Minnesotans and other Midwestern homeowners know the importance of a good roof. When temperatures drop in the winter, and snow keeps piling up, you need a solid roof on your home to prevent leaks, withstand harsh weather, and prevent damage to your home. But which type of roofing system performs best in winter, and which type is best for Minnesota homeowners?

Thankfully, there are several good roofing options for Midwestern homeowners. Some are better than others, but few roofing materials are fit for this type of climate.

These are the best roofing options (and the pros and cons of each) for Minnesota homes.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common residential roofing system in the country for a reason. They are durable, affordable, and offer good protection against snow and most other environmental conditions common in the Midwest. However, despite their adequate durability and affordability, they are not the best-performing roofing material. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider them. If you are looking to complete an affordable roofing project, you can’t go wrong with asphalt shingles.

The pros of asphalt shingles:
  • Affordable
  • Perform well in low temperatures and against snow
  • Low maintenance
The cons of asphalt shingles:
  • Lowest lifespan of major roofing materials
  • Do not perform as well as many other options

Wood Shakes

Wooden roofs are the top choice for homeowners who love the natural, unique look they provide on a home’s exterior. If you have a cabin in the woods (or are going for that aesthetic), wood shakes are the perfect material for you. They also perform well during the winter months. Wood has great water and snow resistance on top of being sturdy and providing some natural installation, but the material is not without its drawbacks.

The pros of wood shakes:
  • Great performance during the winter months
  • Good insulation properties
  • Natural aesthetic
  • Longer lifespan than asphalt shingles
The cons of wood shakes:
  • More expensive than asphalt shingles
  • Require continuous maintenance (staining, etc.) to prevent damage, rot, insect damage, and other issues

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is one of the fastest-growing roofing materials in the country and for good reason. It’s strong, heavily resistant to most weather issues, and works just as well on commercial buildings as it does on residential homes. But don’t think that your home will look like a commercial building after you install a metal roof. Over the years, manufacturers have made metal roofing materials that are specific to residential homes. They are durable, pleasing to look at and come in a variety of color options.

The pros of metal roofing:
  • Very long lifespan (more so than most other materials)
  • Excellent performance against snow, rain, extreme cold, and other Midwestern weather conditions
  • Great insulating properties
The cons of metal roofing:
  • It’s an investment that costs more than other materials (but it’s also important to factor in its lifespan!).


There are many roofing tile options (slate, clay, etc.). These types of roofing materials, although not a popular choice in Minnesota or the Midwest, actually hold up surprisingly well against the elements. Common in coastal and Southwestern homes, this roofing material has some great benefits.

The pros of tile roofing:
  • Middle ground pricing (not as expensive as metal, but more expensive than asphalt)
  • Great durability and resistance to cold weather
  • Low maintenance
The cons of tile roofing:
  • More expensive than asphalt tiles
  • Your home may stick out (this may be a plus!)

Need help choosing a roofing material for your home in Minnesota? Contact the roofing experts at Schmidt Roofing today!

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