Roofs come in a variety of styles and types. The primary purpose of a roof is to shelter and protect buildings and their occupants from the elements. Standard asphalt shingles or slate or clay tiles used to be about the only choices of roofing material. Today, advances in technology and attention to style and detail give homeowners a myriad of roofing options. Usually, the style and architecture of a home dictate the type of roof that looks and works best for the structure. Here we address roofing type basics and trends.
Types of Roofing
• Asphalt shingles – These are the most common type of roofing, given their durability. Asphalt shingles are also less expensive than other roofing material types, and they install easily and come in a variety of colors and looks that complement your home’s exterior. These shingles come in three types: 1) three-tab, which are one-piece, single-layer shingles that generally give a horizontal appearance on the roof; 2) dimensional shingles appear multidimensional and come in a range of colors; 3) luxury shingles, which look multidimensional and replicate slate or cedar roof types with the depths and shadows these shingles create on the roof. Each type of shingle increases in price and durability, and can last from 20 to 30 years.
• Metal – Metal roofing comes in several types – shingles, tiles, and panels – and can last the life of the home when properly installed. Metal roofs detract and shed water and snow, hold up well against wind, and are resistant to insects, rotting, and fire. They are relatively lightweight and, depending on the type, easier and faster to install than other roof types. Given these qualities, a home may require fewer roof supports and labor costs are lowered since the time to install a metal roof is shorter. Metal roofs can be noisy during rainstorms, but insulation and sheathing can be used to deaden the sound. Also, some metal roofs may dent if pelted with hail or walked on.
• Slate – Slate roof tiles can be made of 100% natural stone or be man-made in the form of fiber cement slate or bituminous slate. The coloring and surface of natural slate varies over the entire roof, which gives a beautiful appearance to any home. The downsides to natural slate are its weight – it is very heavy – and high cost to install. Fiber cement slate, on the other hand, comes in custom colors and shapes, is lighter weight, and does not require additional reinforcement. Bituminous slate’s main component is asphalt, similar to asphalt shingles, but its surface is made to be smooth, similar to natural slate. All three types of slate roofs are highly durable, given their waterproof qualities, but it is recommended they be installed by an experienced contractor.
• Clay tiles – Clay and concrete roof tiles are an attractive, yet expensive, roofing option that can give any home a distinctive, custom look. These tiles are durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, and energy efficient. Clay tiles are made from natural clay that has been molded and baked at a high temperature that bonds its coloring permanently (coloring is applied in the process). Concrete tiles are made from sand, cement, and water, and can be made to look like other tile types such as clay tiles, slate, stone, and even wood shake. With proper installation and maintenance, clay and concrete tile roofs can withstand high winds (even hurricane winds and tornadoes) and safeguard against fire and other natural hazards. These roofs work well in climates that are warm and dry, as the tiles can absorb small amounts of water that may eventually lead to the growth of mildew and staining. Additionally, they are heavy and require more roof support than basic asphalt shingles.
This list of roof types is not exhaustive. Other types, such as rubber slate, steel panels, and solar tile roofs are a few other options. Homeowners need to consider every factor when deciding the roof type to put on their home: material, cost, durability, look, climate, home style and architecture, and more.
If you are looking to build a new home or replace a roof on an existing home and would like to learn more about roofing options, contact Sovereign Construction Services. Owner Steve Rush is knowledgeable about all roof types and the installation process, and is available to share his expertise and answer all your questions. Call Steve at Sovereign Construction Services today at 610-639-2986 for a free consultation.