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.
Best-selling brands and lines for roofing in Seattle include:
Malarkey Roofing based in Portland OR is a manufacturer of premium roofing shingles and brand that is synonymous with roofing in the PNW.
Malarkey Legacy are premium laminated architectural shingles. Legacy shingles are durable and impact resistant and include stain guard protection from 3M. This shingle is also rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council for solar reflectance and thermal emittance (how quickly a roof cools off), meaning it will help keep your Seattle home cooler during summer. Since many Seattle based homes don’t have AC, this durable and energy-efficient product may be an attractive option.
They say the most important day in a roof’s life is the day it is installed. Here are a few of the best composition shingle roofing contractors in Seattle.
Valentine Roofing specializes in the installation of composition/asphalt, metal, and PVC roofing, which is a flat roofing membrane that is growing in popularity in the PNW, because it is waterproof, durable and long-lasting, and needs little maintenance.
North Star Construction is a Certified Owens Corning installer. That means the installers have completed extensive training given by Owens Corning on the installation of its composition roofing products.
State Roofing, which features its own 350# Sawtooth composition Roofing designed specifically for the climate of the Pacific Northwest. It is built to last 30+ years.
Forever Roofing is one of the highest-rated composition shingle installers in the Seattle area.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Cedar shakes and shingles are popular in the Seattle area because the material is abundant, and its beauty looks right at home. According to Patriot Roofing, a Seattle roofing contractor, “Cedar shakes produce a roof that is visually appealing, with a rustic look that is so popular that other roofing products… are made to look like cedar shakes.”
Cedar shingles have a more finished look with sawed edges. Shakes are split rather than sawed, so the look is more rustic. There are many varieties of each, so the definitions aren’t strict.
Natural beauty No material looks more at home among the abundant forests of this region than cedar.
Cedar shingles and shakes last 20 to 40 years when properly installed and maintained.
Cedar is a sustainable, renewable building material that does not consume a lot of energy to produce. And when removed from the roof, shakes are reused in a variety of ways or chipped into mulch.
The R-value of wood is higher than asphalt and metal, so cedar shakes and shingles can help keep energy use and costs under control.
The initial investment is higher than for asphalt shingles, though wood shakes and shingles are competitively priced when compared with steel, aluminum, and slate tile roofs.
The damp climate of the Pacific Northwest makes wood roofing susceptible to moss, mold, and algae. These must be cleaned from the roof periodically to prevent rot and staining.
Wood shingles cost an average of about $9.50 to $14.50 per square foot installed. Shakes are a little pricier at about $10.50 to $16.50 per square foot installed.
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With cedar shingles and shakes, the key to a good roof is an experienced installation crew. A few of the highest rated wood roofing companies in Seattle are:
Patriot Roofing installs new and replacement roofs in popular materials including wood shingles and shakes, plus metal and composition/asphalt.
Rainier Roofing installs cedar shake roofing plus metal and asphalt shingles. The company offers a 5-year workmanship warranty in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty.
CR Master Roofing is a cedar roofing specialist serving the Seattle area.
Steel and aluminum roofing are a good fit for the wet, often harsh climate in Seattle and surrounding region. Metal roofs can provide 40 to 60 years of durable protection.
Zinc and copper are much costlier options but can last up to 100 years or more.
As noted, metal roofing durability and longevity are impressive.
Low lifetime cost
Metal roofs can last much longer than composition/asphalt roofs and require and unlike cedar, require almost no maintenance. The result is that a homeowner will spend less over the duration of the roof than for the other materials.
Metal sheds rain and snow quickly and keeps it out of a home. Moss and algae won’t grow on a metal roof.
Metal roofing options grow every year. Sheet metal panel roofs such as standing seam and ribbed panels are still very popular, but now an attractive range of metal shingles and shakes are available, too.
Metal is fully recyclable. Additionally, up to 95% of the material in some metal roofing is recycled metal.
Whether you want to install PV solar panels today or think you may in the future, a standing seam metal roof means you’ll be ready. The panels can be mounted to the standing seam panels without having to drill holes in the roof. That isn’t possible with asphalt or wood.
If your budget is tight, metal might not be a viable option despite its lower long-term cost.
Noise Some homeowners may not like the occasional plinks and clangs that may come with rain and dropping debris, however, that is only a concern for homes with no attic spaces.
Average G-90 galvanized steel shingles roofing price in Seattle can range between $10.00 and $16.50 per square foot installed.
Steel coated with Galvalume normally costs a bit more. Aluminum price is higher, but so is longevity.
Depending on the profile and project difficulty, expect to pay between $12.00 and $18.00 per square foot of aluminum standing seam in the greater Seattle, WA.
