Different Roofing Systems: A Comprehensive Guide

Apr 5, 2023
Min of reading

Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an older property, you'll need to make some impactful decisions regarding the roof. Explore and learn more about the top roofing systems with Houston and New Orleans roofing experts!

Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an older property, you'll need to make some impactful decisions regarding the roof. Explore and learn more about the top roofing systems with Houston and New Orleans roofing experts!

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shingles roof

Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an older property, you'll need to make some impactful decisions regarding the roof. While it's easy to assume these decisions are obvious and easy to make, new homeowners quickly realize just how crucial and intricate residential roofing systems can actually be. In reality, the roof is one of your home's most important components. 

It plays a crucial role in the comfort, energy efficiency, and longevity of your home by preventing air from escaping or entering, staving off the elements, and protecting against damage. Choosing the right type of roofing system for your home will influence all of these areas, requiring homeowners to become informed about various roofing types and their unique advantages. 

What is a roofing system?

Everybody knows what a roof is, but the term roofing system might cause a little confusion. In reality, a roof is so much more than just a few shingles and pieces of wood. A fully-operational and optimized roof is composed of various complex parts, including the base layer, roofing insulation, a vapor barrier, and - last, but certainly not least - shingles. A roofing system refers to all of the components working together as a single unit. It's ideal to have all individual parts of the roofing system handled by a single, experienced specialist to ensure consistency, quality, and optimization.

What factors determine your ideal roofing system?

Not every home should have the same roofing system. There are simply too many important variables to take into account when looking for the ideal roofing type. What's best for you might be different from what's the greatest choice for your neighbor. Here, we'll outline some of the most foundational elements that should inform your choice when selecting a roofing system.


No roofing system is the end-all, be-all, which is why there are so many different options on the market. Every material comes with its own advantages and downsides. Homeowners, along with the help of a professional, have to determine the best material given their unique circumstances. Perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a roofing system is the local climate. 

 After all, the primary role of a roof is to protect your home from the elements. Some materials naturally perform better under certain conditions when compared to others. Houston and New Orleans both have humid, subtropical climates due to their location in the southern United States. The year-round weather conditions that your home will be exposed to need to be factored into the decision. 


By in large, roofing systems are a set-it-and-forget-it part of your home. As long as you work with an experienced and reputable New Orleans or Houston roofing company, you won’t have to put much effort, funds, or time into maintaining your roof. Still, there are different maintenance requirements within the different roofing systems you can choose from. 

Make sure to have these slight yet important differences explained to you by an expert before investing in a roofing system. Keep in mind that legitimate providers will usually offer a discount on maintenance after installing your roofing system. 


Location isn’t just important when considering a roofing system due to climate variations. It’s also an important factor to think about because of material accessibility. Roofing systems vary across the world and the country in part due to the naturally occurring materials available nearby. 

This reduces manufacturing and delivery costs for the market at large, creating clear roofing system materials in certain areas. Working with a local roofing expert should cover this consideration, ensuring you’re getting accessible, cost-effective, and abundant materials. It’s a no-brainer solution for making sure you get the best. 


When discussing tangible characteristics of your home’s roofing system, it might seem trivial to discuss aesthetics. However, the appearance of your property doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) sacrificed for functionality. In reality, the type of roofing material you use has a massive effect on its curb appeal. In turn, your home’s curb appeal directly impacts its value. 

Whether you plan to sell your home in a few years or you want to live in it forever, it's still in your best financial interest to choose a roofing system that optimizes your home's aesthetics. This will drive up your home's value and maximize what is the largest single home investment for most Americans. 

Roof Shape 

The structure of your home's roof is a major consideration when determining the right type of roofing system. Generally, the pitch and slope are the two most important calculations to take into account. While pitch compares the span and rise of a roof, the slope looks at the rise and the run. 

These dual measurements can make it easier to figure out the most appropriate roofing system, as some materials are designed for specific roof shapes. Choosing the right material based on the structure of your roof means better functionality and a longer lifespan. And that leads us to the next point. 


You should always think about warranties when investing a significant amount of money in your home. Other than purchasing your home, a major roof repair or entire roof replacement will most likely be one of the largest property investments you make. As a result, you’ll want to pay close attention to the type of warranty included in the purchase. 

