Choosing the right roof material is a big chapter in your life and one that must be taken very seriously. Your choice today will affect the aesthetics and energy efficiency of your home but also the structure. A roof unable to resist the climate in your location might compromise the stability of the building while improper installation might result to water leaks. And so, you don’t only have to find a professional roofing company, but also consider the roof’s weight, the cost in relation to the longevity, the maintenance requirements, the performance in the local weather, the color options, and whether or not it meets the local codes and the material is appropriate for the roof type.
Today, there are plenty of roofing materials but we have narrowed them down to the most popular ones. Take a look.
Most residential roofs are made of asphalt shingles. Up until recently the most popular option was organic asphalt shingles but manufacturers stopped making them because they don’t resist moisture and water easily. The dominant option nowadays is shingles made of fiberglass and topped with asphalt.
• Easy to install
• Great color variety
• Easy roof repair
• You can re-roof twice only
• Last 10-15 years
• Easy to crack when temps fluctuate
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Shakes are hand-cut as opposed to wood shingles which are machine-cut. How will this affect your decision? In terms of style. Shingles are more refined than shakes which have a more rustic appearance. But they both share the warm tone wood brings to the roof.
• Great looks
• Good insulation value
• Treated wood resists fire
• If not treated, wood is not fire-resistant
• Don’t meet the local codes in all areas
• 20-25 years life expectancy
• Hard to install/require experienced roofing contractor
Slate roofs were traditionally made of stone and this explains their great durability. Today, you can also find synthetic slate roofs, which are made of rubber, polymer, or plastic. Both roof types have their pros and cons. Let’s examine them.
• Both are beautiful although natural stone roofs are more luxurious
• In contrast to the synthetic slate roofs which are not very fire-resistant, natural stone is
• Both materials are very durable but stones can break
• Both are suitable to all weather conditions
• Stones are more expensive than synthetic but synthetic is not cheap either
• Slate roofs are very heavy and so you need to be sure the frame can hold the weight
You can choose from terracotta and clay to concrete and fiber cement and the roof tiles will still be fabulous. Although each material has different properties and thus not all roofs are the same, they more or less share the same pros and cons.
• Long lasting
• Very strong
• Life expectancy 50+
• Many colors & styles
• Easy to crack
• Not good for temps fluctuations
Metal roofs used to be simple. Nowadays, some designs imitate shingles. Mostly used for flat roofs, they lately have become popular to those who prefer low sloped roofs. They can be used for steeper roofs too but be aware that they might blind drivers since they glare. Although there is a variety of choices when it comes to metals, ranging from steel and aluminum to zinc and copper, they all share similar pros and cons.
• Life expectancy up to 50 years
• Energy efficient
• Many color options
• Some are fire resistant
• Don’t crack or rot
• Prone to damage
• Noisy during the rainy days
These are the best roof materials for sloped structures, but still you should do your homework before you choose. It’s vital to choose based on your location, budget, aesthetics, and expectations. So weigh the pros and cons of the most popular options and you’ll be in the right track.