When it’s time to replace your old or damaged roof, you can choose to keep the same material you have now or consider a new type of roofing. Making the right decision requires that you compare different roofing materials based on durability, longevity, appearance, cost, structural issues, maintenance needs, and weather resistance.
We are here to help you become more acquainted with your roof material options so you can figure out which material will work better for you and your home.
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used residential roofing material across the United States. Their popularity is due largely to the fact that they are less expensive, durable, and can provide protection in nearly all climates.
They consist of a fiberglass base coated with a layer of asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. The asphalt is mixed with minerals to give the material it’s waterproof properties while the fiberglass provides the strength. The ceramic granules help deflect UV light.
Asphalt shingles are manufactured as 3-tab or architectural shingles. The standard 3-tab shingles are designed made out of a single layer of asphalt and appear flat. Architectural shingles are given two or more layers to give the roof a multi-dimensional appearance.
Typically, an asphalt shingle roof can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, depending on the climatic conditions they are exposed to and the level of maintenance after installation. Asphalt shingles are durable, lightweight, and easy to install. They are available in a wide range of colors and can be made to mimic slate or wood shakes.
Metal roofing is a viable option for most homes. It comes in standing seams or shingles. Standing seam metal roofs consist of large sheets which are installed vertically along the roof slope and meet in raised seams that interlock to keep moisture out. Conversely, metal shingles are made from stamped metal and finished with a baked-on coating. They can be fabricated to look like wooden shakes, tile, or slate.
The most common materials used in metal roofing systems are stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper. The material types allow you to customize your roof based on the price, durability, and style you’re looking to achieve.
Metal roofing is lightweight and versatile in style and design. It can cost a bit more initially to install, but it’s highly durable and can last between 40 to 70 years, depending on the material. Metal roofing is impervious to insects, rot, and fire damage. It excels at sloughing off heavy snow and resists high winds.
Metal roofs are more energy-efficient because they reflect solar radiant heat. A granular or shiny coating can maximize the roof’s reflective capacity and significantly reduce cooling costs. Metal roofing is environmentally friendly and can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.
Metal is a low maintenance roofing material and the only necessary task will be removing debris and having the roof inspected at least once a year. And contrary to common misconceptions, metal roofs are not noisier than other roofing types and do not attract lightning.
Cedar Shake Roof
A cedar shake roof is a premium roof system made of red or white cedar. Cedar logs are cut into sections and hand-split to produce shakes that vary in length and thickness. The variation and rougher edges give the roof a natural, rugged, and woodsy appeal that is striking at first glance. During the first year of exposure to the elements, the material will gracefully age into a grayish silver tone.
A cedar shake is a premium roofing system that works best in dry climates that don’t see much moisture or fires. It works well on Craftsman, cottage, and Tudor-style homes. With quality materials, proper installation, regular maintenance, and the right environmental conditions. A cedar shake roof can last up to 40 years.
Cedar shakes are energy efficient. They help insulate the attic, reflect heat during the summer, and retain warmth during the winter, reducing your heating and cooling bills. Cedar wood shakes are resistant to strong winds and extremely durable in hail storms, snowstorms, and heavy rains.
Cedar shake roofing requires periodic treatment with fungicides and preservatives to keep the material from warping, cracking, drying out, or being attacked by insects, mildew, and fungus. Regular recoating with spray-on fire retardants is necessary to prevent your risk of fire. Regular cleaning and removal of overhanging tree branches will also help avoid damage.
Tile is one of the most expensive roofing types on the market, but that’s perhaps to be expected from a material that can last 100 years. Tile roofing can add style, dimension, and durability to your home.
Tile is highly durable and can withstand damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, and winds of up to 125 miles per hour. It’s also non-combustible and won’t rot or get damaged by insects. Tile is energy efficient so you can expect to save on your monthly electric bill.
Maintenance is straightforward, but extra care is needed during the process due to the material’s susceptibility to breakage. While tile is a beautiful and versatile roofing material, it is very heavy and requires reinforcement of the roof framing before installation.
To avoid the high price and weight that comes with traditional tile roofing, you may want to consider synthetic tiles. Available in multiple formulas including acrylic, fiberglass, rubber, and PVC, synthetic tiles are lightweight and don’t require bracing before installation. They can last for more than 50 years, protecting your home from perils like snow, wind, rain, UV absorption, and debris damage.
Natural slate is one of the most beautiful roofing materials on the market. It is highly desired and recommended thanks to its stylish appeal and incredible durability. The stone is mined and cut into square tiles that have to be installed one at a time.
Slate roofing comes with a lifespan of at least 125 years. It is waterproof, won’t burn, and resists mold and fungus. It’s impervious to a lot of weather conditions that affect other roofing materials. Slate comes in a variety of styles and colors.
The biggest con of slate roofing is that it’s quite heavy and can be easily broken when stepped on. Your home has to be framed or retrofitted to carry the extra weight of the slate tiles. Slate is the most expensive roofing material.
If you can’t afford the premium price or your home can’t be retrofitted to support the heavyweight, synthetic slate shingles are a great alternative. A synthetic slate roof comes with the beauty and durability of actual slate but is only half as costly as actual slate. It reduces stress on your roofing’s support and you can expect it to provide over 50 years of protection from the elements.
Contact the Roofing Experts Today
With decades of experience with a wide range of residential roofing materials, the team at Quantum Roofing can help you choose the best material and style for your home. We provide an experience that’s based on education, high-quality workmanship, and customer service. Plus, with quality roof installation and replacement services, you can have a comfortable and well-protected home for years. Contact us to schedule your free consultation in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee.