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Guide for Choosing the Right Roofing Materials

Trying to find the best roofing material goes beyond picking something that simply looks good. Several factors go into choosing between the various types of roofing materials. Factors such as different roof types as well as angles all play a role in selecting the best options for your roofing project. So, Roof Right, a roofing contractor in Hampstead, Maryland has developed a handy guide for choosing the right roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

The most popular residential roofing material by far, asphalt shingles are on about 80 percent of US homes. This comes from the affordability and ease of installation, as well as versatility of asphalt.

They offer a wide range of colors and styles, including both the traditional three-tab shingle design and thicker architectural shingles, which comprises several layers laminated together. The variety of styles available makes asphalt shingles suitable for a variety of home styles.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity – 15 to 20 years.
  • Compatible Architectural Styles – Asphalt shingles work in almost any architectural style due to the variety of colors and looks. They look good on everything from Victorian to modern homes.
  • Compatible Roof Types – Asphalt also works on almost any type of roof with a slope, including gable, hip, bonnet and saltbox roofs. They are not suitable for roofs with little to no slope, as they do not create a waterproof barrier. They work best on a roof with a pitch between 4:12 and 21:12. Slopes between 2:12 and 3.9:12 may work with asphalt shingles with special application procedures, but asphalt won’t work for roofs under 2:12.


A slate roof offers long-lasting beauty on your roof with impressive durability and a high resistance to fire. The roofing comes from slate cut into thin sheets for smooth installation. Slate is one of the most expensive options, but the longevity of the roofing means with proper installation and care it should last a lifetime.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity – The durability of slate means it can last 50 to 100 years or more.
  • Compatible Architectural Styles – Slate works well on most architectural styles, particularly Colonial, English or French chateau styles.
  • Compatible Roof Types – Roofs with steep slopes work best for slate installation, as the water runs off the roof at a faster rate.


Metal roofing offers a durable option with exceptional energy savings. It comes with a higher price than asphalt, but the long-term investment pays off due to the long life of the metal roofing. It stays cool with high solar reflectance and weighs less than other roofing options while standing up to weather elements.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity – Metal roofs can last 50 years or longer.
  • Compatible Architectural Styles – Metal works on a variety of home styles, including modern, bungalow and traditional style homes. The variety in style increases the opportunities for choosing metal, with options that replicate traditional roofing materials.
  • Compatible Roof Types – Metal roofing works on gable, hip, mansard, gambrel, bonnet and flat roofs.

Synthetic Rubber (EPDM)

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), a synthetic rubber roofing material, holds up well with resistance to tears, punctures, impact, weather and UV rays, making it a durable roofing option. They single-ply membrane works well on roofs with low slopes, where traditional shingles won’t work, with the option for mechanical fastening or fully adhering the material with adhesive.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity – Around 50 years, making it a lasting option.
  • Compatible Architectural Styles – EPDM works with any architectural style with a flat or low slope on the roof.
  • Compatible Roof Types – EPDM roofing material is typically used on a flat or low-slope roof.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is a rolled roofing material ideal for roofs with a low slope. The product goes down in layers with either adhesive or a head-welding method using a torch. Modified bitumen comes in either a smooth finish or a granulated surface similar to traditional shingles. The product comes in a variety of colors.

Things to consider:

  • Longevity – 20 years or more with proper installation.
  • Compatible Architectural Styles – Generally works on any architectural style of home with a flat or low roof. The option of a smooth or textured surface lets you choose a finish that best matches your home’s overall style.
  • Compatible Roof Types – The rolled style of modified bitumen makes it ideal for low slop roofs, such as flat or shed roofs.

About Roof Right

At Roof Right we have realized customer service and trust are poorly lacking in the roofing industry. That is why our roofing company takes pride in our exceptional service which includes showing up when we say we will, providing a thorough 17-point inspection, listening to you so we can make a quick and thorough diagnosis of your roofing problem, and cleaning up after ourselves as we work. In addition to offering residential roofing services and roof repairs in Maryland. Roof Right is proud to offer the following services:

Roofing & Gutter Maintenance – Your roof, just like your car, should get routine inspections. Your roof gets more abuse from the elements than any other part of your home and preventative maintenance is a key element to a longer service life. Protect your home with the Roof Right Shield Program. Every year, our expert roofers will climb up on your roof and into your attic to ensure that your roof is providing you with the maximum protection for your home. Learn more about roofing & gutter maintenance

Skylights & Solatubes – Brighten your home with natural sunlight with skylights & solatubes installed by the team at Roof RightSunlight in your home can transform a dark room into one that is bright and full of natural light. It can also highlight textures, and bring out the vibrant colors of your furniture. And that is a beautiful thing! Skylights allow you to light your home for free during the day using natural sunlight. That means you can spend less on electricity and more on you! Roof Right offers a complete system of skylight products for any kind of roof. Learn more about skylights & solatubes.

Gutters – Installing a new seamless gutter system is one of the most critical aspects of all home repairs. Improving the drainage around the home can have a significant impact on the stability of the foundation and the life of your home. Roof Right installs gutters and gutter guards that will efficiently channel water away from your home. Learn more about gutters

Siding – Looking to add curb appeal along with improving your homes energy efficiency? No paint. No stain. No hassles. Vinyl siding delivers strength, durability, and beauty of real wood with a variety of design options and multiple color options. Based on an average size home, repainting can cost thousands of dollars every few years. Vinyl siding never needs painting, caulking or patching because, unlike wood, it won’t crack, peel, rot or split. Roof Right carries siding from the best manufacturers in the industry, including Mastic, CertainTeedJames Hardie. Learn more about siding

Windows – Reduce your energy bills & increase the curb appeal of your home with energy efficient windows installed by Roof Right!  There are hundreds of vinyl window brands on the market today – but they are not all created equal. Many ordinary vinyl windows are designed only for low cost, not for value. We install top-of-the-line, energy efficient windows for long-lasting great looks. We carry a wide selection of energy efficient products from trusted manufacturers. Learn more about windows

Doors – Roof Right and ProVia® are dedicated to making entry doors the professional way. ProVia entry doors are energy efficient, built to quality standards and gives you many choices to entry-level doors that are sold through box stores. Roof Right installers have attended entry systems and storm door training with ProVia®. We have software that will allow you to build your new entry door on our computer so you can see the many different options and price ranges available. ProVia® builds their doors with care in every detail. They don’t cut corners and pay attention to the smallest details. The replacement doors can be customized to your individual taste and style. They are an industry leader in building residential doors. Learn more about doors

Decks & Patios –  We can help you design a deck for your home that can bring you many years of enjoyment and improve your home’s value. Let us guide you through the design and construction of your dream deck. From designing the deck for your needs and budget, to getting all the necessary permits, we will make the construction process as pleasant as possible. Choose Roof Right to build a custom deck that will increase your living space and become your favorite relaxation and entertaining spot. Learn more about decks & patios