SoCal Green Roofing Of Los Angeles
License# 1057764
Serving in Los Angeles & Surrounding Areas
License# 1057764
SoCal Green Roofing - Roofers

The Ultimate Guide to Different Roof Types

Choosing the best roof for your home is a big decision. Different roofs have different pros and cons, depending on your budget, the roof’s aesthetics, longevity and so on.

You may only get a new roof for your home once. So it’s important to research different types of roof materials, which you may never have come across.

Here’s our guide to frequently asked questions about new roofs, plus the features of different types of roofs with pictures.

What Is The Most Common Roof Type?

#1. Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Easy. Across the US, asphalt shingle roofs are the most popular. They’re cost effective, durable and come in a range of colors and designs. Asphalt shingle roof installation is low-cost and quick.

However, make sure you know the benefits of all the different roofs available before deciding which roof is best for you. With this in mind we’d like to introduce you to a rising star in the roofing popularity contest.

#2. Metal Roofs

Figures from 2019 saw new roofs made from metal roofing materials double in popularity compared to just two years previously.

Now you may assume that a metal roof in California would get too hot. But the reality is that modern metal roofs are great at keeping your home at the temperature you want, as well as being easy to maintain.

Which Roof Material Lasts The Longest?

Different types of roofs have different lifespans and most last around 25-50 years. Bear in mind that for your roof to last the distance, a great installation team is as important as quality roof materials.

Clay and slate tiles last the longest, up to an extraordinary 100 years or more. This is hugely attractive to buyers who know they will probably never need to replace the roof at all.

Both clay and slate are naturally very heat resistant so they don’t degrade even in searing Los Angeles heatwaves.

What Is The Most Popular Roof Color?

These days, gray-silver, black and shades of brown are all fashionable.

Your roof will be with you for years to come so it’s more important to choose a color that you love, and that coordinates with your surroundings.

Consider how your home would look with different roofs. Classic terracotta always looks stylish, and light colored roofing materials give your home a clean and fresh look while keeping cool naturally.

What Different Types Of Roofs Are There?

The different types of roofs that SoCal Green roofing install are the only ones you need to know about if you live in California. These types of roof materials are all ideal for our climate, non-flammable and have good insulating properties.

  1. Asphalt shingle roofs

  2. Clay roofs

  3. Cool roofs

  4. Metal roofs

  5. Slate roofs

For each roof we’ll look at how long you can expect it to last, costing, style, fire and environmental concerns.

#1. Asphalt Shingle Roofs


A well-maintained asphalt roof typically lasts around 25 years. You can extend the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof by getting regular maintenance work so that emerging problems like small leaks don’t get worse.

Quality Asphalt Shingle Installation Work

Roofing materials are only as good as the contractor that installs them. SoCal Green is proud to be a preferred contractor for both Owens Corning and GAF roofing. Quality asphalt shingle combined with our excellent installation work means your roof will look great and perform well for decades.


Asphalt shingle is one of the most cost-effective roofing materials you can get which is why most people choose it over different roofs. The shingles themselves are low-cost and it’s quick and easy for roofers to install.

If you want to improve the look of your home before putting it on the market, shingle is a particularly good choice.


As you’d expect from the most popular kid in school, asphalt tile comes in a wide range of colors, tile shapes, textures and depths. With asphalt shingle you can really achieve whatever look you’d like.

Fire Prevention

Asphalt shingle has a class A fire rating, which is the highest.

The Environment

Asphalt is made of mineral fiber and cement fillers.

This means it’s not as natural as other roofing materials, but here’s the interesting part for the environmentally conscious. Asphalt shingle can actually be repurposed for other asphalt products. So your roof may wind up as an asphalt road one day.

#2. Clay Roofs


As we mentioned above, clay roofs can last up to 100 years. This is a wonderful investment and one that you can pass down the generations. A durable roof also means less money spent on roof repair along the way.

Upfront Cost

Clay roofing is more expensive upfront than other types of roof materials like asphalt tile. Although when making your decision you should factor in the long life of clay tile too.


Clay most famously comes in classic terracotta. But there’s also other shades of brown plus orange, yellow and white.

With a clay roof there’s a wide variety of shapes and styles to choose from. Here are the most popular styles.


Interlocking curved or angular tile.

Interlocking shingle

Interlocking curved, angular or flat tile.


“S” shaped curved tile with a two-piece tile effect.


One simple and elegant curve in a “C” shape.

Fire Prevention

Clay tile enjoys the highest Class A fire rating as long as the roof is well-maintained.

The Environment

This type of tile is made from natural materials which are baked, so there’s no need to worry about your carbon footprint. When its 100 year lifespan is up, clay tile can be reused as manufacturing materials.

#3. Cool Roofs

What’s a cool roof? It’s the latest high-tech roof that keeps your home cool in the Los Angeles sun. In fact, a cool roof can stay up to 50 degrees cooler in the heat than a regular roof.


Cool roofs are made of different roofing materials covered in this post such as asphalt and metal. What makes it a cool roof is the higher level of reflectivity.

So a cool roof lasts as long as the materials it’s made from, factoring in that it’s actually protecting itself from the sun. We can advise on the lifespan of the cool roof you’re considering, but you’re looking at 25-100 years.


There’s no escaping the fact that cool roofs are more expensive than traditional roofs upfront. But only a little.

A well-installed new roof will last for years. So balance the higher upfront cost with the fact that you should get your investment back in energy savings in under 6 years. Not only are your bills lower, but your A/C system lasts longer because it has an easier life.

You can also get a cool roof coating over an existing roof, which is obviously much more economical. Ask us about different roofs that can have a cool coating.


Cool roofs can look very modern or they can simply do their cool thing while exuding classic style.

Designed to reflect the sun’s rays, cool roofs are typically light colors including white. However thanks to constant scientific progress you can get cool roofs in darker colors too these days.

Fire Prevention

Firstly, the fact that cool roofs actively keep your home and its exterior at a lower temperature naturally inhibits fires from starting.

The level of fire prevention of a cool roof all depends on what exactly it’s made from. Thermoplastic PVC for example is fire resistant and can contain additional fire retardants.

If you’re thinking about a cool roof we can advise you further about fire in person, but all the cool roofs SoCal Green Roofing install are non-combustible.

The Environment

There are so many environmental benefits  to a cool roof other than simply keeping your home cool in the summer and your bills low.

The environment is where cool roofs really shine. You’ll no doubt be aware that Los Angeles has the most polluted air of any city in the US, so consider this.

You Won’t Be Part Of A Heat Island

When your home and its roof are kept cool, it reduces the “heat island” effect. This is where urban areas tend to be hotter because buildings and roads absorb the heat. So you’ll keep everyone cool with you.

Better Air Quality

When the temperature is cooler, smog has a harder time forming. So the air quality all around your home is cleaner.

Cool Roofs Help Reduce Global Warming

Cool roofs are reflective too, so they counteract global warming. How so? They actually reflect sunlight right back into outer space.

#4. Metal Roofs


Metal roofs are tough so they last longer than traditional types of roof materials: you’re looking at an impressive 40-70 years.

An expertly installed metal roof is easier to keep in good shape for the duration too. Metal roofs deter pests which keeps them intact, along with the rest of your home.


Both the material cost of metal roofing and the installation is more expensive than other types of roof. However, as with cool roofs, you should factor in the longevity and cost savings on bills.

Get this. The natural reflectivity and density of a metal roof can save you up to 25% on heating and cooling bills compared to asphalt shingle.


When people picture metal roofs they usually think of a roof with a slick silver finish.

However, you can get metal roofs in practically any color you’d like, including browns like terracotta, greens and whites. You can also choose from differently shaped elements to fit with your style.

Fire Prevention

Metal roofs perform at Class A standard for fire safety, because even the finish and materials underneath the roof won’t burn.

The Environment

Both in production and disposal, metal roofs are super environmentally friendly. They’re completely recyclable and the possibilities are endless as to what you could turn a metal roof into.

Many metal roofing materials even contain recycled metal, so you’re helping the planet from day one.

#5. Slate Roofs


You can rely on a slate roof for the next 50-100 years, as long as it’s well-maintained. And seeing as it’s resistant to mold, pest and fire, it’s easy to keep in great shape.

Slate roofing materials are also very resistant to the elements.

Upfront Cost

The price you pay for a slate roof is two or three times the price of an asphalt shingle roof. However, you’ll only have to pay for a slate roof once, so bear in mind it will last at least twice as long.

Buyers love slate roofs because they’re attractive and they last. So if you’re selling in the next 50 years, factor in how much a slate roof will increase your asking price.


Slate roofing just has that high-quality, timeless look. And with good reason. People have been using slate on their roofs here for around four centuries. You can easily achieve a rustic look or a modern look depending on the cut of the slate.

When we think of slate we think of classic grayscale. However, you can also get slate in a wider variety of naturally occurring colors such as greens, purples and blues.

Fire Prevention

Slate is rock so it doesn’t burn at all. When installed over a non-combustible roof deck, slate roof has the safest fire rating, grade A.

The Environment

Slate is naturally occurring so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to avoid chemically treated, non-recyclable products. When its days as a roof are over, 50 or 100 years from now, there’s no loss of quality as slate.

It can be returned to nature, or repurposed in the garden. In fact, many people use slate as borders around vegetable patches or as potting compost.

Call SoCal Green Roofing For Expert Roof Installation In Southern California

Would you like to learn more about different types of roofs with pictures? Take a look at our Types of Roofs page here.

Can’t decide? Our experienced roofing team will be happy to go over the options for different roofs that would suit you best. We have 12 years experience installing Los Angeles roofs so you can rely on us to recommend the perfect roof for you.

Get in touch with our licensed roofing team at (866) 495-3621 or use our short contact form here.

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Our mission at SoCal Green Roofing & Builders is to be your go-to roofing contractor in the Los Angeles area. We provide services throughout the greater Los Angeles area, Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties.


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