Whether you’ve got a new home to choose the roofing material for, or it’s just time to update your old roof, you’re probably wondering about the large handful of choices you have. Each type has a different style, color choices, price, and pros and cons. To determine which type is right for your home, check out the following descriptions.
Typically the least expensive roofing material to both buy and install, asphalt shingles are light and come in many colors and several styles, which makes them a popular choice. It is possible for them to last for a long time, but they can also decay if installed in a climate where sudden weather changes are common. For instance, temperatures in the southern U.S typically stay fairly temperate all year long. In the Midwest, the high one day could be 65, and the low 30. Therefore, asphalt shingles may not last as long there.
Using wood shingles or shakes (split wood that looks like natural pieces) can make a house look very attractive. However, it can be quite expensive, and requires more upkeep than other options. It will need to be washed and re-oiled periodically, as it can become moldy and grow mildew or become infested with insects. Although trees are cut down to make wood roofing materials, the wood can be recyclable and takes less energy to manufacture than other materials. Wood shingles or shakes are also biodegradable. Since they’re made of wood, though, they also are more prone to fires than other materials.
Clay tile can add a wonderful aesthetic look to houses. One of the longest lasting roofing materials, clay does not mold or rot, and is resistant to fire. The tiles last for a long time, and will actually outlast the material that they lie on. However, they do break easily if stepped on, which can make it difficult to clean gutters or get to the chimney. Also, they are quite heavy. To withstand the weight of the tile, your roof will probably need reinforcement. This, combined with the tiles and the installation, make clay an expensive option. However, its lifespan does sometimes make the price worth it.
Slate is very similar to clay tile. It has a different look, though, as it is made from rocks, is flat, and only comes in earth tones. Many different patterns can be made with the tiles, and they do not rot or mold, and are fire resistant. However, like clay, it is heavy, expensive, and breakable if walked on. It is a great choice, though, for those who are looking for a natural-looking roof that lasts for a very long time.
This type of roofing material is a blend of concrete, clay, and wood fiber. It is usually designed to look a bit like wood shakes. It can be painted any color, and will not mold or catch on fire. It’s not as heavy as clay or slate, so your roof should not need to be reinforced before installation. It can be a very durable option. However, like slate and clay, can crack and break when stepped on. They can also crack in very cold weather. It is typically more affordable than slate and clay as well. The material is recyclable.
This type of roofing comes in several different types of metal, including aluminum, steel, copper, and more. It also comes in different styles and colors. It is lightweight, durable, and wind-resistant. It will typically last longer than asphalt roofing, and most is 100% recyclable or made from recycled materials. However, producing the material and shipping it can be a bit of an energy user. Although some metal roofing material can get expensive, since oil prices have gone up, the most affordable metal roofing is typically as affordable as asphalt shingles. Metal roofing can be used in any environment, regardless of temperature differences.
Jolissa Doornink writes for Quarrix Building Products, providing homeowners with quality roofing accessories and products.