If you own a home, it’s likely that at one point or another you will need to replace the roof over your head. Roofing can be controversial and stressful for an owner, especially when getting estimates and information from different contractors and roofers. To avoid being steered into the wrong (and sometimes more expensive) direction, it’s important to thoroughly understand the different types of roofing materials available. Here are a few of the more popular options when it comes to roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular option when it comes to roofing materials. They are inexpensive to purchase and install, since many roofers and contractors are knowledgeable in their installation.
Pros: Asphalt shingles are relatively cheap, readily available and come in a variety of colors. Asphalt shingles also easy to replace.
Cons: Unfortunately, this roofing material doesn’t stand up well to wind damage or ice. They also have a short lifespan, on average between 15 and 30 years.
Clay Tile Roofs
Clay tiles are popular on homes that feature a certain exterior appearance, such as Southwestern style or adobe style homes.
Pros: Clay tiles can be used on homes in any climate. These tiles will not decay and are resistant to both mold and fire. Like asphalt shingles, they can be colored to match a certain color scheme for a home.
Cons: Clay roofs are extremely expensive to purchase and install. They’re also very heavy and require additional roof support. Plus, once they’re installed, you cannot walk on them to install or repair a damaged clay tile.
Like both asphalt shingles and clay tiles, concrete tiles are available in many different styles and colors.
Pros: Like clay tiles and slate roofing, concrete roofs are fireproof. They’re also extremely durable and more importantly, they’re easy to maintain.
Cons: Concrete tiles are heavy, so extra reinforcement for the roof may be necessary. Surprisingly, concrete roofs can become expensive to purchase and install.
Slate roofing is considered to be one of the most visually pleasing types of roofing available. Though it is among the most expensive of roofing materials, it is also the longest lasting.
Pros: Slate roofs are fireproof and feature a long lifespan, with many slate roofs lasting 100 years or more.
Cons: Slate is a heavy material and like clay tiles, it is fragile. It is also very expensive to purchase and install.
Wooden shingles were popular in the 19th century and the early portion of the 20th century. You often see them on historic homes that have been restored to their original state.
Pros: Wooden shingles blend in with the environment and they’re easy to repair or replace when needed. If properly maintained, they can last up to 50 years.
Cons: Unfortunately, wooden shingles are extremely flammable if not properly treated with flame retardant chemicals, or if they are not pressure treated. They require high levels of maintenance and can easily rot, mold or split over time.
Metal roofs can be used in nearly any climate. The tiles can be made in any color, size and shape; so they can be made to mimic the look of other roofing materials.
Pros: Metal roofs have a long lifespan, upwards of 50 years. They’re also light weight and low maintenance. Plus, they perform well in rain, high wind and hail.
Cons: Metal roofs can become expensive, depending on the owner’s needs or wants (such as a specific style or color.) Some roofers may not properly install the roof or it may need to be repainted after so many years.
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