As is the case in any industry, methods change over time and the way that things are done gradually evolves. Roofing is no different, and over the passing decades, we at Able Roofing have noticed a trend of homeowners trading in traditional materials such as concrete, clay, and slate for modern alternatives.

Felt, green and solar roofs are growing in popularity across the United Kingdom and there are a number of reasons why. From cost-effective solutions to reducing the home’s carbon footprint, it’s easy to see why homeowners are opting for modern materials, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option.


While felt roofing is certainly more cost-effective than concrete, clay, lead and slate solutions, it simply isn’t as durable and will require maintenance or a full-blown replacement within as little as 10 years. When you consider that a lead roof can be expected to remain strong for 100 years, the difference in quality is clear. Naturally, lead benefits from resistance to corrosion as a result of weather and radiation, making it an ideal roofing material.

Lead has to be handled by a team that has undergone four years’ worth of training, due to the harmful nature of the material. Lead’s resilient nature also makes it the perfect option for unpredictable British weather.

As well as lead, clay and concrete can also be expected to last for around 60 years, which still amounts to a more than respectable lifespan for your property. If you are planning to sell your current property in the coming years, it is worth considering that clay roofing usually increases resale value.

Weighing up the Costs

While some modern roofing styles, such as felt, are cost-effective, many are not. Solar tiles are proving to be highly popular, especially with such a keen focus on producing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint, but does that alone make for the ideal roof?

The answer may not be what you hope for, considering that solar tiles are substantially more expensive than standard clay tiles. Of course, there is the potential to recoup those costs elsewhere, however, unless your property will see a good amount of regular sunlight you aren’t going to benefit half as much as you might like to think.

In a 365-day year, London can expect to see an average of 106 rainy days and 1481 hours of sunlight, equalling just less than 17% of the year. Those who are looking to invest in solar panels should bear in mind that they can expect the energy output to decrease 1% annually.

Many other homeowners, especially those with flat roofing, are opting to install green roofs. A property with greenery sitting on top is certainly more aesthetically appealing, but it demands a lot of maintenance as it is essentially a garden on your roof. If you consider the amount of time you can spend out in the garden mowing the lawn and tending to any flowers or plants you are growing, that could be the same amount of time you spend on the roof. This is perhaps why many homeowners opt for a green roof when they only have a small garden or not one at all, as an alternative.

Why Traditional Roofing Materials Remain King

Here at Able Roofing, we fully believe that traditional roofing materials remain the best, not only because of the average life expectancy or due to the costs involved, but because the quality cannot be brought into question. Concrete, clay, lead and slate roofs are proven to last the distance and withstand the potentially extreme weather conditions that roofs can be subjected to in the United Kingdom.

That isn’t to say that modern roofing methods don’t add value and, in some cases, aren’t the ideal solution for your property. Our fully qualified team will be on hand to offer expert advice on what style of roofing will best suit your property and budget.

We offer a free no obligation quotation on any roofing project. A member of our team will provide you with clearly written specifications and fixed prices on the work that needs to be done, allowing you to make an informed decision as to whether to press ahead with any work.

For more information, please get in contact with Able Roofing today and we will be more than happy to help.

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