What Type of Roof Do I Have?


No matter what kind of roof your home or business has, it’s important to understand your roof and how to watch for warning signs. As you start thinking about your roof, it’s best to start with the basics.

Once you know what type of roof your house has, you can begin to keep an eye on it, understand the maintenance it needs, and, eventually, you can ask the important questions when it comes time to replace your roof.

So, what type of roof do you have? Let’s look at the basic types of roofs so you can identify yours.


Sloped Roofs

If you own a traditional home, chances are you have a sloped roof. It’s most likely shingled, but there are quite a few options, as we’ll see.

3-Tab Shingles

These are the classic asphalt shingles that you’ll see on most older homes. They’re easy to spot because they come in separate tabs for that traditional shingled look. If your house has three tab shingles, it might be a sign that your roof is getting older and could be due for an inspection.

Architectural Shingles

These sharp-looking shingles are becoming more popular for their look and their durability. Most contractors recommend architectural shingles. You’ll see them on recent construction and newer re-roof projects. If your house has architectural shingles, it’s probably been reroofed more recently, and may have quite a few more years left in it, though you should continue to monitor your roof for damage and leaks.

Metal Roofs

Your home, business, or outbuilding might have a metal roof, since metal roofs are one of the most versatile options. These roofs are durable and attractive. If you have a metal roof, it’s possible it’s been there for a long time. That doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced, but you’ll want to keep an eye on it for leaks.

Slate Roofs

Many old homes on the east coast were roofed with slate. While this is one of the best-looking roof options around, slate is fragile and brittle, and may require quite a bit of repair. If your home has a slate roof, it’s best to stay current on maintenance to make sure the roof isn’t leaking, and to preserve the attractiveness of your antique slate.

Wood Shakes Roofs

Wood shake roofs look great. They’ve been around forever, and their rustic look means they’re never going away. Wood shake roofs don’t age well, however, so if your home has a wooden roof, it’s best to monitor it closely for signs of leaking and broken shakes. Color changes in your shakes is natural, though. As the wood ages and is exposed to the elements, the color of your roof with change, and doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced immediately.


Flat Roofs

If you own a commercial business or a home in the city, you probably have a flat roof. Flat roofs, like pitched roofs, require regular inspection and maintenance. There are quite a few ways to roof a flat building, but most are done with one of two types of commercial roofing.

TPO Roofs

TPO (that stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, by the way) roofs are popular and relatively low cost. If your flat roof is made of white material, there’s a good chance it’s TPO. TPO is a good choice for a flat roof, but over the years it can shrink or expand, creating bubbles, pulling away from corners, or opening at seams. Sometimes these problems can be fixed quickly and cheaply with simple repair work.

EPDM Roofs

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is another common flat-roofing material. It’s a thinner rubber than TPO, and typically comes in black. Because it’s rubber, it can last longer in changing climates than TPO, but, like any other roof, should be inspected regularly.


Let us help you

No matter what kind of roof you have, it’s crucial to inspect your roof regularly. Often leaks or other structural damage can fly under the radar for a long time, slowly growing from a minor repair into major damage.

You can learn the condition of your roof by contacting us for an inspection.

Whether you have three tab shingles, EPDM, or anything in between, we want to make sure your roof protects your home or business for years to come.