The best roof types for Seattle are those that can handle moisture and moss and algae growth well. You’ve got several good options for materials that offer good value for the money. We define value in terms of durability, longevity, and ability to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture, and curb appeal or aesthetics.
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This guide to the best roofing materials for Seattle, WA and the great Pacific Northwest covers material types, their pros and cons, best brands and products, and their costs. Some of Seattle’s top roofing contractors are also mentioned for your convenience to help you locate a proven roofing company.
Best Roof Materials for Seattle WA and the Pacific Northwest
You can’t go wrong with any of these roof types. The right choice for your home depends on your budget and personal preference.
Composition Shingles aka Asphalt Shingles
While their market share is slowly shrinking, composition shingles remain the most popular roof type in Seattle and the Pacific NW.
Most asphalt shingles come in three grades. The cheapest are flat, 3-tab shingles. The mid-grade shingles are usually called laminate aka dimensional or architectural shingles. More layers of material create a heightened more dimensional profile.
Premium composition shingles are often called premium shingles. They are the thickest and most resemble the profile of wood or genuine slate roofing.
Lower upfront cost 3-tab and mid-grade architectural asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing materials.
Decent durability Depending on the shingle chosen, quality of installation and roof conditions, composite shingles last 15 to 30 years in the Seattle area.
DIY friendly Handy homeowners often install their own shingle roofs.
Potential staining The damp climate creates ideal conditions for algae and mold growth. Both will stain shingles. However, most major brands make algae-resistant asphalt shingles.
Durability concerns Improperly installed composite shingles are susceptible to damage from winds well below what they are rated to withstand. Hail, failing branches and wind-driven debris can also damage this roofing material.
Did you know? Most asphalt shingle manufacturers do make class 4 impact resistant shingles for hail-prone areas. These hail impact resistant shingles are generally noted with an IR identifier; however, unlike stone coated steel and metal roofing, asphalt shingles are not warrantied for the actual hail damage. CertainTeed Presidential Shake IR is one example.
According to State Roofing, this petroleum-based roofing material, “goes directly to the landfill” when it is removed, and “unlike any other roofing materials, no part of an asphalt roof is recyclable.” Though there are a few recycling facilities in the Seattle area that will take asphalt shingles, most are so backed up that the shingles cannot be recycled and instead get sent to the dump.
Depending on the quality of the shingle and whether an old roof must first be removed, composite shingle cost for installed can range from $5.00 to about $9.50 per square foot in the greater Seattle area. Note that some profiles of premium shingles and jobs that require additional work beyond what is typical for most projects, will likely cost more to install, especially in a high cost of living area like Seattle where remodeling costs are significantly higher than national average.