If you've been shopping for a new roof recently, you've likely heard all about the newer roofing materials like composite shingles and metal roofing. Even some older roofing materials, like slate, are making a comeback. However, traditional asphalt shingles, the most popular type of roofing material in the United States, still have a lot to offer homeowners.

Benefits of an asphalt shingle roof

1. An asphalt shingle roof is affordable. Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable types of roofing materials on the market, much less expensive than wood shingles, metal roofing or clay tiles. In addition, since an asphalt shingle roof is easier to install than many other types of roofing materials, installation for this type of roof is also less expensive. In most cases, an asphalt shingle roof can be installed in just one day.

2. Asphalt shingles are versatile. An asphalt single roof adapts to most any architectural or design style. This type of roof comes in a variety of colors, everything from traditional black to green, mauve and grey. There are even asphalt singles made to resemble wood shingles and slate shingles.

3. Asphalt shingles are lightweight. When you use asphalt shingle for your roof, you don't have to worry about adding extra support beams like you do when you install a roof with slate shingles or clay tiles.

4. Asphalt roofs usually last long enough. The average asphalt shingle roof will last for around 20 to 30 years. Since the average homeowner stays in his or her home for 13 years, an asphalt roof is often the only roof you'll ever have to purchase for your home.

5. Asphalt shingles are recyclable. Although an asphalt shingle roof typically doesn't last as long as one made from materials like slate or metal, asphalt shingles can be recycled and used for paving material, keeping this roofing material out of America's land fills. Installing a asphalt shingle roof is being environmentally responsible.

6. Asphalt shingle roofs are easy to repair. If you happen to have a shingle or two blow off in a heavy wind or storm, it's easy to replace the affected shingles without having to tear off a large portion of the roof. Such repairs are also relatively inexpensive.

While an asphalt shingle roof may not be the right choice for every home and homeowner, this type of roof is affordable, versatile and easy to repair.