Home with architectural asphalt shingle roof

Let Coastal Roofing Pros Help You Pick the Best Roofing Material For Your New Roof

A roof has long been a powerful symbol of shelter and security; protection from the elements is one of the most basic human needs. Whether it has been damaged in a storm or is just reaching the end of its life, replacing your roof is a big commitment. Seek out an experienced local roofing contractor who can deliver quality workmanship, and choose your roofing materials wisely. With a little research and a great roofing contractor like Coastal Roofing Pros, you’ll have a new roof that looks good (and keeps you safe and dry!) for decades to come. 

When selecting roofing materials for coastal and central Florida, consider these 5 factors: 

  • Weight – Heavy roofing materials such as slate and clay may require special framing. 
  • Aesthetics – Does the material complement your home style? Is it available in the colors you’re looking for? If you’re looking for insulation from the hot Florida sun, you may want to consider more reflective lighter colors. 
  • Codes and Regulations – Check your local fire codes and any neighborhood or historic district design covenants. It pays to make sure your choices don’t run afoul of the regulations before you start installing.
  • Weather – Does this material offer good performance in the humid coastal weather conditions here in sunny Florida? In the Sunshine State, our bright sunlight can age certain roofing materials more quickly. Wind ratings are also important due to the threat of hurricanes. 
  • Cost – Consider expected life span, warranty, and any expected maintenance issues when comparing the cost of various options. 

Now that you know what to think about, let’s go over some of the most popular roofing choices. 

Asphalt Shingles

Economical and highly functional, asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material used in the United States. They come in a wide variety of colors, and most roofing manufacturers offer several different styles to choose from. Asphalt shingle roofs typically last 20-30 years.

Things to consider: Asphalt tiles come in a wide variety of styles and fit many budgets. On the lower end of the budget spectrum, asphalt shingles can look flat; higher end options have a thicker layer of mineral granules that give a more dimensional appearance. Some asphalt shingles do not offer as much insulation as other materials, and the quality varies. Here in hurricane country, wind ratings are important. Coastal Roofing Pros has a tremendous amount of experience in central and southern Florida. Let us help you choose an asphalt shingle that will stand up to our coastal climate and inevitable storms. 

Asphalt Shingles are a popular roofing choice
Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice for homes across America.

Clay Tiles

Tile roofs are classic and elegant choices, especially for Mediterranean and Spanish style homes. These highly textured roofs are extremely durable, non-combustible, and undeniably beautiful. A tile roof will typically last 40-50 years. 

Things to consider: All that beauty and durability comes with a price. Clay tiles can be very expensive, and their heavy weight may require framing modifications and a specially trained installer. 

Tile Roof on Mediterranean Style home
Terracotta tile roofs work well with Mediterranean style homes.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are similar to genuine clay tiles, but they are slightly less expensive and not quite as heavy. Durable and non-combustible, concrete tiles are also energy efficient with good insulating properties. 

Things to consider: Though slightly less than clay, concrete tiles are still expensive and heavy. Be prepared for higher installation costs and potential framing issues.

Metal Roofing

Eco-friendly metal is an excellent roofing choice here in coastal Florida. Metal roofs are resistant to extreme weather conditions, and reflects the sun’s ray well. They are long-lasting, recyclable, and useful for rainwater harvesting. Metal roofs can last 40-75 years. 

Things to consider: Metal roofing is expensive. Although metal roofs are becoming more mainstream, they may not fit your home’s style. And although many people love the sound of rain on a metal roof, others may find it to be a nuisance. Hail can amplify that sound, and can also dent and damage your metal roof. 


Slate is beautiful, classic, and elegant. This fire-resistant and durable roofing material has stood the test of time for centuries. A quality slate roof can last 50-100 years or more.  

Things to consider: Slate is very expensive, heavy, and requires extra framing and special installation considerations. The quality can vary – be especially cautious with imported slate.

Wood Shingles and Shake

Wood shingles and shakes offer a rustic, natural look that many find very appealing. 

