What Is the Best Residential Roofing Material for Michigan’s Unique Climate?

Learn more about why asphalt shingles are the ideal roofing material for homes in Michigan and which system L&S Home Improvements recommends.

Home with new roof

In Michigan’s ever-changing weather, where homes face everything from high winds and hail to heavy rain and snow, choosing the right roofing material is crucial. Among the various options available, asphalt shingles provide exceptional strength and durability and stand out as the best choice for effectively combating these diverse weather conditions.

Read on to learn why asphalt shingles are the top recommendation for Michigan homes and which asphalt roofing system our team at L&S Home Improvements recommends.

The Benefits of Asphalt Shingles

New gray roof

Asphalt shingles are one of the most widely used materials for roofing in Michigan and are known for their versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. They are made primarily from fiberglass matting coated with asphalt and topped with mineral granules, providing a reliable barrier against rain, hail, and wind.

Besides durability, asphalt shingles are also known for their insulative properties and help maintain comfortable temperatures inside the home, regardless of outside weather conditions. This insulation capability contributes to their energy efficiency, potentially reducing heating and cooling costs.

Asphalt shingles are also relatively easy to install and repair, which can help significantly reduce maintenance costs.

Lastly, we know that aesthetic appeal is also a major factor for homeowners, so you’ll be happy to know that asphalt shingles are available in many colors and styles, from traditional three-tab to more luxurious architectural designs, making it easy to find a style that matches your existing home’s exterior.


  • Exceptional Insulative Properties
  • Weather-Resistant
  • Contribute to Better Energy Efficiency/Reducing Heating & Cooling Costs
  • Easy to Install, Repair, & Maintain
  • Available in Many Colors & Designs

How Asphalt Shingles Compare to Other Roofing Materials

Asphalt shingles offer several advantages over other popular roofing materials like metal, slate, and cedar shake.

Let’s explore these advantages.

Asphalt Versus Metal

Rain pours down on a metal roof

Although known for their durability and long lifespan, metal roofs have several drawbacks. First, they can be significantly louder than asphalt shingles during rainstorms. This is a serious disadvantage for homeowners because Michigan experiences heavy rainstorms, including severe thunderstorms with hail.

Additionally, the higher upfront cost of metal roofing is also a consideration, as it can be a substantial investment compared to asphalt shingles. If not installed correctly, metal roofs can also lead to major headaches, including leaks from destructive rust. 

Lastly, metal roofs have a distinct sheen and a limited color range that may not be appealing, especially if you’re looking for a traditional or subtle aesthetic.

Asphalt Versus Slate

Heavy moss is growing on several slate tiles

Next, slate roofing, known for its natural beauty and longevity, is one of the most expensive roofing materials to install. Beyond the initial installation cost, slate roofs require significant upkeep to maintain their appearance and functionality.

Typical maintenance may include replacing broken tiles, which is harder to do than shingles because each slate tile is unique, frequently removing moss and algae, especially if you live in a shaded environment, and regularly assessing structural assessments, as slate roofs require a strong structural support system. This level of maintenance can be challenging for many homeowners. In comparison, asphalt shingles only need biannual or yearly inspections and routine gutter cleaning.

Asphalt Versus Cedar Shake

Cedar shake that is old and damaged. Some tiles have shifted or are chipped.

Cedar shake roofs are prized for their rustic charm and natural insulation properties. However, like slate, they are very expensive to install. Cedar shake roofs demand consistent maintenance to preserve their appearance and durability, including routine cleaning to remove moss, algae, and lichen, not to mention sealing every few years to repel water and resist UV damage. Comparatively, asphalt shingles require minimal maintenance and are more resistant to varying weather conditions.

Our Recommended Roofing System for Michigan Homes

A diagram of CertainTeed's Integrity Roof System®. The diagram points to different parts of the roofing system, like the hip and ridge shingles, the Landmark PRO® Shingles, ridge vents, starter shingles, and WinterGuard®. The CertainTeed Integrity Roof System logo is next to the house.
Image from CertainTeed’s website.

Servicing homeowners in Michigan, L&S Home Improvements is committed to only using the best materials for roofing installations. That’s why we exclusively use CertainTeed’s Integrity Roof System®, specifically designed to provide optimal protection against extreme weather conditions.

The system contains several major components:

  1. WinterGuard® Waterproofing Shingle Underlayment: This underlayment is for areas prone to leaks, such as valleys, vents, and chimneys, and provides extra protection against water infiltration in these critical areas and ice dams during the winter. It’s made from a composite material of asphalt polymers, formed into a rolled sheet. The asphalt makes it vapor-tight, and the polymers make the asphalt elastic and sticky. This protective barrier is able to stretch and seal around nails driven through it.
  2. RoofRunner® Synthetic Underlayment: This high-quality synthetic, polymer-based underlayment is a water-resistant/waterproof barrier laid directly onto the roof deck. It has a specialized top layer that repels water and an adhesive backing that helps to seal out moisture. Serving as the foundation for the shingles, it offers a slip-resistant surface for the installation crew as well.
  3. SwiftStart®: SwiftStart® is a metric starter shingle that supports the rest of the roofing shingles, protects wind-vulnerable areas of the roof, and prevents shingle blow-off.
  4. Landmark® PRO Shingles: As the most visible part of the system, CertainTeed shingles come in a variety of colors and are built to withstand harsh weather conditions. They are copper-infused with StreakFighter® algae resistance, helping to inhibit the growth of black streaks from algae growth in homes in highly wooded environments. The ceramic granules in the shingles lower the surface temperature, which helps reduce attic temperatures and heat transfer. Landmark® PRO shingles are laminated as well, which improves durability, prevents color fading, and prevents dreaded granule loss. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, these shingles have NailTrak®, which helps ensure proper installation and shingle placement, providing peace of mind for both installers and homeowners. 
  5. Hip & Ridge Cap Shingles: These shingles are specifically designed to complement CertainTeed’s roofing shingles and provide added protection to the roof’s hips and ridges, ensuring a consistent look and enhanced durability in these critical areas.
  6. Intake & Outlet Roof Ventilation: Proper ventilation is the most crucial component of any roofing system, as it helps manage attic temperatures and moisture levels, reducing the risk of ice dams in the winter and heat buildup in the summer while improving the home’s overall energy efficiency. L&S Home Improvements will assess your current ventilation system, offer our insight, and install the best option for your unique situation.

The primary benefit of the Integrity Roof System® lies in its holistic approach to roofing. By integrating high-quality materials and specialized components, it offers superior protection against the elements, enhanced durability, and improved energy efficiency. Additionally, the design versatility of CertainTeed’s shingles ensures you don’t have to compromise on style for the sake of functionality.

Try CertainTeed’s design tool to see how the Integrity Roof System® would look on your home!

Start Your Home Roof Project With L&S Home Improvements

If you need a new roof, turn to L&S Home Improvements. We’re a certified, family-owned and -operated roofing contractor committed to providing exceptional customer support, transparent pricing, and quality workmanship.

We make our roof installation and replacement processes as easy as possible. All you have to do is schedule an appointment, and we’ll send out a roof specialist to perform a complimentary attic and roof inspection, discuss materials, warranty information, project scope, and more. Once you hire us, our team will handle the rest, keeping you updated during every stage of the process.

If budget is a concern, know that we also provide flexible financing options through GreenSky and Enhancify. We offer No Interest No Payment options, Traditional 10 year, and customized solutions (subject to credit approval). You can use our easy online tool to determine your monthly payments based on the quote we give you.

Contact us today to get started with a free quote.


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L&S Home Improvements. All rights reserved.
Drone view of home with new black roof

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