Comparing Pros And Cons Of Various Roofing Materials
When it comes time to replace your roof or select the roof for your new construction project, you will find yourself with the choice of numerous different materials. Some are more common on residential properties while others are more popular on commercial projects. There is no rule, however, that you must stick to one of the more popular choices of roofing materials. As long as your roofing contractor advises that your chosen material works for your environment and project, you can use any material.
In terms of residential roofing materials, the most popular is asphalt shingles. These are popular for several reasons, including their affordability and ease of installation. That easy installation reduces the labor costs associated with installation as well as the downtime, both of which homeowners will appreciate. Asphalt shingles also allow for reinforcement with organic material like cellulose or with fiberglass without changing their appearance. To further make shingles popular, they are among the most affordable roofing materials per square foot, widely available, and offered in a vast range of colors so you are almost guaranteed to find one that you appreciate the appearance of. Asphalt shingles are not without their downsides. They tend to last less time than most other roofing materials, meaning you will have to replace them in about 20 to 25 years, depending on the shingle. Asphalt shingles also fail to provide the same level of insulation that other materials do. They can also vary in quality, but a reputable roofer can ensure you opt for quality shingles, negating this con.
Concrete tiles tend to last for a long time, between 40 and 50 years when maintained properly. They are non-combustible, more affordable than clay, and available in lighter-weight variations. Some products may even have limited lifetime warranties that are transferrable. This type of roofing also has minimal maintenance requirements and is energy efficient. It is also versatile and you can opt for concrete tiles that interlock for easier installation. On the other hand, they are heavy, so you may need to reinforce the framing of the roof to support the weight, unless you opt for the lightweight version. They are also more expensive than asphalt shingles, with those lightweight versions costing even more.
Clay tiles are molded from water and pulverized clay. They can be scalloped, flat, or ribbed, depending on your preferred appearance. There are hundreds of colors of glaze available, helping them match any décor. They are also non-combustible and last an impressive 50 to 100 years, which can save you money on future roofing costs. The downside of this longevity is that you will spend more initially with clay tiles since they tend to be around 30% more costly than concrete tiles. They are also very heavy, sometimes weighing over 1,000 pounds per square, which means they need to have reinforced framing. There is also the risk of chipping or cracking.
Metal roofing is also available with the metal being zinc, stainless steel, copper, or aluminum. You can opt for shingles or panels. Metal has the benefit of lasting 40 to 50 years, with the color coatings typically being guaranteed against fading for an impressive 25 years. Metal roofing also resists extreme weather conditions, is recyclable, fire-resistant, and lightweight. Unfortunately, metal roofing can be expensive depending on your chosen type. It can also be loud and conducts heat. Depending on the grade, aluminum roofs may also dent.
Slate roofs are elegant and beautiful with unrivaled fire resistance and durability. There are numerous grades and colors available to match your home. This type of roofing will last over 100 years with the only requirement being to replace broken tiles. When you are done, the roofing can be recycled. That durability comes with a high initial cost, but you can think of it as an investment since maintenance costs will be minimal and there will likely be no need for replacement anytime soon. Slate roofs are also extremely heavy so you typically need to reinforce the roof framing. Installation requires expertise and special skills, so it can take longer and be more expensive than other materials. The quality may also vary, which you can overcome by asking your trusted roofer to select the slate for you.
Rubber composite or synthetic slate has rubber and plastic that is molecularly bonded. The texture is similar to slate and maintenance is minimal. This material is also lightweight and frequently has a 50-year warranty. The cost is moderately expensive and the supplier network is more limited.
Wood was the roofing material of choice for centuries. Wood shingles tend to be machine-cut while wood shakes are typically handmade. This material is natural, rustic, and works well with the landscape. It is flammable so it may not be compliant with fire codes. It can also be bad for wet climates, requires applying fungicide and preservatives every two to five years, and will just last 15 to 25 years.
Synthetic materials tend to be less expensive, heavy, and fragile. They are typically fire-resistant and have long warranties. The quality can vary, however, and they are moderately expensive. For help choosing the ideal roofing material for your property, consult your roofing contractor. They should be able to provide expert advice based on your budget and preferences.
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