Choosing the Right Roofing Material: Your Guide by Tomlinson Cannon, the Premier Roofing Contractors in Iowa City

When it's time to replace or repair your roof, one of the most crucial decisions you'll face is selecting the right roofing material. At Tomlinson Cannon, we understand the significance of this choice and the impact it has on the longevity, style, and functionality of your home in Iowa City. As your trusted roofing contractors in Iowa City, we're here to guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.

Comparing Roofing Materials: Pros and Cons

Let's dive into a comprehensive comparison of different roofing materials available for your roof replacement project. Each material comes with its unique set of advantages and considerations, and we want you to have a clear understanding of your options.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material known for their versatility and cost-effectiveness. They are composed of a base mat covered with layers of asphalt and mineral granules. Asphalt shingles come in various styles and colors, making them a flexible choice for homeowners. They provide durability, energy efficiency, and are suitable for Iowa City's climate, making them a top choice for roofing projects.


  • Versatile and cost-effective.
  • A wide variety of styles and colors available.
  • Suitable for Iowa City's climate.


  • May not have the longevity of some other materials.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a durable and long-lasting roofing material known for its exceptional resistance to harsh weather conditions. Typically constructed from steel, aluminum, or copper, metal roofs offer excellent protection against elements like rain, snow, and high winds. They are an ideal choice for homeowners seeking a roofing solution that provides longevity, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Metal roofing is a popular option for those looking to invest in a roof that can stand the test of time while offering a modern and sleek appearance.


  • Known for durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions.
  • Provides long-term protection.
  • Ideal for Iowa City homeowners seeking longevity.


  • Initial installation costs may be higher.

Tile Roofing

Tile roofing is a distinctive and aesthetically pleasing roofing material that offers both style and durability. Made from materials such as clay or concrete, tile roofing provides a timeless and elegant appearance to homes. Beyond its visual appeal, tile roofing is highly resistant to extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain and intense heat, making it a resilient choice for Iowa City's climate.


  • Offers a unique aesthetic appeal.
  • Can withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
  • A popular choice in Iowa City.


  • Installation costs can be relatively high.

Wood Shingles or Shakes

Wood shingles or shakes are roofing materials known for their rustic charm and natural beauty. They are typically made from cedar, redwood, or other durable wood species. Wood shingles are precisely cut, while shakes have a more rustic, hand-split appearance. These roofing materials not only add character and warmth to a home but also provide excellent insulation properties. They are a preferred choice for homeowners looking to enhance the traditional and timeless appeal of their roofs while benefiting from natural insulation to maintain energy efficiency.


  • Provides rustic charm and natural insulation.
  • Adds character to homes while maintaining energy efficiency.


  • Requires regular maintenance.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a roofing material renowned for its timeless elegance and exceptional durability. It is crafted from natural slate stone, offering a distinctive and luxurious appearance to homes. Slate roofs are fire-resistant, resistant to rot and insect damage, and can withstand harsh weather conditions, making them an enduring choice for Iowa City's climate. With a lifespan that can span a century or more, slate roofing represents a long-term investment in both style and durability for homeowners seeking a sophisticated and lasting roofing solution.


  • Timeless beauty and exceptional durability.
  • Resistant to fire, rot, and insects.
  • A long-lasting choice for Iowa City homes.


  • Considered a premium roofing material.

At Tomlinson Cannon, we offer a wide range of roofing materials tailored to your preferences and the local climate. Our experienced roof contractors in Iowa City will help you choose the best option that aligns with your budget, style, and long-term goals.

Navigating Local Roofing Regulations

Before embarking on your roof replacement project in Iowa City, it's essential to be aware of any local regulations or building codes that may impact your plans. The Section R902 Fire Classification, set forth in Sections R904 and R905, outlines specific requirements for roofing covering materials.

  • Roofs shall be covered with materials designated as Class A, B, or C roofing when required by law or when the edge of the roof is less than 3 feet (914 mm) from a lot line.
  • Class A, B, and C roofing materials must be tested in accordance with UL 790 or ASTM E108 standards.


  • Class A roof assemblies include coverings like brick, masonry, and exposed concrete roof decks.
  • Class A roof assemblies also include ferrous or copper shingles or sheets, metal sheets and shingles, clay or concrete roof tiles, or slate installed on noncombustible decks.
  • Class A roof assemblies encompass minimum 16 ounces per square foot copper sheets installed over combustible decks.
  • Class A roof assemblies include slate installed over underlayment over combustible decks.

Additionally, fire-retardant-treated wood shakes and shingles must be treated via the full-cell vacuum-pressure process, following AWPA C1 standards. Each bundle should be clearly marked to identify the manufactured unit, manufacturer, and classification of the material.

By adhering to these local regulations and building codes, you can ensure that your roof replacement project proceeds smoothly and in compliance with Iowa City's requirements.

At Tomlinson Cannon, we take pride in being your premier roof contractors in Iowa City, offering top-notch roofing solutions and guidance throughout your project. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the difference of working with a trusted roofing partner.