Understanding Common Roofing Materials

Understanding Common Roofing Materials

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As you check out roofing companies, you may notice that shingles come in two types, which are three-tab or architectural shingles.

Have you been scouting out roofing companies, looking for a new roof for your home? The great news is, there are many roofing material options to choose from. However, it can be confusing figuring out the option that’s right for you. This article breaks down common roofing materials to help you understand your options and make an informed decision.

Asphalt Shingles

Despite what some may think, asphalt shingles are not entirely composed of asphalt. They also have a fiberglass or felt paper base, which helps add strength and fire protection to your roof. As you check out roofing companies, you may notice that shingles come in two types, which are three-tab or architectural shingles. Three-tab shingles are designed to look like three shingles, but you will be looking at only one shingle. The pros of this type of shingles are that they are easy to install, affordable, and popular with homeowners.

On the other hand, architectural shingles are bulkier because they have an additional layer of asphalt. Like three-tab shingles, they come in a wide variety of colors to suit any style. When it comes to durability, it depends on the climate they are exposed to. Typically, asphalt shingle life can go beyond 20 years, especially if your region doesn’t experience extreme temperatures or things like ice dams. In addition, asphalt shingles can be eco-friendly since many roofing companies now offer fiberglass shingles that help you reduce cooling costs and save energy by preventing the sun’s energy from overheating your home.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a popular and modern roofing choice that’s also highly durable. However, keep in mind that metal roofing costs more than traditional asphalt shingles, though the cost is usually well worth it. For instance, most metal roofs have a lifespan of over 50 years, meaning once you install a metal roof, you will rarely have to install a new roof during the time you own the home.

Metal roofs are popular in cold regions that tend to snow during winter. That’s because metal roofs have high reflectivity, so they create enough heat to help melt the snow. Even in areas where snow is not an issue, metal roofing still offers several benefits to homeowners. As mentioned, a metal roof has a long lifespan.

They are strong and will not bend or shear easily when exposed to high winds. Additionally, a metal roof keeps your home safe in regions susceptible to fire since it doesn’t catch fire. Last but not least, a metal roof helps keep your home cool in summer because it reflects rather than absorbs heat from the sun. The most common issue homeowners might have with a metal roof is the loudness when it rains, but this problem can be diminished with enough insulation.

Wood roofing

Wood is one of the oldest materials used for roof surfaces, and there’s a reason why it remains popular today. Today you will find it a great fit if you’re going for a rustic style. Wood roofing typically comes in two options, which are shakes and shingles. Wood shakes are split into wedges and laid in overlapping layers to create a more rugged look.

On the other hand, shingles are formed by sawing and have a uniform length and shape that create clean lines. Generally, shingles are more common and cheaper than shakes.

In the United States, you will find that wood shakes and shingles can be made from different types of wood species, with western red cedar being the most common option. Other wood species that can become a part of your roof include California redwood, cypress, pine, and Atlantic white cedar. However, cedar is often the best wood option because it’s resistant to rot and moisture.

In any case, most people that choose wood roofing do so because a wood roof helps to insulate the home from heat and cold since it’s a poor thermal conductor. In addition, wood shakes are more resistant to wind and will not warp easily. But, even though some wood roofs now come pre-treated with a fire retardant, wood roofs cannot be considered entirely fireproof.

Slate Roofing

A slate roof is usually considered a premium option. It can add considerable curb appeal to your home, and you will even find many asphalt shingles made to mimic the beautiful look of a slate roof. The biggest advantage of a slate roof is that the slate tiles have to be installed one at a time, and the process can be very slow and therefore expensive.

In addition, slate tiles tend to be very heavy, so it’s important to ensure that your home can handle the extra weight before opting for this roofing material. And as mentioned, slate roofs tend to be expensive because of their durability and long life span. Therefore, if affordability is not an issue, a slate roof might just be the right option for you.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles were a popular roofing material in ancient Roman and Greek architecture, and they have stuck around because they have their benefits. For instance, clay is a plentiful material, and it can be formed into countless shapes that can be treated differently to produce many color variations.

If you want a roof with a longer life span, then a clay roof is one of your top options. Clay tiles are not only durable (they are resistant to fire, pests, and rot), but they are also easy to maintain. However, there are a few considerations you need to make before choosing this roofing material.

Like slate tiles, clay tiles can be very heavy, so again, it’s important to ensure your roofing structure can hold the weight of a clay tile roof. Additionally, because a clay tile roof has a lifespan of over 50 years, it requires a more considerable investment than most other roofing options.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are as modern as they come and are a great option for property owners that want to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. In simple terms, solar shingles or solar roof tiles are photovoltaics integrated into your home’s roof surface. They are usually designed to look like slate, asphalt, and other traditional roofing materials, but they have an extra function, which is to generate power from the sun.

Solar shingles function just like regular solar panels, but they are designed to be much smaller. When the sun hits the surface of these solar panels, the semiconductor material facilitates a chemical process that converts light energy into electricity. The electricity is then used to power your home.

Although solar shingles are quite expensive, the initial investment can have a high return on investment in the long run. The cost is also well worth it, considering you’re getting a new roof with a double function – protecting your home and reducing your energy bill.

Well, there you have it. These are the common roofing materials you should know about when visiting roofing companies. Most homeowners choose roofing materials based on a variety of factors, such as architectural style. For instance, ceramic tile roofs are more suited for homes in Spanish and Mediterranean styles, while metal roofs are great for bringing out the contemporary style.

Ready to Discuss Roofing Material With a Pro?

If you’re in the market for a new roof and want to know more details about your options, we can help you find the right one based on your budget, your home’s architectural style, and other factors. We are one of the best roofing companies in your area. Contact Hodges Roofing and Siding to find out more, and we will provide you with all the details you need to know from A-Z!