Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a crucial decision that can have long-lasting effects on your home’s energy efficiency, durability, and overall aesthetic. But with so many options available on the market, finding the perfect fit can seem overwhelming.

In this blog post, our professional roofers from Conlon Exteriors Inc will go over the different types of roofing materials, their pros and cons, and how to determine which one is best for your property.

Let's explore the different types of roofing materials available:

EPDM/Membrane Roofing

EPDM, which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is a type of membrane roofing that is particularly popular for commercial buildings with flat or low-slope roofs. This rubber-based roofing material is available in large, wide sheets, which makes it possible to cover large areas with fewer seams, reducing the potential for leaks.

The Pros of EPDM/Membrane Roofing

  • EPDM roofing is known for its durability and can last close to 30 years with proper maintenance.
  • It’s typically easier and faster to install than other types of roofing material, leading to lower installation costs.
  • EPDM is highly resistant to UV radiation and various types of weather conditions.

The Cons of EPDM/Membrane Roofing

  • EPDM roofs are black and can absorb a lot of heat, which may lead to higher cooling costs during the summer months.
  • While resistant to many types of damage, EPDM can be punctured by sharp objects or heavy foot traffic.
  • Repairs for EPDM roofing can be more difficult and costly than other types of roofing material due to the need for special materials and knowledge.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a great choice for both residential and commercial buildings, especially those with low-slope or flat roofs. This type of roofing material is made of asphalt and reinforced with either polyester or fiberglass for increased durability and strength. It’s installed in layers, creating a sealed and waterproof surface that protects the structure beneath.

The Pros of Modified Bitumen Roofing

  • It's notably durable and resistant to both high and low temperatures.
  • The material is waterproof, providing excellent protection against leaks.
  • Modified bitumen roofs are easy to repair and maintain due to their layered structure.

The Cons of Modified Bitumen Roofing

  • Installation can be somewhat complex and should be handled by a professional.
  • The material is prone to scuffing and scratching, which can affect its appearance over time.
  • Though durable, it doesn't have as long a lifespan as other roofing materials.

PVC Roofing

PVC roofing, or Polyvinyl Chloride roofing, is a single-ply roofing solution used widely on properties with flat or low-sloped roofs. The material is known for its strength and durability, created by adding plasticizers for flexibility and additional layers for stability. Its installation typically involves heat welding the seams between the sheets of PVC roofing, forming a watertight bond to ensure robust protection.

The Pros of PVC Roofing

  • PVC roofing membranes are incredibly durable and can last up to 20 years, if not more, with proper maintenance.
  • PVC roofing is fire-resistant and highly reflective, making it an excellent choice for energy efficiency.
  • PVC roofs are easy to maintain and repair, reducing long-term maintenance costs.

The Cons of PVC Roofing

  • PVC roofing can be costly to install, especially when compared to other single-ply roofing options.
  • While very durable, PVC roofing can be punctured by sharp objects, necessitating regular inspections and maintenance.
  • Over time, the material can shrink, leading to potential leak points if not addressed.

TPO Roofing

TPO, or Thermoplastic Olefin, is another popular type of single-ply roofing. The material is a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. It is designed to be installed in large rolls, which are then heat-welded at the seams to create a continuous, waterproof covering over the roof.

The Pros of TPO Roofing

  • TPO roofing is highly energy efficient due to its reflective properties.
  • The material is lightweight and easy to install, making it ideal for those looking to save on labor costs.
  • TPO is environmentally friendly, usually containing recyclable materials, and doesn't contribute to urban heat islands.

The Cons of TPO Roofing

  • TPO roofs, while durable, may not be as long-lasting as PVC roofs.
  • The quality of TPO roofs can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer.
  • Repairing TPO roofing can be more challenging than other roofing materials.

How to Choose the Right Roofing Material for Your Property

When selecting the right roofing material, it's essential to consider your specific property needs, local climate, longevity, maintenance requirements, and budget.

Here are some tips to guide you through this process:

Assess Your Property Needs

Evaluate the structural strength of your building. Can it handle the weight of the roofing material you're considering? Additionally, take into account the slope of your roof, as certain materials are better suited for flat or steep roofs.

Consider the Local Climate

If your property is located in a hot climate, opt for a material like TPO that reflects heat and helps reduce cooling costs. For properties in colder climates, you might want to consider a material like PVC that offers superior resistance to wind and chemical damage.

Evaluate Lifespan and Durability

If longevity is a priority, then materials like PVC, known for their durability, might be a good option. Remember, the longevity of your roof is directly connected to its maintenance and upkeep.

Maintenance Requirements

Consider how much time and effort you're willing to put into maintaining your roof. Some materials might be low-cost to install but may require frequent checks and repairs, which could increase long-term costs.


Lastly, don't forget to consider your budget. Evaluate the cost of the material, installation, and long-term maintenance to get a realistic picture of what you'll be spending.

Wrapping Up: Making Your Final Roofing Decision

When it comes to roofing materials, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Take into account your property's unique needs and conditions, along with your budget and maintenance requirements, to make an informed decision for your roof. Doing so can help ensure you get a quality product that lasts for years to come.

Speak With a Professional Roofing Contractor Today

If you need help deciding which type of roofing material is suited for your property, it’s always best to speak with a professional. Conlon Exteriors Inc will be happy to assist you in making an informed decision about your roofing needs.

Our experienced roofers can provide you with helpful advice and a free consultation to evaluate your project and determine the best roofing materials for you. Contact us today at (516) 781-5194 to get started!