There are many types of roofing materials to choose from if you are considering a new roof.
Before making your choice, consider the life-cycle cost of your roofing material. Some materials, though much more expensive initially, require less maintenance and have a longer life expectancy than others. Also consider the look, style and location of your home. Your roof provides protection for your home from the elements, and a quality roof will impact the value of your home.
Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular residential shingles used. They come in many styles and colors. The most common style is a 3 tab shingle. Other styles include dimensional and architectural shingles. These shingles can add some depth and interest to your roof.
Asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and repair, fire resistant and have a life span of 15-30 years depending on the particular brand of shingle and the local climate where it is installed. Asphalt shingles tend to scar easily when hot and can be subject to mildew and moss in wetter climates.
Wood Shingles or Shakes
Wood shingles are a great way to add character to the home. They are usually found on Bungalow, Ranch, Contemporary, Cottage, or Historic styles of homes. Wood shingles provide a look that is rustic or traditional to the home.
Typically wood shingles are made out of Cedar, which holds up well to the weather, however they are available in other types of woods. Wood shingles have a life span of 30-50 years, however require yearly maintenance. Wood shingles should be inspected and cleaned each season. A preservative should be applied once every 3-5 years. Wood shingles are expensive and require professional installation.
Wood shingles are a great investment and will add value to your home. With a life span of 30-50 years wood shingles are an excellent addition to the home.
Metal Roofing, Steel, Aluminum, Tin, & Copper
Metal roofing has come a long way in recent years. It comes in many styles and types. Metal roofing can be made to mimic different types of shingles like Cedar, Slate or Standing Seam. They come in many different colors as well. Metal roofing is light, durable, and has a life span of 50 plus years. It can be installed on virtually all types of dwellings and buildings.
Maintenance on metal roofing is relatively low and they can be installed over existing roofs. Metal roofing shingles are installed in two distinct ways, horizontal or vertical. This type of roofing material requires professional installation.
Metal roofing materials are generally more expensive than other types of roofing materials however will a life span of 50 plus years, and it is a solid investment for the home. The process of making metal roofing materials combined with its life span makes it extremely environmentally friendly.
Slate roofs are considered one of the most durable and traditionally beautiful roofing materials you can buy. Slate roofs can last, and have lasted, hundreds of years. Mostly used on historic homes, slate is not often used in new construction due to its weight and cost. A slate roof can cost around $1000 per square, compared that to asphalt shingle roofs which run between $50-$100 per square. There are additional costs associated with supporting the roof structure due to the weight of the slate.
Slate roofs are extremely beautiful, fireproof, low maintenance and have a long life span.
Clay or Concrete Tiles
Clay tiles are a great option for those looking for a durable, fireproof and bug/insect proof roofing material. Clay tiles run in the moderate price range, more expensive than asphalt shingles but less expensive than other materials. Clay tiles are heavy and may require additional support in the roofing structure.
These tiles come in many colors and styles, are very attractive, fireproof, easy to maintain and extremely durable. Clay tiles should be installed by a professional to insure their durability.
Clay titles are often associated with certain locations and types of homes. They proved a Mediterranean or Southwestern feel and are therefore not usually used on traditional homes.
Built up roofs and rolled roofs
Built up roofs are constructed by using layers of roofing felt and hot tar to build up a thick roofing surface. This surface is covered with a layer of gravel to provide a top layer of protection.
Rolled roofing material is usually made of fiberglass or asphalt and is “rolled” onto the surface to provide protection. This type of material has a short life span.
Both of these types of roof are used for flat surfaces. They are general used for commercial applications; however they can be applied for residential use.