Things to consider: Wood roofing products do not meet fire codes in some areas. And they are not usually a good choice for coastal climates such as ours. Florida’s high moisture levels can quickly cause mold, rot, and wood damage. 

Synthetic Roofing Products

In recent years, many manufacturers have created synthetic roofing products from rubber, plastic and polymer roofing. These products are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural materials such as slate and wood, while eliminating some of the pitfalls those natural materials can have. Synthetic slate roofing tiles are lighter in weight and less fragile, while synthetic wood shake will not rot or decay. Warranties and longevity with these new synthetic roofing materials vary by product. 

Things to consider: We have very little good data on life expectancy and long term maintenance issues with these newer products.

Let’s Get Started!

If you’re ready to replace your roof, give us a call! Coastal Roofing Pros is here to help you navigate the choices and get the job done right.

Row of Architectural Shingle Roofs

Get the scoop on the most popular roofing choice in America

Asphalt shingles are economical, durable, attractive, and widely available in a variety of styles. Easily today’s most popular roofing option, they boast a guaranteed life span that makes them a great value for any homeowner. Although there are many manufacturers in the asphalt shingle market, GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning are three of the biggest players. 

Depending on your location and the style of your home, you’re probably already living under an asphalt roof. From cozy historic bungalows to sleek modern havens to grand country estates, asphalt shingles are everywhere. But just because you see them on the daily, you might not know all the facts about this ubiquitous roofing choice. If you’re in the market for a new roof, read on to get all the 411 on asphalt shingles for residential homes. 


Many people don’t realize that asphalt shingles come in fiberglass and organic options. With a higher fire rating, lighter weight, and longer warranty, fiberglass is the most popular option. Fiberglass shingles start with a fiberglass base mat, then layer on a waterproof asphalt coating, and finally add ceramic granules for UV protection. Although they are relatively new (they were developed in the 1980s), fiberglass asphalt shingles have virtually taken over the market in the United States. 

The old style of organic asphalt shingles are created from recycled felt paper that has been saturated in waterproof asphalt, then coated with adhesive asphalt with embedded ceramic granules. This process uses up to 40% more asphalt than fiberglass options, which makes these shingles thicker, heavier, and more expensive. All that extra asphalt makes the shingles rugged and flexible, but it can also cause warping over time.


Whether they are fiberglass- or organic-based, asphalt shingles typically measure 12 by 36 inches. There are two main types: three-tab and architectural. Three-tab shingles have tabs along the bottom and a flat, single-dimensional appearance. They are a popular and budget-friendly option.

Architectural asphalt shingles contain no cutouts, but their lower portions are laminated with an additional asphalt layer. This creates a more three-dimensional look with shadows and depth. Architectural shingles are generally more durable and more waterproof, but they are not recommended for low- or no-slope roofs. 


Architectural shingles in a mix of weathered brown shades mimic a wood shake roof.

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of shades and shapes. From pale grays to dark black, green, or even blue and orange, there’s a color for every style and taste. Some architectural shingles convincingly mimic slate, wood shake, and tile. If you have a Victorian style home, you might consider a scalloped-edge option. Not sure what will look best with your home? Many of the major manufacturers have design tools on their websites that will help you visualize the options—sometimes even on an uploaded photo of your own home. And our Coastal Roofing Pros staff is always here to help! 


Algae can form on roof shingles.
High moisture levels can cause algae to grow more quickly on shingles.

In addition to shape and color, you have a few other options to consider when choosing an architectural shingle. Many brands offer energy-conscious “cool-roof” technology to reduce heat absorption. Here in the Sunshine State, this can be a big deal—a 20% reduction in heat absorption can seriously impact your cooling bills! Another choice that makes sense for homeowners in Florida is algae-resistant shingles. These shingles are made to endure the types of humidity and moisture we see for a large part of the year. 

When it comes time to finalize your choices, our roofing professionals can help you choose right roof for your home. We’ll consider style, budget, and environmental factors to deliver the best roof every time. Give us a call to talk about roofing options today!