Residential Roofing Choices


There are many different types of roofing materials that you can find here in Lancaster County and Central Pennsylvania.  These roofing materials can be broken down into two separate areas, flat roofs and sloped roofs.


Single Ply roofs have really become the most popular choice for flat roofs due to their ease of installation and relatively low cost.  There are several types of single ply material and unfortunately they all go by alphabet names.

EPDM– The first and most popular single ply roof in Lancaster and York is EPDM, commonly known as rubber.  The rubber membrane is usually fully adhered to an insulation board which is mechanically fasted to your roof deck.  The membrane comes in various thicknesses (.045, .060, and .090).   I recommend the .060 membrane for most installations.  This comes in white or black, with black being less expensive and more widely used.

TPO– In the last ten years TPO membrane has begun to take some of the flat roof market share.  The TPO membrane is usually white although some manufacturers do have options.  The white membrane is highly reflective and if your roof is visible this is a very good choice.  The seams for these roofs are usually heat welded.

PVC– This material has made quite a comeback after a disastrous start a few decades ago.  One of its great strengths is the resistance to grease and chemicals.   The membrane is usually white and maintains its reflectivity and appearance very well.  These seams are usually heat welded as well.

In the past we used to install a lot of built-up roofing and modified roofing on flat roofs.  We still see a few of them each year.  These systems are asphalt based and have become unpopular in Central Pennsylvania due to the cost and the smoke and fumes often associated with their installation.


There are quite an assortment of choices for sloped roofs.  By far the most common choice is asphalt shingles.  Lately though, metal has really been making inroads into the roofing market in this area.   Here are a few of your choices for sloped roofs.

SHINGLES- There is a wide variety of choices in this category alone.  Shingles range from 25 year type to Lifetime and come in many colors and styles.

METAL- Once again there are a lot of things to choose from just in the metal category.  There are different kinds of metals copper, aluminum, or steel.  Alternate styles also exist, from traditional standing seam to metal shingles.

SLATE- This is one of my all time favorite roofing materials.   I like it for the aesthetics, durability and long life.   Slates come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles.   When installed properly it can outlast virtually any other roofing system.  We have installed many slate roofs in Lancaster and surrounding areas and they are all still in very good shape today.  Slate is often the top choice for universities, churches and upper scale homes.

There are a few other choices for sloped roofs like tile or cedar shingles.  We don’t see them too often in Lancaster County, but we do run into them more often down towards Philadelphia.

If you need help deciding which roofing material is right for you, feel free to ask me.  I love talking about roofing anytime.

Joe Heidler


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8 Responses to “Residential Roofing Choices”

  1. Midland and Dallas Roofing | Texas Roofing | Austin Roofing | Dallas Roofing | Fort Worth Roofing Says:

    […] Residential Roofing Choices « Bestroofer's Blog […]

  2. home sweet home Says:

    Thanks for share dude.

    can you show me where I can buy high quality roof for my home? may be you know the roofing online store. thanks before

    • bestroofer Says:

      The best place to go to make sure that you get a high quality contractor is the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). A quality contractor will work with you to ensure that you get the best outcome for your project. In what area of the country are you located?

  3. Flat Roofing Jacksonville Says:

    Nice rundown on the many type of roofs. Thanks for sharing.

  4. roofcleaningtampa Says:

    Great Post Joe! We clean all kinds of roofs, but my personal favorite to clean are asphalt shingle roofing. Slate Roofs are really slick when cleaning, and can break all too easy. Metal Roofs are popular here in Tampa at the moment, and they get real slippery when wet too.

  5. Leeds Roofer Says:

    Came searching to find info about TPO membrane and found more than I bargained for (Big thanks to Google!). Great write up.

  6. Dallas Roofing Companies Says:

    What most homeowners desire is a roof that’s not too expensive, requires no maintenance, and lasts forever. But most roofs are replaced – or at least repaired – every ten years. By carefully choosing your home’s roofing material, you can reduce the cost of replacement. In the long run, you’ll use less building material, fill up less landfill space with discarded material, and put less demand on our natural resources.

  7. Fort Worth Roofing Contractors Says:

    like it for the aesthetics, durability and long life. Slates come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. When installed properly it can outlast virtually any other roofing system.

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