Asphalt shingles may seem like the go-to choice for reliable roof protection, but it’s not always the best option out there if you’re looking for a high-quality, durable shingle choice that will stand up to the elements. That’s why many homeowners and contractors alike have been seeking out alternatives to asphalt shingles in recent construction projects.

While it’s fairly heavy-duty, asphalt is known to be susceptible to cracking, chipping, and crumbling with prolonged exposure to the elements. Even standard exposure (weather without hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) can prove detrimental, as UV rays can bake the asphalt over time. And because of its construction, if one asphalt shingle crumbles or flips, it’s generally necessary to replace the whole entire roof. This can be a huge expense, not to mention wasteful and hard on the environment.

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On top of degradation, asphalt shingles are notorious for bringing heat into the building. Most asphalt shingles are black, and so they conduct heat quite well, which can be a challenge for maintaining indoor climate control in warmer months.

For these reasons and so many more, homebuilders are starting to look to new and exciting alternatives to asphalt shingles, and it turns out that the selection is vast. Have you been wondering what alternatives to asphalt shingles may be right for your next home building project?

If so, check out these 7 alternatives to asphalt shingles, each of which offer unique pros and cons that may catch your interest.

1. Steel

Steel metal roofing is making a comeback in construction as modern styles adapt to a more residential aesthetic. Incredibly durable and long-lasting, steel roofing is the type of above-head protection you can certainly count on to weather a bad storm.

Steel is also a great fire-proofing material. As you may know, steel is rust-resistant, too, and it will not require the same amount of upkeep that traditional roofing options demand.

close-up of steel roof
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While it requires a larger financial investment at the start, steel roofing certainly delivers the high performance you’d expect of a heavy-duty roofing project.

2. Wood

Many alternatives to asphalt shingles are those that are not necessarily new but are experiencing a resurgence because of their timeless aesthetic. Wood is one example of these. While wood shingles may sound old and outdated, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

With new engineered wood and special weather treatments, wood shingles are stronger and more durable than they’ve ever been in the past.

close-up of wood shingles
Image credit: Canva

Homeowners looking for the traditional charm of wood shingles with the upgraded defense of new technology will be pleased to know that there are many options on the market today.

Related: Brava Roof Tile Review

3. Aluminum

Another type of roofing that is making a comeback is aluminum.

While aluminum roofing is not nearly as durable or steadfast as some of the other alternatives to asphalt shingles on this list, aluminum is certainly an affordable option that catches the eye of some homebuilders.

close-up of aluminum roof
Image credit: Canva

4. Synthetic Asphalt

Many homebuilders like the look of asphalt, but they wish it were more reliable and durable. That’s where synthetic asphalt shingles come into play. You can think of synthetic asphalt as like a new and improved version of the old classic. Boasting traditional and modern styles, synthetic asphalt is actually a composite material that offers the look of individual shingles in larger sheets, simplifying installation and repair. In addition, the synthetic material is incredibly stronger, boasting a Class A Fire Rating and a Class 4 Impact Rating.

close-up of synthetic asphalt roof
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If strength, durability, and protection are your top priorities, this is one of the alternatives to asphalt shingles that you definitely want to check out.

5. Slate

Slate is another option catching the attention of many new homebuilders. While considerably more expensive than traditional roofing materials, slate shingles capture an antiquated style of luxury and natural strength, as the slate materials project a feeling of stability and protection – ideal for those who like to feel protected and safe in their home setting. In addition, slate is one of the longest-lasting shingle materials around.

close-up of slate roof
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6. Rubber

Some homebuilders are surprised to learn that rubber is on the list of alternatives to asphalt shingles. A major advantage of rubber shingles is the incredibly low level of upkeep and maintenance that they require. There are many different types of rubber used, and so careful attention should be paid to this unique material choice for homeowners who are interested in it.

house roof
Image credit: Canva

7. Plastic Composite

Finally, plastic composite is another alternative option that offers quite a range of color options, shapes, and sizes for homeowners to select from. While plastic composite shingles are generally a more affordable option than traditional asphalt shingles, they are not quite as durable or long-lasting, so homeowners can expect to make a fair amount of repairs and replacements over the years.

close-up of plastic roof
Image credit: Canva

There are many alternatives to asphalt shingles on the market today. Explore your options to find your favorite.

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Editorial Contributors
avatar for Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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