6 Most Popular Roof Types in Washington State

Published on: December 20, 2021

Due to the large amount of rain and wind Washington state homes and buildings must withstand, it’s important to use the right roof types that drain well and stand up to the challenging weather conditions.

Your roof style will also have an impact on how well the moisture moves away from your roof, but at this point, you can’t control your roof style. So instead, you should focus on selecting one of these six popular roof types for Washington state buildings.

6 Roof Types for Buildings in Washington State

The materials that you use for your roof do matter when it comes to protecting your home or building. Here are the most popular materials for the pacific northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles can also be called composition shingles. These are the most popular roofing materials throughout the nation due to how affordable and durable these roofs are. 

Asphalt shingles provide excellent resistance to extreme weather, including the harsh rain and winds in Washington. However, these shingles can also be susceptible to mold and mildew due to their porous nature. 

You won’t have any trouble finding asphalt shingles or contractors familiar with how to properly install them due to their popularity. And if you need repairs later, your options will be plentiful when it comes to contractors who can complete the repairs. 

And, you can get special coatings that further protect these shingles from the harsh Washington weather.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingle Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Flexible to match various building styles
  • Easy to find qualified contractors who can install and repair them
  • Simple to replace without ripping off the entire roof and starting fresh

Asphalt Shingle Cons

  • Vulnerable to coming off in the wind
  • Can crack during temperature extremes or from hail
  • Require warmer temperatures for install
  • Are not unique
  • Damage-prone, which can mean shorter lifespan

2. Metal

Metal roofs offer the best water resistance out there. As metal roofs have grown in popularity, designers have created unique looks to offer you the style you want but with the incredible protection a metal roof provides. You can even get a shingled look with a metal roof now.

Choose from a variety of colors and designs that mimic other roof types, including shake or slate roofs. The lifespan of metal roofs is up to 50 years. Roofing specialists prefer metal roofs because of their longevity and you’ll find many roofers recommend metal roofs for rainy, windy areas.

Metal Roof Pros

  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Energy efficient
  • Modern and stylish

Metal Roof Cons

  • Expensive
  • Possible to dent
  • Can be noisy during storms

3. Cedar Shakes

Cedar is easy to get in the pacific northwest due to the large amount of cedar coming from Canada. But cedar shakes are not only popular because they are easy to get in the area. They are also aesthetically pleasing and can add value to your home.

While cedar has a lot going for it, it’s also fairly expensive and requires more maintenance than other roof types. You could have to deal with parasites that will harm the integrity of your roof. 

There are ways to seal cedar shakes to prevent moss and mold growth and keep parasites away. But these seals don’t last forever, which means you could have to reseal your roof regularly. Modern sealants and coatings make cedar shakes more attractive than they were a few decades ago, but they’ll still require more time and attention than metal or asphalt roofs.

Cedar Shake Roof Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Durable
  • Storm resistant
  • Energy efficient

Cedar Shake Roof Cons

  • Expensive
  • Require regular maintenance

Allow the Professionals to Do It

4. Slate

This style of roof is very popular in colonial or European-style homes. Slate is one of the most beautiful roofing types out there. You’ll have many colors to choose from to create the perfect look for your home. Slate also stands up well to the elements and is fire resistant. We also like slate because it is easy to recycle.

One drawback to slate is that it is very heavy, so it’s more challenging and time-consuming to install. And it is more expensive than other roofing materials. You’ll get 50-100 years from a slate roof though, which makes it an attractive option. Just be sure your roofing contractor uses appropriate underlayment to protect your home. 

Slate Roof Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Long lifespan
  • Attractive
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Can provide increased home value

Slate Roof Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Challenging to install
  • Requires the right underlayment for total home protection

5. Tile Roofs

Tiled roofs can be made from clay and concrete. And as the materials sound, they are extremely durable. Thanks to that durability, these roofs are catching on and becoming more popular, especially in this region. 

One thing you have to watch out for if you select a tile roof is that it is very heavy. And the materials cost a great deal. These roofs can be susceptible to water damage, so they are not as popular in Washington state as they are in other regions of the country. 

But the big benefit of these roofs is that they can last up to 100 years when installed properly. These tiled roofs are very attractive and provide great curb appeal to your home. You’ll have many styles to choose from to accomplish the look you want.

Tile Roofs

Tile Roof Pros

  • Weather-resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy maintenance
  • Long-lasting
  • Resistant to pests
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Various design styles

Tile Roof Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy materials
  • Getting a good install is critical to the lifespan of the roof
  • Surprisingly easy to crack
  • Tiles are susceptible to dirt

6. Rubber Roof

Rubber roofs are not very popular yet, but they are slowly rising to become one of the most popular roofing materials for Seattle-area homes. These roofs can look like expensive wood, but they are nearly maintenance-free, unlike their wood alternatives. And rubber can withstand extreme weather, including heavy rain. 

Additionally, rubber roofs are great for areas that experience debris, like leaves or pine needles. Your roof won’t deteriorate under these materials. And you’ll get protection from falling objects, like tree branches. Rubber roofs also don’t crack, peel, curl or show surface wear.

Rubber Roof Pros

  • Fire resistant
  • Decent pricing based on the lifespan of the roof
  • Simple to install, making labor expenses reasonable
  • Long-lasting
  • Fast, easy repairs
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Pest resistant
  • Eco friendly
  • Unlikely to crack or crumble

Rubber Roof Cons

  • Can fade with time
  • Must be installed during completely dry weather
  • Requires special expertise from a roofing contractor

Selecting the Best Roofing for Your Home

Choosing a good roofing type and quality materials ensures protection for your home or building. But it’s hard to learn all about roofs online and envision what they’ll look like on your home. Instead, you should work with a trusted roofing partner that can explain the pros and cons of various roof types based on your specific home and circumstances. 

For a free in-home estimate from a team of roofing professionals who never engage in high-pressure sales tactics but takes the time to listen to your needs and goals for your property, contact 2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing.

Further Reading:


  1. […] your home long-term. Learn more about how to prepare your home for roofing installation and what types of roofs work best for Washington state […]

  2. […] shingles might also be called architectural or laminate shingles. These are now the most installed roof types in Washington. These shingles feature two or more layers of asphalt that are fused together. The fusing of […]

  3. […] four main types of residential roofing include asphalt shingles, metal, clay and […]

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