slate tiles

What is the best material for my new roof?

As up to 30% of your home exterior that is visible is your roof, it makes sense to carefully consider what material you want to cover it with. Not only will it need to work hard to weatherproof your home. It will also have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of your property. Your choice can make an architectural statement, or blend with the local environment.

When you are thinking about replacing your roof, you are presented with lots of different roofing material options. You’ll need to decide which material best suits your property and your budget. To help you on your way with your research we’ve produced a guide to a few of the most popular materials.


Roof tiles have been around for centuries and are used across a wide range of property styles. In the UK the most commonly used tile materials are clay, slate and concrete which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.

The beauty of tiles is that they can be chosen to compliment the overall aesthetic of your home. Should your roof be damaged in the future, patches of damage can be easily repaired, matching new with old very simply.

When in place, tiles are non-combustible and resistant to rotting, fire and insect damage, which gives them a longer lifespan than some other materials. Neither do they expand or contract with changes of temperature, providing consistent and effective coverage.

The downside of tiles is their weight and, depending on your roof, fitting them may require reinforcement. Tiles can be fragile, and once damaged you will need specialist roof fitters to carry out repairs. As a roofing material, tiles are also more expensive than other options.

Another consideration, if you’re thinking of installing a slate roof, is that whilst this natural stone offers brilliant aesthetics it has poor insulation. The need for additional insulation in the roof will need taking into consideration when budgeting for type of roofing material.

Sheet Metal

With the clean, crisp lines and striking industrial look you can achieve, sheet metal is starting to make an appearance on many modern homes. Compared to tiles, metal roofing is a lightweight, fire-retardant roofing option that doesn’t require additional reinforcement to the sub-structure. Once installed it can also survive the strongest of winds.

Metal roofs are nearly almost maintenance free and as a building material it is cheaper than slate or tiles, but can be costly to install. However, with its excellent durability you can expect low maintenance costs throughout its long life span. Another consideration with a metal roof is that it can get pretty noisy with heavy rainfalls, so installing sound cancelling insulation is recommended.


If you are looking to cover an odd shaped roof, lead might be a good choice for you due to its malleability. Lead is also naturally very resistant to any type of corrosion and therefore is long-lasting. Lead is a cheaper roofing material compared to others, but this does comes at a price. As a material, lead is toxic and over time will break down and pollute water it comes into contact with. Whilst it is lighter than other roofing materials, lead can also place stress on your roof line and gutters so may require a little additional support.


Felt is one of the more versatile roofing materials used mainly for flat roofs, garages and garden sheds. Roofing felt is normally installed by layering two to three layers of felting followed by a waterproofing material, such as tar, to form a watertight barrier.

This roofing material is suitable for small and large projects and can be fitted to flat, pitched or curved roofs. It can stand up to wet and windy conditions but does not cope well under UV light or high temperatures, which leads to longevity issues. It also required regular maintenance by skilled professionals, which can add to its lifetime cost. Recycling felt is difficult and transportation can be expensive.


Like felt roofs, rubber, or EPDM roofs as they are also called, are more affordable than the other roofing materials. Rubber works well as an insulator keeping the warm in and cold out and is often made from recycled materials. However, as a roofing material rubber is not very durable and can be damaged by falling debris and will also need resealing through its lifetime.

At Keay Roofing services we have years of roofing experience and are very happy to help you with choosing the right roofing material for your project. We incorporate our years of roofing experience into our work, ensuring that the customer is always satisfied. We will always ensure that the materials we fit to your roof are of exceptional quality, we stick to deadlines and our customer service is second to none.

For more information on how we can help replace your roof, or for any other enquiries, please call us on 01753 358267 or request a quote.

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