One of the most popular questions we receive from clients up and down the coast of Delaware goes something like, “What kind of roofing material is the best option for my home?” The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems, and is based on more than just your geography. Your personal preferences, your budget, and the natural world outside your home all factor into which roofing material will be the best fit for you. Let’s review some popular roofing materials and how each one would fare for a typical home along the Eastern Seaboard.

Roofing Option 1: Asphalt Shingles

 We’re starting with an overview of the most popular type of roofing material in Delaware and beyond, asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are an excellent option for your New Castle home. They are lightweight and affordable, and the wide variety of colors and styles makes finding something you’ll love easy.

From a weather resistance standpoint, basic 3-tab asphalt shingles offer good wind protection, but you can easily upgrade to architectural or special high-wind asphalt shingles if your needs are greater. Asphalt resists moisture, so heavy rains will pose no threat. If this year is anything like the last few in Delaware, the record-breaking snowfall totals will not cease; asphalt shingles provide effective insulation to protect your home from the winter cold and snow that are surely on the way.

Roofing Option 2: Wood Shakes or Shingles

 Wood shakes or shingles (the former are hand-cut; the latter, machine-cut) are a very popular roofing option, and for good reason. They bring a distinctive look to a home–one that is often mimicked by asphalt shingles. But many customers feel strongly that even the closest look-alike is not the same as real wood shakes.

The major selling point for this option, which is more expensive, is that wood shakes and shingles pack even more insulating power than asphalt shingles. They also resist wind just as well as asphalt, making them a fine choice for the weather patterns we experience on the Eastern Seaboard. Further, they have a longer lifespan than asphalt shingles–up to 10 years longer. This factor is one you should carefully consider when weighing price differences.

A downside to this material is that, if untreated to resist moisture, it will require a great deal of maintenance to make sure mold and mildew do not deteriorate its condition. For folks living along the coast of Delaware, this is a major consideration as moisture is a constant throughout the seasons. It is also a concern for homes which are situated among a lot of trees, as falling leaves can introduce additional moisture and maintenance. Treated wood is available, but it is more expensive.

Roofing Option 3: Slate Tile

Slate is a beautiful and extremely durable roofing material, and boasts the longest lifespan of all options–even up to a century. For this reason, it is also the priciest roofing material.

Harsh winter conditions do not pose any threat to slate roofing, nor do extremely hot temperatures. Slate resists moisture, too. This option works just as well for homes situated among dense trees as it does for homes that are closely spaced or out in the wide open. But proper installation is a major factor in ensuring a slate roof will perform as it should; its weight requires special framing conditions to make sure your roof is adequately supported. This additional support will, of course, increase the cost of installation.

Which option will you pursue for your Delaware home? If you need some support, we’re here to help you through the process.