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Top 10 Roofing Materials

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If you’re planning a new roof you may want to consider all your options in roofing materials. Many options are dependent upon the area of the country you live in and the style of house you own but you have a lot of choices. Over the last few years several new materials have come on the market and are definitely worth looking into.

  1. Composition shingles, better known as asphalt make up almost 80% of residential roofs. The shingles come in a wide array of colors and are one of the most affordable types of roofing. They are easy to install and may be nailed over an existing roof depending on the existing material.
  2. Wood shakes and shingles are a traditional and rustic favorite. They are usually made of cedar. Shingles are sawn and have a smoother surface while shakes are thicker. They may be either sawn or hand split and have a rougher surface. A shake or shingle roof requires extra maintenance and may be subject to rot, mold and insects.
  3. Clay tiles are commonly found on homes along the west coast. They are used on homes with southwestern or Spanish design. Clay tiles won’t rot or burn and have a lifespan that may even out last the structure beneath. The one disadvantage to clay tile is the weight. A roof may need additional supports added to support the load created by a tile roof
  4. Slate roofing is often found on historical homes and sometimes on more modern upscale homes. The slate is thin layers of rock cut like shingles. They can be laid in various patterns for a very unique look. Slate roofing has a long life span, is low maintenance and won’t burn, rot or deteriorate due to the sun’s UV rays. Like clay tiles, slate can be heavy and may require extra support.
  5. Concrete tiles are a fairly new roofing material. They are actually a fiber reinforced product that can be made to look like shingles, wood shakes, clay tiles and a number of other roofing materials. Concrete won’t burn or rot and is impervious to insects. The material is actually very light when compared to tiles or slate which prevents the need for added support.
  6. A metal standing seam roof is made up of many vertical interlocking panels. The seam where the panels join is raised to prevent water from seeping under the panels. But metal roofing can also be made to look like shingles, wood shakes or clay tiles. Metal roofs long lasting and virtually maintenance free.
  7. Fiberglass roofing panels are made from very fine glass fibers. The panels are durable, flexible and come in a variety of colors. Fiberglass roofing panels are considerably cheaper than other types of panel roofing but can last up to 30 years with very little maintenance.
  8. Plastic corrugated roofing is another material that is recent to the roofing industry. It comes in sheets with a wide range of colors, thicknesses and design patterns. Plastic roofing has no seams for moisture to seep through and it will reflect almost 90% of UV rays. This makes it ideal for warmer climates because the lower heat absorption can reduce the cost of cooling your home.
  9. A hot mop asphalt roof is primarily a commercial application used on flat roofs. It cost less than other materials and when applied properly will last for several years. The process of hot mopping releases fumes that pollute the air and contributes to smog. While it may be a necessary application in commercial areas, it is often restricted in residential locations.
  10. A green or living roof may not be all that common but with the heightened awareness toward protecting the environment it does deserve mention. A living roof is made up of a layer of soil that can support plants for a rooftop garden. This type of roof requires a flat surface and is really only practical for certain climates. A green roof provides excellent insulation while improving the air quality of the surrounding environment.

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