Is your roof showing signs of wear and tear? Are you wondering about the dangers of an aging roof—and considering the cheapest roofing options that meet your needs? Chances are you have an asphalt roof because they’re the most common, but there are other roofing materials as well. Read through our rundown of the least expensive roofing material, and see how Softwash Hawaii can extend the life of asphalt shingle roofs.
What Are the Least Expensive Roofing Options?
Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing materials because they have relatively low upfront costs. Still, there are other things to consider, such as the lifetime cost of materials and how often you have to replace them. Look at our rundown of different roofing materials and their pros and cons, then consider an alternative that can extend the life of asphalt shingles.
Note: This rundown is for sloped roofs. For more information on flat roofing materials, see our blog on different types of roofs.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular due to their low upfront cost. To ensure they last as long as possible, asphalt shingles require a well-ventilated roof, so give some thought to how you will ventilate the roof and what kind of vent caps you want if you need ventilation holes.
Don’t forget to take into account the hail rating of any shingles you look at. Shingles vary widely in quality, and the hail rating is an excellent way to estimate durability and impact resistance. If you can’t find the hail rating, consider a different brand of shingles.
3 Kinds of Asphalt Shingles
3-tab shingles lay flat on the roof and have three tabs per strip. They are the cheapest asphalt shingles and can last 15–25 years if installed properly on a well-ventilated roof.
Dimensional shingles can simulate the look of wood shingles or give a pleasing random pattern. They cost about 15% more than 3-tab shingles. On a properly ventilated roof, they can last up to 30 years.
Luxury shingles are larger than dimensional shingles and cost about twice as much. They are designed to resemble slate shingles.
- Lowest upfront costs
- Can be recycled/made of recycled materials
- Require more maintenance than other materials
- Need to be replaced more often than other materials
- Susceptible to moss, curling and cracking, and water getting under them and freezing
- Recyclers can be difficult to find, so they usually end up in the landfill
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wood shingles and shakes last longer than asphalt shingles (30–50 years), provide better insulation, and have a classic look.
- Fire-resistant and can be treated with fire retardant
- 100% natural, a sustainable resource
- Energy-efficient, a natural insulator
- Not as durable as asphalt shingles
- Liable to cracking, so pay attention to the hail rating
- Not fireproof
Black roof made of sheet metal in winter, frost on the roof
Metal roofing is a classic American roofing material and looks classy. The price of metal roofs varies widely. On the low end, metal roofs are a bit more expensive than asphalt and last a lot longer. On the high end, they can cost several times as much. Aluminum and galvanized metal are among the least expensive metal roofing options. Zinc and copper are among the most expensive.
- Highly sustainable because they are easy to recycle
- Long-lasting (50 years or more)
- Low-maintenance if installed properly
- Reflects heat rather than absorbing it, keeping the house cooler than asphalt shingles
- Can have very high upfront costs
- Can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms
- Requires expert installation, not a DIY project
Slate is a natural material, among the oldest roofing materials, and the most durable. It is also among the most expensive. However, a slate roof can last 75–150 years, making it less expensive in the long run.
- Durable and sustainable, a naturally occurring material
- Dense, with excellent energy efficiency
- Holds up very well in inclement weather
- High upfront costs mean recouping the investment can take many years
- Can crack under a person’s weight, so take care if you need to go on the roof
- They may outlast the life of the house
Solar glass combines the electricity-generating capabilities of solar panels with high energy efficiency, an excellent hail rating, and a lifetime warranty.
- Can eventually pay for themselves through electricity generation
- Lifetime warranty
- Tax credit may be available, depending on the area
- Very expensive upfront costs
- Only available from one manufacturer, Tesla, at present
Softwash Hawaii – The Actual Cheapest Roofing Treatment Option
Which roofing is least expensive depends on how much time you have and your budget. A more expensive roof will be an excellent long-term investment if you can afford the upfront costs. But what if you can’t afford costly materials? Are you stuck with tearing your asphalt shingles off the roof and replacing them with more?
No. The cheapest roofing option is not to replace the roof. Clean and Routinely Maintain your shingles instead.
Softwash Hawaii provides Roof & Exterior Surface Cleaning and Maintenance services that work from a preventive maintenance perspective. Thus, increasing the reliability and life of roof and exterior surface materials.
Read our customer reviews, and read more about Softwash Hawaii and roofing on our blog. Then ask for a free estimate and see how you can use Softwash Hawaii to dramatically increase the life of your roof & exterior surfaces, and save you money on a roof and exterior surface replacement/restoration.