Amenity Roofing & Siding

Your Roofing Options: A Look at the Types of Roof Materials

The average roof is designed to last 30 years. Once that time has elapsed, it’s time to start thinking of a roof replacement. 

But besides age, you may need to replace your roof for many other reasons. For instance, your roof may have undergone severe storm damage, with the only solution being a roof replacement instead of repair. 

No matter the reason you’re thinking of a new roof installation, it’s important to know about the types of roof materials available for consumers in the market today. This way, you can make an informed and confident decision regarding the right roofing solution for you. 

In today’s post, we outline the six most popular roofing materials in America at the moment. Read on to learn more. 

Asphalt Composite Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the US. The roofing material has been the industry standard for well over a century. That’s because of the many benefits that this roofing material has, including affordability and effectiveness across a variety of climates. 

Asphalt has remarkable waterproofing features. Besides, the material can be made to resemble slate, wood, or even tile. Installation, repair, and maintenance are also easy with this rooting material.

Generally, homeowners can choose from three main asphalt shingle varieties:

  • 3-tab shingles 
  • Dimensional shingles
  • Luxury shingles

The main drawback with asphalt composite shingles is that their lifespan is relatively shorter than that of most other types of roofing. Expect to replace the roof after about 20 years.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

For homeowners interested in an appealing, rustic aesthetic for their roofs, wood shingles are the ideal choice.  Of course, the main question when it comes to wood shingles is, can you expect them to last?

The short answer is yes. You can get up to 40 years out of this roofing material, provided they’re properly installed. 

Many manufacturers treat the wood shingles to be fire- and insect-resistant. They also include preservatives that make the shingles resistant to early decay and rot.

So what’s the difference between shingles and shakes? Shakes are split directly from logs before being reshaped for manufacturing. Shakes typically have one end that’s thicker than the other, giving them more dimension when layered together.

On the other hand, shingles are sawn on either side, which gives them an even thickness and shape throughout. They tend to have a more even and cleaner look compared to shakes. 

The main disadvantage of wood shingles is that, when compared to most other roofing materials on this list, they’re not as fire-resistant. 

Slate Shingles

Slate roofs are also quite popular as a roofing material in the country. Lovers of this roofing material swear by its timeless beauty. It’s no wonder that many historical buildings and elegant homes have slate as their roofing material of choice. 

Slate is also arguably the most durable in this roofing materials list. You can get more than 100 years out of this roofing material. That means once you install slate, it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to replace the roof during your lifetime. 

Slate is incredibly water-proof, which means you don’t need to worry about heavy rains or snowstorms. Mold and fungus are also not an issue. 

But while slate is a great roofing material, its high upfront cost can be inhibiting for homeowners working on a smaller budget. 

Metal Roofing

The popularity of metal roofing in the US has grown almost four times over the last two decades. It’s easy to see why more homeowners are opting for this roofing material, given the obvious benefits of metal roofs. 

Metal roofing is strong and performs well against hail, hurricanes, and wildfires. With this material, rot, mold, and insects are nothing to worry about. And thanks to metal’s ability to reflect the heat of the sun, you get to save more energy. 

Metal roofing can last up to 50 years. During that time, there’s little upkeep required. 

One of the weaknesses of metal roofing is that it can dent easily, especially if you live in an area prone to hail storms. The material can also get quite noisy, especially during heavy downpours. 

Currently, metal roofs are available in several options, including steel, aluminum, terne, copper, and zinc. 

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Also known as tar and gravel roofing, built-up roofing has been around for well over 100 years. BUR typically consists of alternating layers of fabrics and bitumen. 

BUR systems can have a varying number of layers or plies, depending on the needs of the customer. You can apply the roofing material directly on the roof deck or on insulation. 

BUR is most commonly used for flat or low-slope roofs. The roofing material performs especially well in warmer climates. 

With good maintenance, built-up roofing can last over 40 years.

Clay Tile

Clay tile gives your roof a unique, attractive style that no other roofing material can. This roofing material is also extremely heat-resistant, so it’s quite popular in warmer climates. However, clay tile can also perform well in colder climates and can withstand the freeze-thaw cycle remarkably well. 

One drawback with this roofing material is the higher initial costs involved. Moreover, clay tile tends to be much heavier compared to asphalt, wood, and metal. It’s thus important to ensure that your home’s structure can support that much weight before you opt for this roofing solution. 

Clay tile can last anywhere between 50 and 100 years.   

Know Which Types of Roof Materials Can Serve You Best

Whether your roof is coming to the end of its life or it’s been extensively damaged in a wildfire, there are many types of roof materials you can use to replace it. By considering the pros and cons of these materials, you can decide which one works best for you.

Are you interested in reliable roofing solutions for your home? Please contact us today to get a free quote.


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