An Explanation of The Common Types of Residential Roofing Materials

There are numerous reasons as to why you might be looking for the best roofing materials for your property. You might be dealing with a leaky roof and want to find an ideal replacement before any further damage occurs. Or you might have an unresolved warranty issue and want a product from a provider you can trust in the future. Regardless of your situation, you're here because you want to have a better understanding of the available roofing material options. This read takes an in-depth look at the most common roofing materials with an aim of helping you proceed with confidence and peace of mind. Always contact local roofing contractors if you have more in depth questions.

 Common Types of Roofing Materials

These popular options cover over 90% of residential roofs in the country and so, unless you have something unusual like a vegetative green roof or solar tiles, then the options you are considering are likely covered in this post.

Asphalt Shingles

These are without a doubt the most popular roofing material for residential homes. These shingles tend to be so popular because they offer an array of attractive options, are quite affordable compared to their counterparts and do an excellent job of protecting homes from external elements.

There are two kinds of asphalt shingles:

  1. Fiberglass shingles

These have a fiberglass mesh mat that's topped with granules and covered in asphalt. They are lightweight and good at resisting tear.

  1. Organic Shingles

These start with recycled paper that's saturated in asphalt and also covered with granules. They are heavy and harder to work with compared to fiberglass shingles, but they provide better stability during high winds. However, manufacturers have stopped making organic shingles because of their tendency to dry out and becoming more prone to moisture absorption.

The Pros of Asphalt Shingles

-They look appealing on any type of home

-They offer good fire protection, particularly fiber shingles.

-They are easily the most affordable roofing materials.

-They come in an array of styles and colors and so, you won't lack something that meets your aesthetic needs.

The Cons of Asphalt Shingles

-Drastic changes in temperature can lead to the cracking of shingles

-organic shingles are heavy and getting them on the roof can be a challenge

-Cheap asphalt shingles do not go beyond 10 to 12 years in sunny or hot climates

-Their lifetime cost is usually higher compared to other roofing materials as the composition shingles need to be replaced regularly.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has enjoyed a resurgence in the residential industry and it is quickly becoming a preferred choice in various parts of the country. The manufacturing process of metal roofing allows for an array of options including the traditional metal roof design as well as roofing made to appear like shakes, tiles, and shingles. Common materials used include lightweight steel, zinc, and aluminum. Copper metal roofs are also available but tend to be very costly.

Here are The Pros of Metal Roofing:

-Metal roofs tend to last up to a century and come with warranties of 30 to 50 years.

-They come in an array of options including styles that mimic shakes, shingles, tiles, and slate. They also come in numerous colors.

-Many types of metal roofing profiles have a fire rating of Class A.

-The roofing materials are surprisingly lightweight but provide exceptional resistance to impact.

The Cons of Metal Roofing:

-The cost of metal roofing is higher compared to asphalt shingles and other materials. However, that's usually offset by its longevity and durability.

-The material can dent when hit by a heavy item. Replacing the panels also tends to be costlier.

-Without an ideal substrate like solid sheathing or an attic space, metal roofs installed directly over living space can be noisier than other materials when it rains.

Roof Tiles

You might think that this is an ancient roofing option, and you wouldn't be wrong. However, roof tiles have been modernized with newer and more robust materials that look amazing. Roof tiles come in three versions:

  1. Conventional clay tiles that are reinforced for durability and strength
  2. Fiber cement tiles that are made of clay and wood blended into concrete.
  3. Concrete tiles that are made of a lightweight combination that makes them strong but easy to handle.

The finished tiles are either glazed or coated with a waterproof material.

The Pros of Roof Tiles:

-All types of roof tiles usually offer over 50 years of durability

-Their rich aesthetics tend to enhance curb appeal

-They are fire and insect resistant

-While they may not be as varied compared to asphalt shingles, they come in an array of styles, colors, and textures.

-The tiles can be recycled

-They also reflect sunlight and thus reducing heat penetration which ends up saving you on cooling bills.

The Cons of Roof Tiles

-They come at a higher price than asphalt and metal

-They can break when walked on and so, repairing roof issues tends to be tricky.

-They are heavier than other roofing materials and some of them need additional framing at a greater cost.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood tends to lend a natural dose of beauty to any roof. There are various types of wood shingles and shakes including cypress, redwood, and cedar. Wood shakes and shingles are different in that the latter are cut by machines and have cleaner edges and smooth surfaces. Shakes in the other hand, are hand-cut from wood blocks, giving a more rustic appearance.

The Pros of Wood Shakes and Shingles

-Wood boasts a natural beauty that ranges from smooth neat shingles to rustic shakes.

-Treated wood shingles and shakes have a Class A fire rating

-Wood is recyclable into mulch, compost or even wood chips.

-They tend to last 5-10 years longer than asphalt, making them competitively priced.

The Cons of Wood Shingles and Shakes

-Wood roofing is not allowed in areas that are prone to wildfire.

-Untreated shingles and shakes are high maintenance and need to be regularly cleaned to prevent the growth of moss and algae.

-While wood is durable than some other roofing options, the repairs can be quite expensive.