Replacing your roof is a costly investment so you want to make sure you choose the best material for your home or business. With many choices on the market, it’s a good idea to do some research before you hire your roofer.

Asphalt Shingles

With asphalt shingles being the most popular roof option, it can seem like the best choice for your commercial roofing St Louis. Typically constructed using fiberglass, asphalt and fiber it’s the least durable option, with a lifespan of roughly 20 years. They are the least expensive option and stand up well to fire and wind damage. They are available as single-thickness shingles or a thicker laminated architectural type. In humid climates, shingles are available with algae resistance to prevent staining. The roof slope they can be used on goes from a fairly low roof to steep roofing.


Tile roofing material is usually made from concrete or clay. White tiles are breakable, but can last 50 to 100 years and are highly fire-resistant. They can be extremely heavy, which means you need reinforced roof framing to support them. Tiles can be used on moderate to steeper-sloped roofs and can give your home an Italian or Spanish-style look. This material can be fairly expensive to install.


Metal roofing can be made from steel, aluminum, zinc alloy or copper. Copper roofs are unfinished after installation allowing them to gain a green patina with age. Available in sheets or shingles, metal roofs can be installed with the fasteners hidden or exposed depending on your aesthetic style. Metal roofs last from 50-100 years and can fit on moderate to steeply-sloped roofs. The cost can be moderate if you choose steel or expensive if you choose copper. All types are durable and can withstand wind and fire damage.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles or shakes are made out of southern pine, redwood or cedar, which are all rot-resistant. Wood allows for a natural look and it weathers well to a gray color as it ages. It can be used on moderate to steeply-sloped roofs. They have great wind resistance, but poor fire resistance. Fire retardants can be applied during installation. The lifespan is only 30-40 years with routine maintenance required to maintain appearance. The cost is moderate.

These four options are the most common roofing materials. Your choice will depend on your budget, your style and how long you’d like the lifespan of your roof to be.