The roof serves an important role in the structure of your home. Not only does a solid roof protect you from rain and snow, but it also has an impact on your energy bill! Roofs act as insulators, preventing heating and cooling systems from having to do unneeded work.
Without a solid roof, cool or warm arm could leak out through the attic, causing your system to use more energy to heat or cool the home. Because there are so many different options when it comes to roofing materials, it’s important to choose the right kind for your home and budget:
Composition and asphalt shingles are by far the most popular material for roofs today. These shingles consist of a fiberglass mat with a layer of asphalt on each side. Each shingle also features tiny stones throughout the surface that serve as protection against the sun’s rays. Many homeowners choose this type of roofing because they are inexpensive and it is easy to find a roofer to install. Although this roofing style requires cleaning to remove debris, it tends to come with a special coating that reflects the sun’s rays and lower cooling costs inside the home.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wood shingles and shakes are made from natural materials, most commonly cedar or other types of rot-resistant wood such as redwood. Homeowners prefer wood shingles and shakes for its natural, rustic look and because wood shingles are so eco-conscious. However, some homeowners are hesitant about using wood because of its poor resistance to fire. When properly cared for and maintained, wood shake shingles can last up to 40 years.
Metal Panels and Tiles
This material was once solely used on commercial properties, however it is now one of the fastest growing residential roofing materials. Homeowners have turned to metal panels and tiles because of their durability and resistance to extreme winds, hail and fire.
Unlike other roofing, little maintenance is required on metal panels and tiles, and most can last up to 50 years. Some styles even reduce cooling expenses by about 10-15% because of their reflective properties.
Clay Tiles or Concrete Tiles
Spanish-style homes with their signature red clay color usually use clay or concrete tiles. Other styles can be made to look more like wood or slate, although the red clay version is the most widely used. These long-lasting tiles are fire-resistant and can be recycled as building materials if the roof is torn down. This roofing material is recommended for dry climates, since they can become damaged by moss and hail in wet climates.
Made from natural slate rock, this style is typically dark gray and inconsistent in appearance between shingles. Slate is nailed as opposed to glued down in place like other materials. Slate is a heavy-duty roofing material and requires a strong, reinforced structure in order to be properly supported. If you are looking for modified bitumen roofing installation, composition and asphalt shingles are by far the most popular material for roofs today. These shingles consist of a fiberglass mat with a layer of asphalt on each side.
Homes in wet climates prefer slate because this material lets snow and rain slide right off without damage. One downside is the cost, as it can be one of the more expensive roofing materials, and it requires skilled workers to install, so be sure to hire someone who has experience with slate.
This roofing material is made from plastic polymer, however it is shaped to look like slate or wood shingles. The plastic polymer that makes this roofing is usually recycled material, so this material is considered to be very eco-friendly. Although these shingles are lightweight, they hold up moderately well under wind and fire, but are not recommended in areas prone to extreme weather conditions.
Whichever style of roofing you choose, be sure to ask about a warranty to protect you and your home from any material defects or improper installation.