When selecting shingle material for your home, you can find materials and color shades to suit any taste. Because they typically cost less than alternatives and often last much longer, the most popular option by far is asphalt shingles. (Often, their fire protection rating leads neighborhood associations and other housing authorities to require them; check your local building codes when choosing.) Some estimates say asphalt roofing covers 75% of the homes in the continental United States. Asphalt shingles have been in use for almost a hundred years now, so they have a proven track record of longevity and reliability.
Over the past several decades, many new composite roofing materials have been developed for the market. But so far, these alternatives have not proven themselves to hold up as well as asphalt shingles. Although they may offer a very different look, some wear out in only a few years, and in no cases have they lasted as long as a quality asphalt roof. Asphalt shingles are an attractive option that suits any style of home, whether modern or antique. Besides the variety of color choices, asphalt roofs are also considered to be easier to be repair than other materials.
Some homeowners opt for slate as a replacement option. But not only does the slate material typically come with a higher price tag, it is also much heavier than asphalt, and therefore requires additional structural support for a home to sufficiently withstand its weight. Certainly slate is an attractive option, especially for colonial- and chateau-style homes. You just need to be aware that it is very expensive, and that it requires specialized installation.
Wood shake is the asphalt alternative that has been around the longest. It’s typically manufactured from wood materials such as cedar, spruce, and pine. Relative to other alternatives, well-installed, high-quality wood shake roofs can last a long time, with some of the better ones having been recorded to last up to thirty years. Wood shakes are cut by machine to give them a nice, refined, smooth finish and better fit. Wood shakes are most often used on ranch-, cottage- and bungalow-style homes. Generally speaking, wood shakes are more expensive than other types of roofing material.
Natural rock, clay or even fiberglass can be used as roofing materials. These alternatives are marketed as maintenance-free, fire-resistant, moisture-blocking material. You will most often see them used on Mediterranean-, French- and Italian-style homes. While these options are usually more expensive, they’re also very attractive and can really complete the look and feel of a home.
In recent years, eco-friendly home materials have been gaining in popularity. Eco-friendly roofs are often low maintenance, and most are engineered to better stabilize and maintain your home’s temperature. Although environmentally-friendly roofs have not yet made a huge impact in the United States, they have been in use for more than thirty years abroad.
If you’re thinking about having your roof repaired or replaced, please contact us at Robbins Roofing and Construction. We’d love to meet with you to discuss all the options that will best suit you and your home.