Virtually every durable type of material can be put into consideration, so try not to get overwhelmed and focus on the benefits of each type and what they mean to you. The following are most common: composition, wood, metal, tile and slate. The less common options are: hot, mopped asphalt topped with decorative stone, engineered rubber or plastic, and eco-friendly materials. |
Composition shingles (made of asphalt) are often seen as the most versatile of the types, as they fit the style of many residential homes, can be inexpensive, and come in a variety of colors. Additionally, they allow for easy repair and are fire resistant. On the downside, composition has a shorter life span than other materials, as it can only last 15 to 30 years. Some other disadvantages include its vulnerability to mildew and moss and environmentally unfriendly nature.
Wood is next on the list. It possesses a natural look which weathers to a soft grey over time, contributes to insulation of a house, is easily repaired and/or replaced, and is relatively long-lasting with about 30 to 50 well-maintained years in it. This is more expensive and will require a professional installation. If not maintained, wood shingles will rot, split, mold, and mildew. You can get wood shingles or shakes, depending on your preferences.
Metal has more style choices than the previous two, and has a much longer life span (50 years or more). Metal will complement virtually all styles of homes, as it can be formed and painted to look like wood shingles, slate, or a standing seam. A large range of colors are available, and the material is light-weight, very durable (can withstand high winds, hail, and heavy rain), and has a low level of maintenance required. In addition to being environmentally friendly, metal roofing can actually be installed over an existing roof, which could cut out tear-down time. It is recommended that a professional installation is done, and it can get expensive when it comes to installing and periodically re-painting the roof.
While it is fine to choose tiles for your roof, keep in mind that they best complement Mediterranean, Italian, French Eclectic, Spanish Eclectic, Beaux Arts, Mission, and Prairie homes. They are fire resistant, attractive, vary in color and style, and are extremely durable with light maintenance. Tile should be considered as a serious investment, as it is a heavier option, which directly affects structural requirements and installation/repair. Don’t plan to be walking on the roof much, as tiles tend to break with weight being forced on top of them.
The last type of common roofing is slate. With a strikingly attractive look and long life span, many homeowners are leaning toward this option, as it offers a natural look with a variety of patterns and colors available. The material is fireproof and requires minimal maintenance. The cons include price (very expensive, special installation), weight (pretty heavy), and fragility (same as tile).
Every roofing type has both pros and cons. What you decide to come home to will depend on the weight you place with these differences.
When doing research about roofing, there is almost too much information available. Choosing a contractor can be confusing as well. For information in an easy-to-ready format, visit http://www.angieslist.com
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