Homeowners nowadays have a lot of options when it comes to roofing materials, and choosing the right one for your home can seem overwhelming. Before making your final decision, you should take into consideration how long you want your roof to last, the style and color options available, as well as maintenance requirements. Whether you’re planning to construct a new roof or replace an old one, here are the most popular roofing materials to consider:
Asphalt shingles make up more than 75 percent of roofs in the US, and for good reasons. Shingles are affordable, easy to install, and come in a variety of styles and colors. They also offer impressive performance against nature’s elements. Whether you prefer organic asphalt shingles or fiberglass shingles, you can expect excellent fire resistance and longevity (asphalt shingles typically last up to 30 years). Regular asphalt shingles also offer impressive wind resistance of 110 MPH while 3-tab shingles offer 60-70 MPH wind uplift.
Pros of Asphalt Shingles
- Good fire protection.
- Looks good on most styles of homes.
- A broad selection of colors and styles.
- No support beyond ordinary roof sheathing is required.
- Repairing shingles is easy and cost-effective.
Cons of Asphalt Shingles
- The lifetime cost is higher than tile, metal, or slate since shingles must be replaced every 20-30 years.
- Rapid fluctuations in temperature can cause shingles to crack.
- An attic with poor ventilation can significantly shorten the lifespan of asphalt shingles due to curling or cracking.
- Less eco-friendly.
- Mold or algae can be an issue on shingles in shady areas.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wood shakes deliver natural beauty to any home. Redwood, cypress, cedar, and pressure-treated pine shingles or shakes all make up great roofs. While wood shingles are typically machine-cut and have cleaner edges and smooth surfaces, wood shakes are mostly hand-cut from large blocks of wood, providing a more rustic appearance. Overall, wood shakes and shingles offer several benefits such as natural beauty, longevity, and energy efficiency.
Pros of Wood Shingles and Shakes
- Natural beauty through rustic shakes or neat shingles.
- Cedar and redwood are highly resistant to moisture and insects.
- Wood shingles and shakes last 5-10 years longer than asphalt shingles.
- Wood is 100 percent recyclable.
- Wood has better insulation value (twice that of asphalt shingles).
- Wood shingles and shakes suit a wide range of architectural designs.
Cons of Wood Shingles and Shakes
- Non-treated wood shakes can be relatively susceptible to fires.
- Wood roofing requires high maintenance as you’ll need to clean it regularly to prevent mold or algae growth.
- Wood roofing is prohibited in areas prone to wildfire.
- Faults in the installation can cause quick deterioration due to leaks.
- Natural staining of wood shingles and shakes might occur.
- Repairing wood shingles or shakes can be expensive.
Metal roofs offer extreme durability and eco-friendliness. You can expect your metal roof to remain in top-notch conditions for 50-70 years or more. Metal roofing materials are also available in a wide range of styles and colors to match various architectural designs. Today, metal roofing materials can be manufactured in rolls and coated with granules to mimic wood shakes, tile, or shingles. The most popular metals used are zinc, steel, aluminum, and copper.
Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, keeping your house cooler and more energy-efficient during hot seasons as compared to asphalt shingles. Metal also sheds rain and snow better than other roofing materials, helping prevent ice dams during cold seasons.
Pros of Metal Roofs
- Highly durable.
- Can be made to mimic slate, tile, shingles, or shakes.
- Reflects radiant heat, which enhances energy efficiency in hot climates.
- Highly fire-resistant, with Class A fire rating.
- Metal roofing panels are 100 percent recyclable.
Cons of Metal Roofs
- Metal roofs, especially copper, are more expensive than other roofing materials.
- Without a proper substrate or enough attic space, metal roofs can be noisier during rains or snowfalls.
- Can dent when hit by heavy objects.
Concrete, Clay, and Slate Tiles
Tile is an ancient roofing system which has lately been thoroughly modernized with stronger materials which offer better aesthetics. Today’s tile products can be made of clay, concrete, or slate. Some manufacturers glaze and coat the finished tile to make it waterproof. Tile roofs can last as long as 50-100 years, and they are extremely resistant to fires and insects. Light-colored tile also reflects sunlight, making it more energy-efficient.
Pros of Tile Roofs
- Impressive durability (lasts 50-100 years).
- Highly resistant to fire and insects.
- Rich aesthetics.
- A wide range of styles, colors, and textures.
- Light-colored options offer better energy efficiency.
- Clay tiles are recyclable.
Cons of Tile Roofs
- Tile is heavier than many roofing materials, making it difficult and more costly to install.
- Heavy tile requires extra framing support, which results in higher installation costs.
- Tiles can easily break if walked on, making it trickier to maintain chimneys and other roofing equipment.
When choosing the right roofing material for your home, consider the overall cost, the style of your house, and the climate in your area. To know what roofing material will work best for your home, talk to our roofing specialists at DWC Roofing in Central Indiana. We have several years of experience installing, repairing, and replacing various types of roofs. Contact us today to learn about roofing materials and what will best suit your home.