired, you’ll have to contact a Canton Michigan roofing contractor for large and persistent leaks.

  • Water damage inside your home

In some cases, roof leaks manifest in the form of water damage inside your home. This is often characterized by stained walls and water spots in the ceilings, walls, or attic. Interior water damage can be caused by other factors such as a faulty faucet or burst pipes, but if the damage is on the ceiling, attic, or at the top part of your walls, the most likely culprit is a leaky roof.

  • Clogged gutters

Gutters are essential in preventing moisture damage by draining water from the roof. This is why you should keep them free from obstructions by cleaning them at least twice a year.

  • Aged roof

On average, a roof should last for about 15 years, but this lifespan is shorter in warm and humid climates. Therefore, when you start nearing the 15-year mark, you should consider a roof replacement.

Factors You Should Consider When Choosing a Roofing Contractor

The roofing installation process is highly methodical and should be treated delicately. It determines how long your roofing lasts and its effectiveness against the elements & temperature shifts. This is why you should exercise caution when choosing the best roofing contractor, Canton, Michigan.

Here are the top factors you should consider before making your hiring decision.

  1. Insurance: go for a roofing contractor with proper insurance as this protects you from liability in case they sustain injuries or property gets damaged. The insurance should preferably cover general liability and worker’s compensation.
  2. Warranty: the best contactors are confident in their abilities and have no problem offering a warranty for a reasonable amount of time. This ensures that if any errors were made during the installation process, they can come back and repair the damages.
  3. Location: always go for regional contractors. They are familiar with both local and national building codes and will ensure that you’re in compliance. Their close proximity to your home also guarantees a quick response time in case of any roofing issues.
  4. Written agreements: verbal agreements and estimates are not enough. Professional roofing contractors should provide you with written documents after the initial consultation for you to go through. You should also be wary of contractors that pressure you into signing a contract.
  5. Contractor License: this is the true mark of quality and acts as a guarantee of their legitimacy. Ask for the contractor’s license number and then verify its authenticity independently.

Get the Best Roofing Contractors in Canton, Michigan! 

There’s more to quality roofing than the curb appeal it adds to your home. It also protects you against the elements, increases the resale value of your house, and reduces your utility bills.

Choose the best roofing materials based on your home’s roof style, local weather, maintenance requirements, material weight, and energy efficiency. Don’t forget to choose the best roofing contractor Canton for quality services.

Looking for a reliable roofing company in Michigan? We’d love to help! Contact Twelve Oaks Roofing today for the best full-service roofing services.