Products and ServicesRoofingRoofing MaterialsThe 3 Most Popular Types Of Roofing Materials

September 30, 2021

Three Of The Most Popular Roofing Products In Central Massachusetts

And How To Choose The Right One For Your New Roof

There are many roofing materials out there for a Central Massachusetts homeowner to use on their home, but three of them end up on more buildings than any others: asphalt shingles, standing seam metal, and EPDM rubber. Each has its strengths, and we will discuss each in detail and the best material for your needs and home.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles have been around for 120 years and won’t be going away any time soon. They are relatively inexpensive, durable, and easy to install, making asphalt shingles the most popular roofing solution for 70+ years and counting.

Each shingle is composed of an underlayer of a fiberglass mat covered with asphalt. The fiberglass gives the asphalt shingle its amazing durability, while the asphalt allows it to shed water easily. On top of the asphalt is a layer of specially coated granules. The granules lend the shingle protection from the sun’s rays and give the shingle its color. Different coatings and types of crushed rock are used to give asphalt shingles their variety of appearances.


Granules can also be coated in tiny amounts of copper to prevent streaking and discoloration due to algae and mildew growth. There have also been revolutionary discoveries in methods for reflecting away the non-visible portions of the sun’s energy, such as UV light. These new technologies have made it possible to enjoy the benefits of a “cool roof” even with dark-colored shingles.

Architectural Shingles

The old standard single-layer tabbed shingles are being rapidly phased out and replaced with architectural shingles. Architectural shingles have more than one layer, making them a sturdier product with a three-dimensional look when viewed from the street. This new form gives your roof more depth and character, which is impossible with old-school tabbed shingles.

Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles are everything that name implies. They are expensive and beautiful. Some are simply many layers deep to give an incredible look to your roof, while others are designed to mimic more expensive roofing materials like slate or cedar shake.

Best Use

Asphalt shingles can go on just about any sloped roof and will look good doing it, too. It’s simpler to speak of when they shouldn’t be used. Flat roofs are a bad match for asphalt shingles because the shingles rely on water moving rapidly across their surface and in only one direction. While slightly sloped despite the name, flat roofs can have pooling in areas that would devastate a shingled roof.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has been around even longer than asphalt shingles, though it is treated as a new idea these days. It’s not so much new as newly minted as an alternative to shingles on residential homes though even that use goes back into the early 1800s. The resurgence of metal roofing is due to improved technologies and methods, leaving the noisy metal roofs of our memories firmly in the past.

Standing Seams

The dramatic look of today’s metal roofs is the result of how they are put together. The standing seam, those bold lines running vertically along the roof, is simply the best way to attach each piece of metal roofing to the next to prevent water infiltration. Lucky for us, it also creates a treat for any eyes that fall upon its lines.

Special Coatings

Metal roofs can also be coated with special films to further reduce the effects of the sun’s energy, much like the granules on asphalt shingles but with much more durability and efficiency.

Curved Roofs

One great aspect of metal roofing is the ability to follow the shape of your roof without hardening the lines. Barn-type roofs are excellent platforms for creating a striking look with metal roofing.

Best Use

Metal roofing works best on roofs with a slope that will allow water and snow to slide off without trouble. Curved roofs work well with metal roofing as they can easily follow the shape, and even a shallow curve is enough for rain and snow to slough off a metal roof. Flat roofs, however, are not a recommended use for metal roofing.

Rubber (EPDM) Roofing


Rubber roofing has been in use for decades and is most often found on the flat roofs of commercial buildings. It has made its way into the residential home market, though it is much more common in the southern half of our nation.


Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer or EPDM is an excellent substance for covering a flat or low-sloped roof. The sheets of rubber lay out flat and are easily sealed to one another to create an impermeable seal across the entire surface. It has a high resistance to hail and an average lifespan of over 40 years. Rubber roofing comes in both black and white varieties and can also be painted with latex paint which will help extend its lifespan. Repairs are easily performed with small patches that are then sealed completely. Rubber roofs are also impervious to the effects of the sun’s rays.

Best Use

Rubber is a superior method of roofing flat areas between standard roofs and is the best method to cover flat roofing over sheds, garages, and open-air living spaces. Roofs with a heavy slope are not good for rubber roofing, though there are rubber roofing products available that mimic the look and feel of standard shingle roofing but with the resilience of rubber.

If you think it’s time to replace the roof on your Central Massachusetts home, contact us at Solid State Construction for a free consultation. No matter how your roof is shaped, we carry the best answer to your roofing needs.