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A Guide to Help You Understand the Five Most Common Roofing Materials


A Guide to Help You Understand the Five Most Common Roofing Materials

Most homeowners rarely pay attention to their roof- well, till it starts leaking. It is critical to maintain your roof as it plays an important role in protecting you from nature’s elements while also enhancing curb appeal. Whether you are undertaking first-time roofing or roof replacement, it is vital that you choose your material wisely.

With a wide array of options out there, here is a guide to help you understand the five most common roofing materials in North America.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofs hold the lion’s share of the U.S. roofing market, covering approximately 75% of all homes. The dominance has been attributed to their affordability and variety of options. Though organic shingles have been in the market for a longer time, fiberglass shingles are also catching up.

  • Fiberglass: Consist of a fiberglass mat, with top and bottom layers of asphalt that is topped with mineral granules. The granules reflect under sunlight creating an endearing aesthetic appeal.
  • Organic: Made of cellulose fiber base that is saturated with asphalt and coated with colored mineral granules. They are heavier and harder to work with.

Pros: One of the most affordable roofing options available that can provide a service of over 30 years. They come in a broad selection of colors, both solid and blended.

Cons: Other than the commonality, frequent replacement of shingle parts have a lifetime cost that’s high than other types of roofs.

Wood shingles and Shakes

Wood delivers a natural dose of elegance and beauty to any house. The natural fade of gray that complements the landscape makes its curb appeal hard to beat. Wood shingles are usually machine-cut, therefore tend to have relatively smooth edges and uniform thickness. Wood shakes, on the other hand, are hand-cut from blocks making them thicker and rougher with a more rustic feel. Wood tiles can be sourced from cedar, redwood, cypress, and pine.

Pros: Wood roofing has a natural beauty to boot. Additionally, it provides better insulation, especially during winter, and may have a life service of between 30-50 years.

Cons: With all the great looks, wood roofs are expensive to install. Wood roofing is also prohibited in some areas, especially those prone to wildfires.

Metal Roofing

Corrugated and galvanized sheets are experiencing a resurgence due to their practicality. Metal roofing rolls offer a cheap, rugged and long-lasting roofing solutions.

Pros: New profiles provide a vast array of styles that usually mimic shingles, shakes, and slides. Metal roofs are durable with a lifespan of about 50-100 years with a stunning Class-A fire rating.

Cons: The cost of metal roofing is high than asphalt and wood shingles. The roof is usually nosier when hails hit and are usually prone to dents.

Roof Tiles

Tiles, whether clay or concrete, are durable roofing materials commonly used in contemporary homes for an elegant Mediterranean finish. Modernized tiles use stronger materials, such as:

  • Reinforced traditional clay tiles.
  • Concrete tiles with lightweight blends.
  • Fiber cement tiles made of wood and clay blended into concrete.

Pros: Roof tiles can greatly improve your home’s aesthetic appeal. They also provide better insulation as they effectively reflect sunlight, keeping your home cool.

Cons: The heavy roof may require extra framing that is strong enough to withstand the load. The extra frame contributes to the high cost of installation.

Composite Slates

There are medieval buildings that are centuries old that still don these traditional roofing materials. The roofs can last for generations and are effective in shedding off ice and snow. The natural slate tile is the most durable but requires beefed-up support beams to hold the roof in place. Synthetic tiles have recently been engineered, fabricated from recycled rubber and plastic. It lowers the weight and cost of the composite by a third.

Pros: Apart from the luxurious good looks, composite roofing is the ultimate ’lifetime’ roof with life service spanning centuries.

Cons: It is the heaviest roofing material, thus requiring extra framing support. Composite slates require specialized roof contractors to install. Improper installations may lead to moisture issues later on.

Are you in need of roofing products, roof repair, re-roofing or new roof installation services? Please reach out to Pro Home Services for a consultation call.





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