Is your roof starting to look a little sad? Is it time for a new one? With all the options in residential roofing out there it can be confusing which one to choose.
What type of material should you use? What type would work best for your home? Consulting with a professional is always a good plan of action.
For those of you who’d like to learn, let’s take a look at some common residential roofing materials. Then we’ll talk about some other concerns that you should be aware of as you decide.
There are many roofing materials that you can choose from when picking out your roof. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will give you an idea of the more common materials.
Asphalt shingle roofs are common due to two things. Their price and ease of installation. There are some higher-end options, but for the most part, these roofs are inexpensive.
Plus, they are rather easy to install even without special training. You can even do it yourself. That is if you want to take the time (and risk falling off your house).
This material is asphalt mixed with granules over a backing. The backing can be either an organic paper fiber mat material or fiberglass.
The fiberglass option is more resistant to both fire and water. The other one is better for cold weather and stands up to cold winds.
The only major downside is that the material is not very eco-friendly. You can find places that will accept it for recycling. Unfortunately, though, oftentimes it still ends up in the landfill.
Clay tile shingles are a bit brittle on their own. But once you put it on your roof you can plan on it lasting for a long time.
If you’ve ever been to Europe you may have seen centuries-old houses with clay tile roofs. You’re not stuck with only the traditional Spanish or Italian villa look either. You can find tile shingles made to look like wood shingles or slate.
In addition to being very durable, clay tile shingles are fireproof. That can come in very handy during the Fourth of July.
Installing tile shingles is not for the do-it-yourselfer. You should contact professional roofers trained in installing this material. It can be a complicated process and the roof won’t work well if it’s not installed right.
Your house also has to be capable of holding it up. Tile is very heavy and not every house has a strong enough structure to handle it.
Tile falls on the expensive side of the residential roofing price spectrum. You get excellent energy efficiency, durability, and insulation from the material. But expect to pay for what you get.
Slate adds a rustic yet beautiful look to your home. Slate is real stone and as such lasts for a long time, like clay tile shingles.
Be sure to invest in high-quality roofing parts for the rest of your roof. If you don’t, other parts like the flashings and sheathings may wear out before the roof.
Also like clay, it’s fireproof, very heavy and professional installation is a must. It also comes with a hefty price tag. But if it’s worth it to you, you’ll have a beautiful, virtually indestructible roof.
Metal roofing is a smooth, sleek option. Some folks don’t like it for that reason. In that case, you can get stone coated steel for a texture similar to asphalt shingles.
It’s not as durable as slate or clay, but it will last for a long time. The smooth nature makes it good at letting snow slide off if that’s a concern for you. It also means that water runs off faster so you’ll need to have a good gutter system.
The price is rather mid-range and you get quite a bit of bang for your buck. Metal is resistant to most things; rot, insects, fire, and mildew. But rusting can be a concern, more so if you are near the coast.
Arguably one of the most important factors in residential roofing. How much will it cost?
As we’ve noted, the cost can vary quite a bit depending on the type of material you choose. It’s not a good idea to choose your residential roofing material based only on the cost. But you should factor it in when making your decision.
The durability of residential roofing varies quite a bit depending on the material. You have to decide what’s right for your situation.
The more durable a material, the longer you can expect the roof to last. If you plan to live in your house for many years, the higher cost of a more durable material may be worth it.
If you’re not too concerned about the roof lasting your lifetime, a cheaper option may make sense. Keep in mind, though, that the resale value on a more durable roof will be higher.
Know the Slope
Roof slope is also an important consideration. This refers to how low or how steep the pitch of the roof is.
You can’t use all roofing materials on all roofs. For example, you have to use seamless materials, like metal, on roofs with low slope.
The reason for this is that roofs with low slope are more prone to have standing water. Over time, that water can seep down between shingles and begin to cause damage under the roof.
Another factor that may be important to you is the impact on the environment. Residential roofing materials vary quite a bit in their impact.
Metal is recyclable and often made from recycled material. Slate and clay are both natural materials and very energy efficient. But the manufacturing process is extensive and uses a lot of energy to produce.