Six Choices for Your New and Improved Roof
With the variety of roofing materials available these days, here are six options to help make choosing the right one for your roofing project a little easier.
1. Roofing Material: Asphalt Shingles —
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material seen on American homes these days. They are an inexpensive roofing option and they come in a variety of colors. They are generally guaranteed for 20 to 30 years and require little maintenance. The drawback is that this roofing material is so common, your roof probably won’t stand out from the crowd. However, the asphalt shingles have great value in their durability and ease of installation. You can choose from the standard 3-tab shingles or upgrade to a thicker, architectural shingle. Ask your contractor for samples of each to determine which type of asphalt shingle is the roofing material best suited for your residential roofing project.
2. Roofing Material: Wood Shingles —
Wood shingles are beautiful. This is a classic roofing material that ages and weathers to a beautiful wood roof shingle gray or silver. If installed properly, wood shingles can last 30 to 50 years. This roofing material, however, has some drawbacks. First, it’s not fireproof. Second, it’s fairly expensive to install and often requires maintenance such as washing to remove mildew and/or an application of new oil. If this is your roofing material of choice, make sure your contractor is knowledgeable about shingle selection and installation.
3. Roofing Material: Engineered Tiles and Materials —
These days there are many types of roofing shingles that are manufactured to look like wood or shake, among other things. These products meet fire codes and restrictions and can often be cost effective and low maintenance. A good contractor can help guide you in your selection of engineered roofing materials.
4. Roofing Material: Slate —
Slate is a beautiful for residential roofing. It is a high end roofing material, it sheds ice and snow, and it has a classic appeal. Slate is also very heavy and requires a structure built to withstand that amount of weight. It is also expensive to buy and install. It is, however, now available in an engineered product which is less expensive and considerably lighter. This option makes a slate look-alike roofing shingle an affordable consideration for many builders and contractors to suggest to their clients.
5. Roofing Material: Metal —
Metal roofs are cheap, rugged, and long lasting. They vary from the low end of galvanized metal — like metal you would see on a barn — to high end copper. Metal roofs can be a great residential roofing option, as it is generally maintenance free and can protect you from fire damage in high fire areas. Metal is another roofing material that requires proper installation as even small mistakes can cause leaks.
6. Roofing Material: Ceramic —
Ceramic roofing material is most commonly seen in Mediterranean style homes. The most often used ceramic is the barrel tile, or the half cylinder, but also common is the ceramic clay tile roofing material. Ceramic roofs are beautiful but are heavy and the installation is quite labor intensive. A good contractor can locate master roofers to ensure proper installation of a ceramic roof.