blue metal roof on portland home

Best Roofing Materials For Portland Oregon

Posted By Gabe Callaway

Homeowners in Portland, Oregon know what it’s like to deal with frequent rains. With that in mind, this can lead to moisture problems which may put your roof in trouble. To help you choose the best roofing material for your Portland, Oregon home, we’ve compiled the best roof types to consider.

Key Factors to Keep in Mind in Choosing the Best Roofing Material

The weather in Oregon truly puts every roofing material to the test. It is then your responsibility to choose the suitable roofing material to handle the elements in a rainy, windy environment. It all boils down to critical factors such as: durability, pricing, and style.

Nowadays, eco-friendly roofing options are also increasing in popularity. You might want to consider this if you’re aiming to make greener choices for the environment. As you pick a roofing material for your Oregon property, consider the importance of the factors listed above and how they rank. Homeowners who want a long-lasting roof with less upkeep may prioritize durable roofing materials on their list. Meanwhile, homes with a distinct aesthetic may emphasize the style.

4 Best Roofing Materials for Homes in Portland, Oregon

Keep in mind that your chosen roofing material will affect the moisture-resistance capability of your roof. For the frequently wet climate in the Pacific Northwest, here are 4 of the best roofing materials to consider.

ridge of asphalt shingle roof in portland

Asphalt Roofs

Durability: Up to 20 to 30 years. Cost-effective price points. Available in several different colors

First on our list are asphalt roofs, the most cost-effective option for your Portland home. The material is durable (fire-resistant), easy to install, and cost-efficient.

It is no wonder asphalt shingle roofs are standard in almost all neighborhoods in Oregon! The material is also known to hold up well in wet environments like western Oregon. It is made from a fiberglass base before coating with an asphalt layer. Then, it is covered with weather-resistant mineral granules.

Pro Tip: Ensure that each asphalt shingle installed is designed to resist mold. These shingles are somewhat porous, so they can hold moisture.

Asphalt shingles also complement different home styles, from antique Victorian homes to contemporary, modern homes. You may also buy them in various colors and shapes. The downside is that asphalt shingles aren’t known to be environmentally friendly. Old shingles are sent directly to landfills. (Related: Are Shingles A Good Roofing Material In Portland?)

Pros of Asphalt Roofs

  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions (suitable for wind, snow, and rain in Oregon)
  • Since asphalt roofs are typical, materials are easily accessible if you need to do repairs

Cons of Asphalt Roofs

  • It requires more maintenance than other roofing types
  • It may not have more extended warranty coverage compared to other roofs (only between 5 and 20 years)
side view of new asphalt shingle roof

Wood Roofs

Durability: Can last up to 30 to 40 yearsCost-efficientMost suitable for bungalow, cottage, contemporary, and ranch style homes

Another popular roofing material in the Pacific Northwest is wood shingles. While the material complements the outdoor aesthetic of Portland homes, you will need to commit to its routine maintenance.

Important Note: Ensure to review local ordinances before choosing a wood roof for your home. Since the material is not fire-resistant, several cities have banned its installation.

Wood Shingles vs. Shakes

  • Wood shingles are trimmed mechanically using a saw
  • Wood shakes, on the other hand, are split by hand to create a rough, more natural look

You can count on your wood roof to last for 30 to 40 years because you follow proper maintenance. It is essential to follow regular upkeep in installing wood roofing for your Oregon home, given that the wet environment makes it susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot.

Metal Roofs

Durability: Can last for an entire lifetimeMore expensive than other roofing typesVersatile styles available

The next option, metal roofing, has high upfront costs. But, the material is truly ideal for the climate in Portland. Since metal reflects sunlight, this keeps your home cool in the hot summer months. These roofs are also slick– meaning they shed water more efficiently and discourage algae or moss growth.

If you don’t particularly like high-maintenance roofs, metal roofing is the best choice as it may last you for up to 50 years (twice as long as other roofing materials) The material is also recyclable, making them an environmentally-friendly choice. So if your budget can afford it, we recommend choosing a metal roof for your Portland, Oregon home. You’re also not limited to a roof with a dull, monotonous look. Today, metal roofs are available in different colors and styles. Some may even mimic the appearance of tike and other stylish roofing materials.

So, what’s the catch? Metal roofs are considerably more expensive than other options. It is also heavier, making it difficult and tricky to install. But if you plan to stay in your forever home– investing in a metal roof is worth considering! (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)

blue metal roof against blue sky with autumn trees

Reclaimed Slate Tile Roofs

Durability: Can last an entire lifetimeSlightly more expensive than standard roofing materialsConsiderably an aesthetic choice

If you value style and durability over price, slate tile roofs are a great addition to your Portland, Oregon home. For your reference, slate is a stone type that’s commonly quarried in the eastern states of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Slate tile roofs complement chateau, colonial, and French style homes well. It is also available in different colors and shapes. Not to mention, the material is known to be highly durable and fire-resistant. You can count on your slate tile roof to hold up well against heavy rains while keeping your home cool during the summer months.

If you’re curious about the downsides– this material can be rather expensive and difficult to install (much like metal roofs). You will need to hire an experienced roofer to ensure proper installation. Nowadays, finding reclaimed and repurposed roofing materials is easier than ever. Consider choosing a reclaimed slate tile roof for your Portland property.

