You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your home’s roof, and that’s a good thing. Ordinarily the only time a roof gets our attention is when it’s damaged or leaking. And while a roof’s main objective is to protect and weatherproof the house, don’t underestimate the impact roofing can have on the style and appearance of your home.
There’s a wide variety of roofing materials available, and they’re all suitable for both new construction and re-roofing of existing homes. The type of roof you choose will depend on several factors, including the home’s architectural style and your personal preference and budget. Where you live should also be considered since certain types of roofs are more prevalent in certain regions of the country. For example, clay tile roofs are popular in the southeast and southwest, but not very common in the northeast or Midwest regions.
This quick-reference guide to the six most popular residential roofing materials will help you pick the perfect roof for your home.
To say that asphalt shingles are popular is a huge understatement: Over 75 percent of homes in the U.S. are covered with asphalt roofing. And here’s why: It’s affordable, installs quickly, comes in several colors, is surprisingly durable, and many brands carry warranties up to 40 years.
There are two basic kinds of asphalt shingles: organic-based shingles and fiberglass-based ones. The organic type is less expensive and available from more manufacturers. Fiberglass-reinforced shingles last longer, are lighter in weight, and more fire resistant. You can buy very good—and not-so-good—versions of both kinds. When shopping, let price be an indicator of quality.
There are two main categories of asphalt shingles: three-tab shingles and architectural-style shingles. Standard three-tab shingles represent a very basic, generic style. Each shingle is a single layer thick, with two narrow slots cut into it to create the three tabs. Architectural shingles consist of two strips of asphalt roofing, one laid on top of the other. This type of shingle has a solid bottom piece and a top strip notched with widely spaced, dovetail-shaped tabs. The two strips are laminated together at the factory. When installed, the laminated construction forms a heavily textured surface with deep shadow lines.
Architectural-style shingles are a dramatic improvement over three-tab shingles in terms of visual impact, but they also last longer. And the shingles are available in several muted colors that, in many cases, mimic traditional roofing materials. For example, the tan tones resemble weathered cedar shakes and the gray-black shingles look somewhat like slate.
Many roofing materials are more affordable and easier to install than a cedar roof, but none can compare to the natural beauty and distinctive texture of western red cedar. The one disadvantage of any wood roof, of course, is that it offers very little resistance to fire, unless it’s treated with a fire retardant.
There are two types of cedar roofing: shingles and shakes. Shingles are thinner, smoother, and more uniform. Shakes are thicker and rougher. Some shakes are sawn from logs; others are hand-split for a more rugged, uneven surface. A shingle roof has a smart, elegant appearance, with clean lines and a low profile. A shake roof is more rustic and robust-looking. Its surface has a lot of character and deep shadow lines.
Cedar shingles are available in several grades. For roofs, however, use Number 1 Blue Label shingles. These premium-grade shingles are perfectly clear (no knots) and cut from all-heartwood for optimum decay resistance. Cedar shakes come in four premium grades. The best grade for roofing is designated as Certi-Split hand-split shakes. It has a rough-split face, but the smooth-sawn back makes installation easier.
Metal roofing has been growing in popularity in recent years—cutting into the asphalt-shingle market—and here’s why: Metal roofing is extremely durable, recyclable, installs quickly, comes in several colors, and easily sheds snow and ice. And, it looks great on a variety of home styles, ranging from New England colonials to Carolina coastal cottages.
The typical metal roof is comprised of long, overlapping panels that extend from the roof peak down to the eaves. The panels are often made of aluminum, steel, zinc, or copper. The most common styles are standing seam and corrugated panels. Most homeowners prefer a standing-seam roof because the adjacent panel covers the fasteners. In a corrugated metal roof, the screw heads are exposed. There’s also a new generation of interlocking metal panels that resemble wood shingles, slate, and clay tile.
While there are roofing materials that look like slate (sort of), none can compare with the real thing. Natural slate has a proven track record as a first-rate roofing material. It first appeared on homes in the U.S. in the 1600s, and is still used today. Slate is extremely durable, fireproof, mildew-resistant, and when properly installed, can easily last 100 years or longer.
However, natural slate is expensive to buy and install. And, it’s heavy. If you’re considering a slate roof for your home, it’s important to first hire a building engineer to inspect the roof framing to ensure it can support the added weight of the slate.
Most often seen on Spanish- or Mediterranean-style homes, tiles made of earthen clay and Portland concrete are prized for their strong appearance, durability, fire and wind resistance, and energy efficiency.
Clay and concrete tiles come molded in various shapes and profiles, lending a most unique and striking look to the roof. Clay tiles are available unglazed or fire-glazed in a variety of colors. Some concrete tiles have a decorative coating, but most are simply unfinished gray concrete.
These types of roofs are often found in hot climates because the thick clay or concrete tiles help keep the homes cooler. And while clay and concrete tiles are expensive, they do have an excellent lifespan, often lasting up to 80 years. Just be aware that clay and concrete tiles, like slate roofing, is very heavy. So check with an engineer beforehand to confirm the roof frame can support the extra weight.
Asphalt Shingle Price Philippines
Representing one of the newest and most-intriguing types of roofing is a product generically known as synthetic-composite roofing. Made from an engineered plastic composite, these resilient shingles are rot-proof, weatherproof, fire-resistant, and virtually indestructible. They’re often called faux shingles because they resemble natural slate tiles or cedar shingles or shakes.
Synthetic-composite roofing is installed similar to other shingles: It’s nailed down to plywood sheathing in overlapping courses. The time, tools, and skill required to install composite shingles is about the same as asphalt roofing, but these faux shingles cost three to four times more.
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