Whatever material you use for your roof, its purpose is to protect the house from the elements first and foremost and contribute to the aesthetics of the house secondarily. The choice of roofing material depends on how well the homeowner believes that the material does both of these things. In some communities, the choice of roof material may be restricted because of zoning regulations or because the house or the neighborhood is of historical importance. Here are some roof materials and their characteristics:

Asphalt/Composite

Asphalt or composite is the most popular kind of roofing material in North America. It is versatile, easy for roofers to install and repair, fire and wind resistant and less expensive than some other types of roofing. The shingles are made out of asphalt, fiberglass and granules that are placed on a mat made of cellulose or fiberglass. They are also recyclable.

There are three types of asphalt roofing shingles. They’re 3-tab, or strip shingles, dimension or architectural shingles and luxury shingles. Strip shingles are the most basic. Architectural shingles are thicker and made to resemble wooden shakes or slate. Luxury shingles are even thicker still. These shingles are exceptionally beautiful and also mimic wood or slate. Though they cost much more than architectural or strip shingles, they are also even more weatherproof and have a much longer life.

Metal

This type of roofing is applied in strips or tiles. Metals that are used for roofing include:

  • Copper
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc

Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular. They can be installed over a home’s old roofing, though this isn’t really preferred. Despite many people’s belief, they’re not particularly noisier than asphalt roofs nor do they attract lightning. Even if it does attract lightning, a metal roof is not as likely to catch on fire as would a roof made of another material. Though the upfront cost of installing a metal roof is more than installing an asphalt roof, metal roofs last for such a long time that they pay for themselves in the long run. They can last for 50 years or even longer. A 3-tab asphalt roof probably lasts 25 years.

Metal roofs are fireproof and insect-proof. They do not rot, and since they heat up more quickly than other types of roofs, they are quicker to cast off snow and ice. They reflect the heat of the sun, which can lower cooling costs. Metal roofs are also recyclable.

Clay

When it comes to longevity, clay roofs are the champions. A clay roof can last a century or longer. It can also be exceptionally beautiful and made from tiles that can be wavy, flat, curved or interlocking. Clay tiles are fantastic for homes that are in hot climates or exposed to sea air. This is one reason why so many are found in southern California, Florida and the southwest.

The one con when it comes to clay tile roofs is that the tiles are very heavy, and the structures that hold them up may need reinforcement. Installation is expensive, and the tiles are brittle though they can be replaced. Clay tile roofs also need to be installed by a roofer who specializes in clay tile roofs.

The benefits of clay tiles are many. They withstand strong winds, hail and fire. They are insect repellent and do not rot. They are made from natural materials and can be recycled. Their thermal mass keeps a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Slate

This material, made of a natural stone that comes in shades of blue-gray, green or red, has been used for roofing since antiquity. Preparing a slate slab for roofing is an art form, as is installing it as part of a roof. The beauty of slate is a reason homeowners choose it despite its cost and is probably a reason why so many less expensive roofing materials are made to look like it. Like clay tiles slate is very long-lasting and, if well built and maintained, should be expected to last 150 years or even longer. It is utterly fire resistant and environmentally friendly.

Like clay tiles, the weight of a slate roof may require that the structures of the roof be reinforced. Also like clay, slate roof tiles need to be installed by a roofer who is trained in the skill. Though a slate roof can last a long time, the tiles themselves are fragile. If they break, they are hard to replace.

Concrete

People are surprised that roofing material can be made out of concrete tiles. You would think they are simply too heavy, but they are certainly no heavier than tiles made of clay or slate. Though people may also believe concrete roof tiles are a new concept, they’ve been used since the 19th century.

Like slate and clay tiles, concrete tiles need a roofer who knows how to install them. Your old roof will need to come off and the structure beneath it may need to be strengthened to support the weight of the tiles. Concrete tiles are also expensive, but they are more versatile than just about any other type of roofing material. They can be expected to last at least 50 years, and some manufacturers offer a warranty that lasts as long as the house.

Concrete tiles come in three profiles or styles. The first, low profile, is flat and can be designed to resemble cedar shingles. The second, medium, has a slight curve and the third, high, has a prominent S-shaped curve and can resemble the clay tiles installed on Mediterranean-style homes. They can be made in a variety of colors, from earth tones to purples to blues.

Like clay and slate, concrete is durable and resistant to rot, insects and fire. It can withstand hurricane-level winds and can be treated not to spall during the freeze-thaw cycle of winter.

Wood

The lifespan of a wooden roof can be surprisingly long. If well constructed and maintained, a wooden roof can last half a century, longer than a roof made of 3-tab asphalt shingles.

Wooden roofs are made as shakes or shingles. Shingles are machine sawn while shakes are split by hand. Because one of a wooden shake’s sides is always sawn with the grain it can resist wind and water better than a shingle. The great majority of wooden roofs are made of cedar or redwood.

People choose wood because of its beauty and its insulating qualities. Wood doesn’t conduct heat well, so it keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Shakes also resist wind, but otherwise, they are admittedly high maintenance. They must be treated to resist rot, algae, mildew and insects. Obviously, they’re also flammable.

Call Paramount Roofing for Roofing Service

The weather of Romeo, Michigan, and its environs can be a bit challenging with scorching summers and hard winters. A well-installed and properly maintained roof can go a long way in keeping you and your household comfortable throughout the year. Our award-winning roofers pride themselves on their superlative roofing skills, courtesy and punctuality. Though roofing is a messy business, they strive to be as tidy as possible too. We not only install roofs but also gutters, skylights and insulation. We serve both commercial and residential customers.

To learn more about roofing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Paramount Roofing today.

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