Denver Residential Roofing Styles and Types

With as many different home styles as there are, a variety of different roofs are needed to suit the design and functionality needs of every home. In Colorado, our weather patterns make it a challenge for many homes to withstand things like hailstorms, high winds, and battering rain.

To address the varied needs of homes throughout the Denver metro area (and throughout Colorado), the following roofing styles have become the most popular for residential buildings.

Impact Resistant Shingles

When you hear of a roof being referred to as an ‘asphalt’ roof, what that typically means is that the shingles themselves are made of asphalt, not the entire roof.

Impact Resistant Shingles, also known as IR shingles, are class 4 shingles specially manufactured with an SBS ( styrene-butadiene-styrene) modified asphalt formula – which is also known as rubberized asphalt. The manner in which these shingles are manufactured, allows the shingle to withstand the impact of hail more effectively.

Class 4 shingles are the highest classification you can get when it comes to hail damage resistance and have a UL 2218 rating. This rating is a series of tests performed when manufacturing the shingle and involves dropping a two-inch steel ball from 20 feet high onto the shingle and examining if the shingle cracks or not.

Significant discounts may be provided by some insurance carriers for customers who install class 4 impact resistant shingles.

Dimensional Asphalt

Asphalt shingling is the most common method used to construct residential roofs in Colorado. Asphalt is a superior substance because it repels water and binds the small granules that comprise the shingle exterior. Also, asphalt is mass-produced and therefore fairly inexpensive.

Lastly, asphalt shingles are flexible while being highly resistant to cracking or splitting. This durability combined with their waterproofing feature makes asphalt shingles a superior choice for many homes.

Dimensional asphalt shingles are a common type of ‘premium’ shingle used on many roofs in Colorado. These shingles are interwoven as they are placed, providing a textured look. Because dimensional shingles are heavier and thicker, they often come with longer warranties, ranging from 30 years to an entire lifetime.


When you think of slate shingle roofs, think of flat, smooth stone tiling, which is essentially what a slate roof is composed of. Slate is incredibly durable, lasting as long as an entire century or more. But, with that added durability does come a slight drawback: slate is very, very heavy. It is, in fact, about three times as heavy as a traditional asphalt shingle.

For this reason, slate is difficult to work with. And, because of how brittle it is, it can crack or break during installation. This is worth it for many homeowners who prefer a more colorful, hand-crafted look for their roof.

Clay Tile

Clay tile that is formed in an ‘S-shaped’ pattern is often referred to as ‘Spanish’ or ‘Spanish Mission’-style roofing.

In the past twenty or so years, the S-shaped pattern has evolved to include some other designs that add yet more depth and elegance to the look of the roof as a whole. While clay is remarkably resilient (it stands up exceptionally well against hail, heavy rains, and wind), it is also quite heavy.

Due to its heft, clay tile roofs require much more fortified building substructures. So, not just any old house frame will suffice for a clay tile roof.

Tile – Concrete

Concrete tile roofs take full advantage of the strength and lasting power that concrete is known for. Also, because concrete can be poured into a mold of virtually any size and style, the sky is the limit when it comes to design. This makes concrete tile roofs ideal for communities that aim to have a uniform aesthetic.

Here in Colorado, concrete tile roofs are an especially great choice, as snow and ice run off of concrete tiles much easier than most other roof types. Concrete tiling also stands up incredibly well against high winds (up to 125 MPH, in many cases). Furthermore, in comparison with clay tile which can restrict design options, concrete tile opens up a host of possibilities for tile size, placement, and thicknesses.

Like clay tile, concrete roofing tile manufacturers often include warranties that span multiple decades. It’s not uncommon to find concrete tile roofs that are still covered by warranties initiated 40+ years ago.

Whatever the Roof Style,
A to Z Roofing Can Help!

At A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors, we’ve seen a lot in our 25+ years of being in business. This extensive history gives us a unique advantage in the roofing industry here in Colorado.

Because we’ve seen the many ways that the Colorado climate can wreak havoc on residential roofs, we take extra steps to ensure that any roof we install is controlled for quality at every step.

To learn more about how A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors can help with your residential roofing project, contact us today.