From Engineering on December 04, 2013 in Roofing
Roofs come in many different shapes, from the asymmetrical Saltbox style to the four-sided Mansard. Roofs also use many different materials, and the roofing material is more important for the longevity of the roof than its shape. There are four common roofing materials: asphalt shingle, cedar shake, tile, and metal. Homeowners should select the right material based on their budget, benefits of the material, and their own sense of style. This means that some will want to go with affordable asphalt shingle while others prefer the stately magnificence of cedar shake.
Asphalt shingles are popular because they are affordable and available in many different colors and styles. This roofing material comes in mats covered with asphalt, and homeowners can pick between fiberglass or organic. Fiberglass shingles use a fiberglass mat covered with asphalt and topped with ceramic grains that reflect UV light. The ceramic grains help prevent rapid decay due to sunlight and the asphalt provides a waterproof cover to the roof. Organic shingles use recycled felt paper mats instead of fiberglass mats, and they also use a coat of asphalt and ceramic grains. The use of felt paper instead of fiberglass makes the organic variety more durable and more environmentally friendly. However, the downside is that organic shingles are more expensive than fiberglass ones.
In roofing terms, a “shake” refers to a roof shingle made out of wood. Cedar shake is a roofing material that comes from the cedar tree, and it gives a roof a beautiful, natural wooden color that many homeowners find more appealing that a black asphalt roof. Cedar roofs have several benefits, but those who live in warm areas see the greatest advantage since the wood naturally resists UV damage. In fact, the wood is so strong that it can resist hurricane force winds, as long as the shingles are installed correctly. However, installing a cedar shake roof is more complicated than other roofing materials and should only be done by a highly professional and experienced roofing company. Furthermore, cedar shake is more expensive than other roof types such as asphalt shingle and metal, so not all homeowners can afford one.
Tile roofs are one of the longest-lasting roofing materials around and have an average expectancy between 50 to 70 years. However, it is not uncommon to hear about tile roofs over 100 years old that are still in good condition. Roof tiles come in either clay or slate varieties. Clay tile has a reddish hue while slate tile has a gray hue. Tile has several other advantages besides its longevity as it also reduces heating and cooling costs due to its superior insulating abilities. Homeowners with houses built with Italian or Mediterranean architecture prefer the European style tile roofs provide. The downside to tile is that is expensive to install.
Metal roofs are durable because they offer great protection against the sun, snow, or storms. This material is very popular in coastal or southern areas because of its ability to withstand hurricanes and other storms with strong winds. It also comes in several different colors that allow homeowners to design the roof to match the rest of the home. Finally, besides its durability, metal is also a very affordable choice for homeowners on a budget. The main downside to this material is that it does not provide much insulation and leads to higher energy costs.
This is just a brief overview of the four main roofing materials. Each one has its own unique benefits, but also comes with several drawbacks. Homeowners need to decide how much they want to spend on a roof and how long they want the roof to last before settling on a particular material.