One of the most important factors in the structure of your home is the roof. Roofing materials are designed to protect you, your family and your home from the elements as well as add aesthetic appeal to your homes exterior. Maintaining the roof is essential in order for it to do the job in which it was intended to do. So, it is important to routinely inspect the roof to make sure there are no loose or damaged shingles, damaged flashing or other damaged areas that may result in a leak. If you notice any damages, it is important to contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible to repair or replace the roof. If you need a new roof, there are several roofing options to choose from.
Common Types of Roofing Materials
When choosing roofing materials there are several factors to consider, such as the life span of the materials, repairing ease, your budget and the heating and cooling effect it will have on your home. The most common types of roofing materials include:
- Asphalt shingles-this is the most common type of roofing material used, because it is typically the least expensive and it is easy to maintain. Not only are asphalt shingles available in a wide variety of colors and styles, but a new shingle roof can often be installed directly over the existing shingles. The main disadvantage of asphalt shingles is that they have a fairly limited lifespan compared to other types of roofing materials and they may be easy to damage during severe storms and/or heavy winds.
- Metal-one of the reasons metal roofing is becoming so popular is because it is typically made from recycled materials and it can be recycled if removed. Metal roofing is durable, made from lightweight materials, can be installed over an existing roof, and it has an exceptionally long life span. A metal roof is fire-resistant and because the metal reflects heat, it will keep your home cooler in the summer. Metal roofing materials can also be installed to look like other types of roofs, such as tile, wood or shingles. The main disadvantage of a metal roof is that it is difficult to install. Due to the difficulty in installation, it is important to hire a roofing contractor who is experienced in metal roof installations.
- Slate-this is one of the most expensive options for roofing materials. However, slate is made with all natural materials, it is extremely durable, it is fire resistant, and it can last for generations if correctly maintained. Installing a slate roof is energy efficient and it may increase the value of your home. The main disadvantage with slate is the weight. It is extremely heavy, so it should only be installed on a solid structure that is durable enough to handle the weight.
- Cedar shake-a wood roof is less expensive than slate, but it is also slightly more difficult to maintain. The wood provides and excellent layer of insulation for your attic, so it is energy efficient. A cedar shake roof is aesthetically appealing because of its natural appearance. A cedar shake roof will typically last about 30-40 years. It is important to have routine inspections to ensure the wood is free from mold and/or insects.
It is suggested that you consult with an experienced roofing contractor to help you choose the best roofing materials for your home, your style and your budget. While considering the various options, it is important to keep in mind that some options, such as slate or metal, may be slightly more expensive, but they are cost effective because they last longer and provide additional insulation, which reduces energy costs.
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