Professional contractors can buy metal roofing materials at any major building materials supply warehouse such as Harvey Industries, Beacon Supply, and ABC Supply. These building material suppliers carry metal roofing profiles from top brands including:
There are also brand-affiliated regional suppliers for manufacturers such as ASC Building Products, which makes steel roofing panels in many profiles with concealed or exposed fasteners. For instance, Metal Roof Specialties is a major distributor of ASC metal roofing in Seattle and the PNW.
Classic Metal Roofing Systems produces aluminum shingles and shakes in many styles and standing seam metal roofing panels. It is sold nationwide and is quite popular in the Seattle area.
Seattle Best Roof is a local dealer of Interlock, offering aluminum roofing products including textured Slate, Cedar Shingles, Shake, Mediterranean Tile and Mechanical Lock standing seam roof panels made from aluminum.
Future Roof offers steel profiles of Interlock shingles and shakes.
Tekline Roofing gets high marks for installation of metal, composition, and wood roofing materials. The company offers a lifetime workmanship guarantee.
Four Seasons Roofing is a one of the best Seattle roofing contractors installing Classic Metal Roofing Systems.
Rubberized, Rubber, and Plasticized Synthetic Shingles and Slate Tiles
Roofing made from rubber or a combination of rubber and synthetic materials sheds water effectively and needs little maintenance. These are newer roofing materials, but an obvious choice because of their ability to withstand the elements and their green makeup.
Excellent resistance to rain, snow, hail, wind and falling debris.
Wood-look and slate-look shingles.
Low maintenance requirements.
Durability of 30 to 50 years.
Recycled car tires are the main component in many products. For example, 400 to 700 tires are diverted from a landfill to make shingles for an average Euroshield roof.
The upfront cost is higher than cheap and mid-range composition shingles, but on par with the most expensive asphalt shingles plus wood and steel roofing. However, when the durability of the material is considered and the fact you won’t spend on maintenance, the lifetime cost of a rubber shingle or shake roof is among the lowest of the Seattle roof types.
There are fewer styles and colors than available in composition shingles.
The installed rubber shingle roofing cost is $8.50 to $14.50 per square foot for most homes.
Euroshield Rubber Roofing. It makes Euroshake and Euroslate Series in several styles each.
EcoStar is made with recycled rubber blended with PVC for strength and the ability to form shingles and shakes with greater rigidity.
Davinci Roofscapes offers similar synthetic roofing products. Davinci is heavier on the PVC, which gives it firmness and durability. Here is a comprehensive guide to Davinci Roofscapes. It contains analysis, costs, and installation information.
State Roofing, mentioned above, was the first to bring rubber slate and shingles to the Seattle market. It is the only Seattle roofing company installing Euroshield.
Elements Smart Roofing is the top Seattle roofing company for EcoStar and Davinci Roofscapes.
PVC Membrane for Flat Roofs
There are many low-slopped roofs in and around the greater Seattle area. PVC flat roofing membrane is an excellent choice for this region, because PVC membranes are energy-efficient, lightweight, durable, and long-lasting.
via Pinnacle Roofing
Durable and long-lasting
As noted, PVC membrane’s durability, longevity are very impressive. PVC roofs can last anywhere from 20 to 30+ years, or longer depending on the thickness of the membrane.
PVC can withstand ponding and pooling water that can accumulate on flat roof due to persistent rain during Fall and Winter months.
Easy to repair
PVC roofs will remain weldable and pliable, meaning that you can always replace a damaged section of the roof.
Low lifetime cost
PVC roofs are more durable and longer lasting compared to EPDM rubber. They also require almost no maintenance.
PVC membranes offer excellent solar reflectance and thermal emmitance, helping keep your home cool during summer.
PVC roofs can easily be outfitted with PV solar arrays resting on PVC-based mounts.
PVC membranes are more expensive compared to EPDM rubber and other single-ply alternatives.
Average PVC membrane roofing price can range from $8.50 to $14.50 per square foot installed in the greater King County, WA area.
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Based in Eugene OR, IB Roof is another manufacturer situated the PNW. Their products are installed throughout the US and Canada.
Pinnacle Roofing offers many different roofing systems including PVC membrane by IB Roof and standing seam metal roofs. The company also offers PV solar systems including BiPV solar shingles and and rack-mounted solar panels.
Valentine Roofing specializes in the installation of composition/asphalt, metal, and PVC roofing, which is a flat roofing membrane that is growing in popularity in the PNW, because it is waterproof, durable, and long-lasting, and needs little maintenance.
Note: Companies listed on this page are independent contractors and are not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this website is a decision made solely by the homeowner. RoofingCalc.com is not responsible for and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.
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