If you haven’t replaced your roof or are in need of a roof for new construction, the wide variety of roofing materials available today may surprise you.
Options range from the traditional shingle and metal roofing to wood, slate and ceramics, each with its own design and protective benefits and drawbacks.
As with any major home-improvement project, there is much to consider and research when mulling your options for roofing.
Here’s what you want to know about the different materials available.
The most common type of roofing in America, by far, are asphalt shingles. They’re available in a wide variety of colors and styles to suit your taste and budget, and they’re popular for a reason: a great bang for your roofing buck.
When you pick an asphalt shingle roof, there are three things to consider.
One, of course, is the color. You’ll want to pick a color that works well with your home’s design, complementing the bricks and paint. A good roofing company can help make design suggestions, but ultimately the decision will be up to your personal taste.
Two, you can pick different textures for the shingles. One popular option is the “architectural shingle” roof that uses thicker layers to create shadows and a sense of depth that looks better than the traditional, flatter, thinner shingles do. They often come with a longer warranty — up to 30 years — and don’t cost a whole lot more than regular shingles.
And three, you should pay close attention to the warranty. Make sure you pick an installer with a great track record with customers, a long time in business and a guaranty of their work, including installing the materials according to the manufacturer’s warranty specs.
A roof that is nearly flat or slightly pitched is called a flat roof or low slope roof – No roof should be dead flat because it must have at least a slight slope to drain. By choosing the proper materials, hiring an experienced professional to build and install the flat roof, and committing to regular inspection and maintenance, homeowners may count on many years of reliable performance when selecting a flat roof solution.
Besides performance in wind, freeze-thaw cycles & UV radiation from the sun, a low-slope/flat roof must also withstand expansion & contraction & remain 100% watertight. This requires well-engineered attachment, seaming & weathering characteristics to meet these performance demands.
Flat roofs are an attractive aesthetic choice that give homes a unique form. If you love the landscape or cityscape around your home, a flat roof can help complement that without obscuring the view.
Metal roofs have been a popular option in rural America for decades. Metal roofing offers great value because it has a longer lifespan than traditional roofing materials and is easy for professionals to install.
With proper maintenance and optimal conditions, metal roofing will cover a building almost indefinitely. The cost of metal roofing can vary widely, though, depending on what metal it’s made from and how it’s put together.
Metal roofing comes in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, zinc or an alloy of multiple metals. There are also varying grades and thicknesses.
Finally, for people who love the Mediterranean or Spanish architectural styles, there’s just one choice for an authentic look: ceramic tiles.
Like slate roofs, tile can be rather heavy, so proper framing must be in place to support the weight. And like other high-end roofing materials, a quality tile roof can last for generations.
The upside to tile roofs is their low-maintenance durability, impressive fire resistance and unmistakable style. The downside is the cost, since it can be pricey to buy the materials and labor-intensive to have it installed.