Important Roofing Considerations for Portland, Oregon Homeowners

Here are some essential roofing considerations for Portland, Oregon homeowners:

Moss Growth on Roofs

Besides the issue of leaks, moss growth can stem due to excess moisture on your roof. Note that the Oregon climate may encourage algae and moss to thrive. And while this greenery looks like a pleasing addition, it may only hold excess moisture on the surface of your roof. This may result in cracking, deterioration, or fiber damage.

If you notice visible signs of algae, moss, and fungi on your roof– opt to act on the issue before it gets worse. These may only cause extensive and rather expensive damage to your roof if it gets out of control. You may also want to consult a roofer on proven tips and tricks to minimize the risk of moss growth on your new roof.

Shaded Areas

The shaded areas on your roof are more prone to moss and algae growth than the sunny areas, considering they stay wet for longer.

With that said, you may want to clear all nearby tree branches away from the roof. Doing so also lessens the risk of structural damage due to a fallen limb. Lead litter and other foreign debris from trees may only encourage moss growth, so it’s always better to keep trees away from your new roof as much as possible.

Attic Ventilation

If your home comes with an attic, always ensure proper ventilation. In contrast, poorly-ventilated attics may only add moisture to your roof, leading to possible mold activity. You can contact a local roofing company to install a roof vent if you want to improve your attic’s ventilation.


Properties in Portland must always follow regular roof maintenance. If not, it may lead to a costly mistake. Your roof needs to be cleaned periodically to get rid of debris on your roof and hinder the growth of moss or algae.

We do not recommend cleaning your roof by yourself. Moss and algae can be slick, so they may put you in harm’s way, especially if you’re not experienced in dealing with them. It would be best to save your DIY energy on other manageable home improvement projects.

Roof Surface and Slope

Your roof surface determines the number of algae or moss that may thrive on it. Some roofing materials, in particular, are made to resist moisture absorption. However, this doesn’t mean moss and algae won’t grow on it.

To ensure the best-case scenario, talk to your roofing contractor to select the best roofing material for your home needs. If you have persistent issues with your flat roofs, you may consider installing a steeper-sloped roof for your Portland property.

Eco-Friendly Roof Materials for Oregon Homes

Eco-friendly roofing technology may improve the comfort of your house while also reducing your energy bills and helping the environment. Here are some of the top environmentally friendly roofing options for homes in Oregon:

Metal: A metal roof can keep your home cool and reduces energy costs by reflecting sunlight. It is also an excellent sustainable option because it is low-maintenance and recyclable.

Recycled Shingles: Shingles produced from recycled materials can help the environment by reducing waste. Tough and long-lasting materials like rubber, plastic, or even old tires can be turned into recycled shingles.

Wood: Wood is a natural and biodegradable material that can improve your home’s air circulation and is eco-friendly; however, it may require some maintenance.

Reclaimed Clay or Slate Tile: Using recycled (and recyclable) materials is an excellent way to reduce your home’s environmental impact.

Different Roofing for Different Environments

Ultimately, choosing the best roofing material type will depend on the weather in your region. Ceramic tiles are good at dissipating heat, making them an excellent choice for homes located in warm environments. But, clay tiles can be water-permeable, so they are less suited for wet climate areas like Oregon.

Most of the population in Oregon lives in the western part, known as a temperate rainforest. Those living in the area for a while know it can be very damp at times. Due to its dry climate, homes in eastern Oregon will get by just fine (even without rain-resistant roofing).

Another crucial weather consideration for Oregon properties is the fire risk. Since climate change is making wildfires more dangerous today, you may want to ensure your home isn’t located in the path of a possible fire trail.

Should You Get a New Roof for Your Portland Home?

If you’re still undecided about re-roofing your house, don’t be: there are many great reasons to do it. The following are some of the advantages:

Energy efficiency: An old roof may already have small holes, making it more expensive to keep your home cooler and heated in winter due to air leakage. It is terrible for the environment and bad for your budget because your HVAC system will require more energy to achieve the desired room temperature.

Improved value: When it comes to increasing the market value of a home, new roofs provide a very high return on investment. Not only will your property look better, making it easier to sell, but a newly repaired roof will give any potential buyers confidence that they’re making a wise investment.

Eliminating health hazards: Mildew or mold might be growing on an old roof, posing a health risk if left undetected and untreated. Installing a new roof will eliminate that problem.

Newer technology: If your home’s roof was built in the 1980s, it’s made from materials and manufacturing processes that are more than 30 years old. Roofing technology hasn’t improved as much as computers, but having the most up-to-date methods is always a plus.

Peace of mind: If you’ve dealt with a roof leak, you know that it might eventually come back after it was repaired. With a new roof, you will see that it will take a long time before you re-encounter such a problem.

Overall Verdict: Best Roofing Material for Portland Oregon Homes

To answer the question “What are the best roofing materials to use in Portland, Oregon?” – we’ll go with asphalt shingles and metal roofing. But, always keep in mind there’s no definite “the best” roofing material as each home’s needs vary from one another.

It would be best to carefully weigh all your options to pick the option that gives you the most advantages. Another important consideration will be the total project costs. If your budget can’t accommodate a metal roofing installation’s hefty price tag, consider cost-effective alternatives like asphalt shingles instead.


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