Common Roofing Materials

  1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are still the number one choice for homeowners across the U.S. They are the most affordable, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing, coming in a variety of colors. Even within this category are a high end and low end choice. Most roofs are made of fiberglass shingles. The sheets are less durable than the next option, but get the job done. Organic shingles are more expensive and are made of recycled felt paper. Both are coated with asphalt to water proof the shingle and potentially the home, then sprinkled with ceramic granules to reflect the sun’s UV rays.

  1. Cedar Shake Shingles

If you can afford the investment on cedar shake shingles, you will make your money back in energy conservation. These shingles are made of cedar and look like your roof is made of wood! The wood is a natural insulator that does a great job of keeping the home hot or cool. The roof is extremely durable and does well in high heat and places with unpredictable weather patterns (hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, etc). Some manufacturers coat the wood with a fire resistant coating for an added benefit of fire resistance. The cedar shake roof is less common and needs special installment, so before you make this choice be sure you’ve found a reputable roofing company that has experience with this type of roof.

  1. Tile

Tile roof shingles are made of ceramic or slate. When I was a child, I referred to them as “nacho roofs”. They usually look a little bit like sun chips. They are highly durable and can last you 50-100 years or more. The material proves a great natural barrier from the sun and is popular in the hottest climates, on the west coast. It, too, will be conservative on your heating and cooling bills and is cost effective in that regard. It’s most often chosen in a reddish orange, terracotta pot color, but is available in a wider variety and should be chosen based on your home’s color palette.

  1. Metal

Metal roofs are most employed in the South, due to harsh weather patterns that can cause a lot of water damage. It is an investment, but can pay for itself over time. It would last you up to 60 years if chosen. In climates where water is a constant factor that damages other types of roofs, the metal roof is a winner. Water is less likely to penetrate it because it has less cracks and crevices, but should be inspected monthly and after storms just as you would any other roof. Because metal is a lighter weight material, it can enhance the life of your home’s structure and walls.

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