What are the best roofing materials for colder climates?

best roofing materials

There are many different roofing materials to choose from and if you plan on getting ready for harsh winter weather, you need to choose carefully and be properly informed about your options. These six roofing materials are generally thought to be the best options out there. Definitely check them out. 

Composite Shingles and Slate Roofing

It is common knowledge that heavy materials are much better at protecting your house against the cold weather during winter. And the most popular roofing materials are tile and slate since they are known for withstanding heavy rain and snow. However, if you are looking for some lightweight alternatives to slate and cedar shake, consider going for the composite shingles. Composite tiles or slate are the best possible option if you are looking for durable roofing for winter. They will offer enforcement and extra security as well as keep your house warm and comfortable. Therefore, this is one of the best ways to prepare your house for the long cold winter.

Asphalt Roofing

On the other hand, if you also want something affordable for your house, you should opt for asphalt shingles. They are very easy to install and will actually save you a lot of money. Asphalt shingles are especially popular in North America. They are extremely waterproof and long-lasting which is certainly what you are looking for. In other words, if you are looking for a strong material that will keep your house safe, asphalt shingles are a great option. And in case you want to check out some of the possible alternatives to asphalt shingles, cedar wood shingles are also worth a try.

Cement Tiles

Another great roofing material is cement. Cement tiles are not only capable of fending off the snow and wind, but they are also fireproof as well. This will ensure additional safety to your house which is certainly what we are aiming for. Cement tiles consist of sand, pigments, and cement. All of these parts combined together form one of the most durable and strongest roofing materials out there. However, there is one thing you need to keep in mind before installing them on your house. Make sure that your building’s foundations are strong enough to handle their weight. A single cement tile can weight as three asphalt shingles, which is pretty heavy. So don’t forget that.

Solar Panels

If you are considering installing the solar panels, keep in mind that there are two varieties of them. The first ones, active solar panels, absorb the solar energy ad convert it into heat and electricity. On the other hand, passive solar panels only absorb the hot air and send it to the heating mechanisms which in return slowly make the ice and snowmelt off the roof. In other words, if you are simply looking for the minimum protection from the harsh winter conditions, passive panels are the right choice. They will help you clean the roof and will not cost you too much. But if you also want to warm up your house without having to turn up the Thermostat, then active panels are the best choice. 

Metal Roofs

Another roofing material that is popular for its impressive durability is metal. Metal roofs can withstand very high wind speeds and heavy snow as well. Ice practically slides off the surface preventing both icicle formations and leaks. They also include snow guards and heating cables and this will ensure that snow doesn’t slide off of the roof in huge blocks at once. Metal roofs are usually composed of zinc, aluminum, and titanium, but also from high-quality copper that can be found in many companies nowadays such as Architectural Leadwork for example. These materials, if installed correctly, will keep your house warm and protected all throughout the winter.

Green Roofs

Lastly, green or also referred to as “living” roofs are gaining huge popularity these days. They are an all-natural solution for rooftop energy efficiency. Firstly, they reduce greenhouse gases and limit air pollution enormously. Secondly, they naturally insulate the interiors of the house. That means that you won’t have to use heating and cooling in your house as much as you used to before. These rooftops are able to manage stormwater runoff and filter rainfall very effectively too. But what about the winter climate? You may ask. Green roofs have, in fact, been tested in Canadian metropolitan areas.  It has been proven that they work even despite harsh weather climates in Vancouver and Toronto. They have many ecological benefits and will protect your house all throughout the year.


All things considered, there are many different alternatives and various materials you could use for your house depending on your specific needs and financial possibilities. These six, above-mentioned roofings are proven to be best for the winter conditions. 

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Article Author Details

Ron Wolf

Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner.