Roof shingles come in a variety of materials and styles. Choosing the one that fits your needs is one of the most important decisions when replacing your roof. There are things that need to be considered when choosing your roof tiles such as climate, layout, durability, safety, and finally cosmetic appearance. A roof is something that needs to last for quite some time. Not only is it an expensive expenditure, but your quality of living can be greatly affected by a damaged or unsafe roof. This is why the choice of material used can be the make or break decision in roof replacement.
Durability of the tiles is one of the most important aspects of roofing material and a lot of this will depend on the climate of your locale. Certain materials will hold up better in certain climates. You need to be aware of this and talk accordingly to the contractor who is overseeing the construction of this project. Fiberglass based roofing tiles are the more popular item nowdays. These consist of a mixture of fiberglass and asphalt compounds. These shingles work well in wet areas, or places that experience a lot of snow and changing climates. Their chemical makeup gives them a better resistance to erosion. Erosion occurs with all roofing materials however, as it causes the protective oils to soften and become gradually washed away by rainfall. In asphalt shingles this caused shrinkage, however this is a slow process and happens over a significantly long time. Whereas wood shingles when experiencing the loss of these oils will rot away-in a quick amount of time.
Speaking of wood shingles, these are not often used anymore because of the fire hazard that they present. Rotten wood especially presents a fire hazard and so if at all possible wood shingles should not be used in areas that have a dry climate for a period of time. If you live in an area that is to fire anyway, wood is not the way to go. Another not so common roofing material is slate. Slate is a sedimentary rock made of clay or volcanic ash. The slate used as building materials is cut in a quarry and comes in the form of a smooth, flat sheet of stone. These stones are used as roofing tiles as well as many others. When used in roofing slate is easily split into flat pieces and can be stacked without too much trouble. Slate has a very low water absorption rate making a frost resistant material and not prone to breaking under freezing temperatures. Slate roofs have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years, but you will find this type of roofing method in European countries and not so much in the US.
Choosing the right roofing shingles for your home is not a difficult decision. It is a pretty stress free one as long as you do your research and ask as many questions as possible when initially talking to your contractor. They will be the best source for information and can easily lay out the options that are available to your case. In the end the decision is yours, however, the contractor will be able to guide you in the right direction and it would be a good idea to listen to what he / she has to say.