Guide to Choosing the Best Roofing Materials

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Guide to Choosing the Best Roofing Materials

Re-roofing  your home, or choosing a roofing material for a newly constructed home, can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the possible options. There are a wide variety of roofing materials available spanning many different appearances, longevities, and prices. With a little research, you’re certain to find the perfect fit for you and your home.

What to Consider When Choosing a Roofing Material

Before you fall in love with one roofing material over another, it’s a good idea to decide what will and won’t work for your home. The factors that influence which roofing materials you can use may include your roof’s architecture, neighborhood homeowners’ association requirements, and even the energy efficiency you want in your home. For example, metal roofing conducts heat which can affect the temperature in your home and your energy efficiency as a result.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular roofing materials.

1. Composition Shingles

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Composition shingles are commonly made of cellulose mats coated with asphalt and other mineral granules. These shingles are lightweight and sit flat. They are some of the most economical and the first choice for many DIY installers.

While composition shingles don’t offer too much aesthetic variety, there are fire resistant and algae resistant options available, as well as premium ones. Heavier varieties of composition shingles can last up to 30 years if maintained.

2. Laminated Shingles

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Laminated shingles are heavier than composition shingles. Laminated shingles have a fiberglass base and come in multilayered panels that create a three-dimensional profile instead of a flat one. They provide fire resistance as well as composition shingles, and can also offer wind resistance.

Many homeowners choose these shingles for their home roofs because they are considered more attractive than flat composition shingles. In addition, laminated shingles can have a life expectancy of up to 40 years or more. This, along with their other features, make laminated shingles more costly than composition shingles.

3. Metal Roofing

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Metal roofing is comprised of metal panels. The type of metal used can vary. Aluminum is popular, as well as steel. The panels can also be made of copper, which can be corrugated among other options. Metal roofing can be used safely on nearly flat roofs, which makes it a great choice for many business roofs.

The pros and cons of metal roofing can vary slightly based on the metal chosen. For example, the exact weight of this roofing material depends on the type of metal. Aluminum is popular because rust isn’t an issue, but lower grade metals can also be dented. Metal roofing costs more than either type of shingle we’ve looked at, but can last up to 50 years if maintained.

4. Other Roofing Materials

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Your roofing material options don’t end with shingles and metal. Everything from wood shingles to slate and clay shingles is available. These types of roofing materials aren’t as common because they often have more specific requirements for installation than the materials discussed above.

For example, slate shingles and clay tiles are immensely heavy and require reinforced roofing. Wood shingles require a roof with a specific slope in order to prevent water damage. That doesn’t mean these options aren’t worth exploring! Just make sure to take to a professional roofer to check the requirements for installing them on your home before picking one.

Finding a Professional Roofer

Still not sure which type of roofing material would work best for your home? You can always ask a local roofer for assistance! When looking for a roofer to complete your home remodel or install a roof on a newly constructed home, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always use a fully insured roofing company.
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Check reviews online (and at the Better Business Bureau).
  • Never use a roofer who offers to refund your deductible (Find out why).

Choosing a roofing material can seem overwhelming, but your roofing contractor can help. Once you’ve decided, you’ll be able to look forward to having a home with a sturdy and attractive roof over your head for decades to come.

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