When you think of residential roofing, you probably conjure images of standard asphalt roofs, the most common variety in North America today. Yet, depending on where you live, this may not be true. Indeed, in addition to asphalt, there are a wide range of types of residential roofing including wooden shakes, metal, tile, slate, and fibreglass. Each homeowner will have an individualized preference, but also each type of roof has distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Asphalt shingle roofs are well suited to all styles of home, and because they are inexpensive but durable, they are a popular choice for homeowners. Moreover, asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of colours and types so you’re sure to find something that suits your personal style. Asphalt roofs are relatively easily and cheaply repaired, and they provide excellent resistance to fire. Unfortunately, compared to other roofing types, asphalt varieties tend to have more problems with mildew and moss, and they are not the most eco-friendly option available.
Wooden roofs are an attractive addition to your home, especially for bungalows, ranchers, and cottages, but even a contemporary home is well suited to wooden roofs. Though they look natural, provide excellent insulation, and are highly durable when properly maintained, wooden shakes are also more expensive than other types of roofing systems, especially compared to asphalt. In addition, in order to get the most from a wooden roof, regular maintenance is required to prevent rot, mold, and mildew. Wooden shakes are also more susceptible to fire.
Metal roofs are available in a wide range of styles and colours so they can match any type of home. These roofs have an exceptionally long lifespan and require little maintenance. Metal roofs perform well in high wind, hail, and rain, and they’re environmentally responsible. Unfortunately, metal roofs can be expensive and difficult to install.
We often associate tile roofs with homes that have a European flavour. These roofs provide exceptional fire resistance as they are non-combustible, but in addition to practicality, they are also stylish and available in many different colours. Easy maintenance and durability make them a great choice for some homeowners, while their cost and weight make them unsuitable for some projects. Tiles are also fragile and installation and repair can be challenging.
Not only are slate roofs distinctive and highly attractive, but they also require little maintenance and offer exceptional durability. Slate roofs are certainly impressive, but also very expensive due to the material involved as well as the requirement for specialized installation. Slate roofs are heavy and high maintenance.
Finally, fibreglass roofs are becoming a popular choice for virtually any style of home. These roofs are lightweight, so they don’t have the same structural requirements as slate or tile roofs. Available in many shapes and colours, fibreglass roofs can mimic the appearance of slate or wood roofs but are much less expensive. In addition, environmentally conscious homeowners will prefer these roofs over asphalt alternatives. Unfortunately, fibreglass roofs are not well-suited to colder climates, and they are fragile and chip easily. Moreover, they do not provide the best insulation compared to other roofing types.