Part 2: Choose the best roof tiles for your home

Roof tiles affect the entire look of your property. Image source:

Are you adding an extension to your property or intending to replace your existing roof? While it makes sense to replace your roof with the same roofing material, you should consider and compare all options.

Each material will offer you something different in terms of appearance and functionality.

If you are adding a new kitchen extension, or a new bedroom on the second floor, you will need to build a new roof entirely, and you can pick any tiles you want. As promised, here is Part 2 on how to choose the best roof tiles for your home.

3. Slate shingles

Want to build your roof out of solid rock? That’s exactly what slate shingles are.

Slate shingle roofs have been used for centuries, especially in medieval castles and churches, and are known for their opulent appearance, natural beauty, and excellent longevity.

Made from natural stone, slate shingles can last you for at least 100 years. It’s no wonder that the slate roofs on historical buildings still appear ageless even after years of punishing weather.

Quality comes at a price though; because slate shingles are one of the most expensive roofing materials. They’re also extremely heavy, so you may need additional structural support.

Slate roofs are complex to install and require an expert roofing contractor. Otherwise, it will lead to further roofing problems such as leaks and costly damages.

The Staffield Country Resort in Negeri Sembilan uses a composite roof of steel tiles that have been coated with volcanic rock. Image source:

4. Composite or synthetic shingles

Composite shingles are made from a combination of products including natural materials such as steel and rock, as well as synthetics like rubber or plastics.

They’re meant to be more affordable substitutes for other more expensive natural materials, with an almost similar appearance.

Composite shingles are engineered to be lightweight, simple to install, and not easily broken when stepped on or dropped. Being man-made products, they’re resistant to rot, mould, and algae.

On the other hand, composite shingles aren’t as durable as many other materials on this list. They’re vulnerable to heat, strong winds, and aren’t considered environment-friendly.

Clay roof tiles installed at Putra Heights, Subang Jaya. Image source:

5. Clay roof tiles

Clay roof tiles are arguably the most common roofing material used in Malaysia. They’re produced by baking moulded clay in high temperature.

They’re available in shades of brown, yellow, orange and terracotta and it’s easy to find a wide selection of customisable colours from different brands. These range from yellows and pinks, to funkier ones like “Aged Cedar” and “Zen”.

Clay roof tiles can last you for 100 years. Other benefits include being immune to insect and rot damage, fire-retardant, and low level of maintenance.

They’re also environment-friendly and can help to trim your energy bills by regulating the temperature in your home.

The downside of clay roof tiles is that they’re easily breakable when stepped on or dropped. Also, they can be heavy, so your roof may need additional structural support.

Concrete roof tiles installed at Bandar Parkland, Klang. Image source:

6. Concrete roof tiles

Concrete roof tiles are made from a mixture of sand, water, and cement. They’re then moulded or extruded into shape under extreme heat and pressure.

Similar to clay tiles, concrete tiles are strong, fireproof, easy to maintain, have a wide colour selection, can last up to 50 years and are cheaper than clay.

However, concrete tiles weigh nearly 40% more than clay tiles and absorb more water. Not only does this increases pressure on your roof structure, it also allows for mould and mildew growth.

Metal roof installed at Duta Suria, Kuala Lumpur. Image source:

7. Metal roof

Another popular roofing material in Malaysia is metal.

Although metal roofing sheets are commonly installed on factories, they’ve gained popularity among residential owners in recent years because of their durability, colour choices, and low-level maintenance.

Metal roofing sheets are made from copper, aluminium, steel, or alloy and are sturdy enough to last up to 50 years. They can also withstand high winds, insect attacks, mildew, rot and fire.

Since metal is made from sustainable materials, they’re recyclable and environmentally-friendly, with at least 30% being made from recycled materials.

Additionally, metal roofs are highly reflective, a great feature that helps to cool the home’s temperature and reduce energy bills.

Although metal roofs are expensive to install, if you consider how long they last, you’re actually saving money for hefty future maintenance costs.

Why you need to waterproof your roof

All roofing material can last for decades, but even the slightest gap will allow rainwater to flow into your home.

Waterproofing your roof helps extend its lifespan and prevents leaks. Do check for any roof or structural damage on your roof before proceeding.

Waterproofing will extend your roof’s lifespan by about five to eight years.

Before waterproofing, your roof has to be cleaned of any debris, lichen or moss with a high-pressure washer. Once cleaned, apply four different layers of water-resistant paint.

It is recommended that you hire professionals to pressure-wash your roof twice a year, to make your roof appear spotless while preventing algae, lichen and moss from damaging it. Each professional cleaning job ranges from RM500-RM1,000.

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