When it is time to have a new roof installed, one of the first decisions you and your roofing contractor will discuss is what materials you will use. Homeowners are often surprised at the wide variety of roofing shingles available each with different benefits, drawbacks, and costs. Some of the most common types of roofing shingles you are likely to work with are asphalt, metal, wood, tile, and slate. Let's take a closer look at all these types of roofing shingles.
There are two main types of asphalt shingles: organic and fiberglass. Organic shingles are made of waste paper that has been soaked in asphalt so it becomes waterproof. Later a coating of adhesive is applied wherein ceramic granules are embedded. Fiberglass shingles are similar to organic shingles except that they also include a base layer of fiberglass to reinforce the shingle. Both types of asphalt shingles are especially durable and make an excellent roofing material in areas that face heavy winds. Asphalt shingles are also comparatively inexpensive and are the most common type of shingle in North America.
Metal shingles are generally designed to look like cedar or slate shingles, but they are much more durable. In fact, metal shingles require very little maintenance, yet they may last up to 50 years. Another benefit of metal shingles is that they can be installed over an existing roof, which can actually save homeowners a considerable amount of money as there is no need for tear down (a somewhat laborious and time consuming task). However, metal shingles also tend to be more expensive than other shingles; and they are also more difficult to install.
Sometimes known as shakes, wood shingles are made from cut wood. They are light weight and easily installed for easy repair and replacement. Not only are wood shingles an attractive roofing material, but they also improve insulation in your home; however, wood shingles are obviously not as fire resistant as other types of shingles and they are more prone to rot, split, or mold.
Roofing tiles can be made from a variety of materials from clay or plastic to slate or concrete. Moreover, these roofing materials are available in a wide range of sizes and styles including flat tiles, Roman tiles, and interlocking tiles. Depending on your personal preference, all roofing tiles provide an excellent weather barrier. Moreover, roofing tiles are fire resistant and easy to maintain. However, roofing tiles can be quite heavy and are therefore not appropriate for all roofs.
Slate is becoming a popular design feature on the inside and outside of homes. Today, slate roofing offers a striking appearance while providing excellent weather and fire protection. Slate is expensive, requires expert installation, and also may be too heavy for some roofs; however, slate tiles are also very durable and offer a longer lifespan than wood or asphalt shingles.