When it comes to your roof, it is better not to skimp on quality materials. After all, the roof is one of the most important parts of a house. A properly installed roof can save you thousands of dollars in utility and repair bills, so if your roof is old or damaged, now is the time to get it fixed or replaced. An upgraded roof will last for decades, protect your home and reduce the maintenance cost of your entire household, and investing in quality materials will make a big difference as well. The following is a list of common roofing materials and their basic characteristics.


Asphalt is derived from oil and is commonly seen on roofs as it is fairly cheap, resistant to wind and hail damage, easy to install and easy to repair. The lifespan of asphalt roofs can be anywhere from 17 to 30 years. In climates that see wide temperature swings, the asphalt is more prone to cracking and curling. Asphalt roofing can come in tiles or as a roll for easier installation. Some asphalt roofing is made moss-proof by infusing it with copper or zinc; however, these metals can leach into rainwater and be carried off into lawns, creeks, rivers and municipal water systems and pose a hazard to humans and animals.


Wood roof tiling is widely available, attractive and, when damaged, fairly easy to replace. If properly installed and maintained, wood roofing can last up to 30 years. Wood tiles or shingles made of cedar or similar trees are also rot-resistant, however wood roofing can be one of the more expensive options. If you are concerned about the ecological footprint of wood tiles, be sure to buy tiles made from storm-damaged trees, leftover trees from previous years’ harvests, or responsibly managed forests.


Terracotta or clay tiles are also an attractive and durable roofing option, as they are weather-proof and won’t discolour over time. Many heritage buildings still have their original clay roofs, which is testimony to the longevity of terracotta. However, the downside of clay is its weight, price and fragility, as clay tiles can range from $300 to $1,200 per square foot, weigh 600 to 900 lbs per square foot, and be easily broken on impact.


Metal roofing is generally made with aluminium or steel and can have a lifespan ranging from 50 to 100 years. Rural and regional Australia embraced "corrugated iron" sheeting when to steel industry first kicked off over a century ago. It is lightweight, durable and weather resistant, as well as mould and rot resistant, and is priced in the medium range. An additional advantage of a metal roof is its heat conductivity, which means it readily releases heat back into the atmosphere. For those in hot climates, this is a boon, as it greatly reduces the cost of cooling your home.


Roofing slate is made out of a fine-grained rock that requires minimal processing to be made into roof tiles. In terms of longevity, durability, and weather-proofness, slate is king, as slate roofs can last anywhere between 100 to 200 years! Sydney and Melbourne have a long association with slate from north Wales that first came to Australia as ballast in trading vessels in the 1850's. Welsh slate is still used on roofs today as are slates from Canada, US, China & Spain. The very best slate is dense with low water absorption rates and very high flexural strength - the base ingredients for durability.