Generally speaking, warranty specifics can vary between different roofing systems due to inherent differences such as the materials used, the installation process, expected longevity, and more. If you’re hiring a local, trusted provider, you can rest assured the warranty is reasonable, cost-effective, and fair. 


Roofs aren’t cheap. There’s no way around it. A roofing system should be viewed as a major investment in the long-term durability, viability, and energy efficiency of your home. The higher quality of the roof, the more money you save in the long run. Your heating and cooling costs will be lower, and you’ll spend less money on repairs. 

Still, it’s important for homeowners to consider their personal budgets before deciding on a specific roofing system. Although the size and shape of your roof will influence the price of a roof repair or replacement, the type of roofing system you use also has an effect. 

Personal Preference 

Although there are a number of concrete and objective factors to think about when weighing different roofing systems, you don’t have to forfeit your personal taste. That indescribable preference you have for certain styles, looks, and aesthetics doesn’t have to fall by the wayside. 

As long as you’re working with a professional Houston or New Orleans roofing specialist, you’ll know the essentials are being covered. 

This gives you the freedom and peace of mind needed to consider more subjective characteristics. You might find that a certain material fits into the overall vision you have for your home better than other roofing types. Don’t hold back from speaking up about your thoughts in this area because there’s certainly room for accommodation! Plus, you’ll have this roof for decades, so you might as well fall in love with it.

The Most Common Types of Roofing Systems 

shingles roof

Shingles are easily the most common type of roofing system for homeowners across the United States. In fact, over 80% of homes use shingles for their roofs. This massive popularity is due to the durability, affordability, and functionality of shingles. They're lightweight, easy to use, weather resistant, and cost-effective. The popularity of this style of roofing system has led to a variety of subcategories, such as asphalt shingles, three-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and so many more. 

According to Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractors, local shingle experts, choosing the right kind of shingles is crucial because "the type of roofing shingles you choose can also affect your roof's durability against the wind, rain, hail, and other weather events." Shingles of various styles are commonly used on medium-sloped roofs in various climates. For most homeowners, this will be the best choice.


Metal roofing systems have gained a lot of popularity among commercial property owners due to their durability, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and ease of installation. However, all these same advantages translate directly to residential properties too! Although metal has been used as a go-to roofing solution for centuries, the modern metal roofing systems available today offer premium performance. 

Another major advantage of metal roofs is their versatility in terms of style and appearance. The metal material makes it easy to achieve a nearly endless array of color options. You can even get metal roofs that mimic the aesthetics of other roofing materials such as wood, clay, or slate for a unique look.


Among the most recognizable and distinct forms of roofing systems are tiles. This material is a popular choice for houses exposed to prolonged sun exposure or near the ocean due to the higher salt concentrations in the air. New Orleans and Houston homeowners fit into this category quite nicely. Tile roofs are most commonly made from durable and sturdy materials such as slate, concrete, ceramic, or clay. In the same way, asphalt tiles are overlayed as they're progressively installed, and tile roofing systems are installed in the same manner. 

There are plenty of advantages that make tile roofing systems a worthwhile consideration. As you might be able to tell from their source material, tile roofs are incredibly strong and durable, especially when it comes to weather resistance. This durability directly translates into impressive longevity as these roofing systems outlast their counterparts without any competition. Due to their relatively basic production process, tile roofing systems are easy to recycle, making them a sustainable option. The spaces left between each tile makes for more breathable homes, which are great in places that experience hotter temperatures year-round. 


Modbit, officially referred to as modified bitumen, is another common type of roofing system. It's similar in structure and function to built-up-roof (BUR) roofing materials. Initially popular across the pond, modbit roofing systems have since become a staple throughout the United States in various regions. It's most commonly used for homes with roofing structures of minimum slopes. In other words, modbit is optimal for flatter roofs. 

The modbit roofing system is comprised of five separate yet interacting layers. The first layer is the roofing insulation that provides temperature stability. Next, the base sheets offer a sturdy structure upon which the following layers can rest. The modbit membranes, which make up the majority of the roofing system in terms of thickness, are placed on top. Waterproof adhesive comes next, followed by a top layer of some weather-resistant material.

Whether you need a roof repair or roof replacement in Houston or New Orleans, the experts at Roof Squad can help! We’ve helped thousands of local homeowners get the roofing solutions needed to optimize their energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality. We’d be more than happy to help you accomplish the same goals. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

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