Understanding Different Types of Roofs

In today’s world of technology, there seems to be an overwhelming number of options for any item you may consider purchasing, and roofing options are no exception. For many of us, the task of choosing the right type of residential roofing to fit our personal needs can be a bit daunting. A typical homeowner may not even know much about each of the options aside from the aesthetic properties. Here we will describe some of the most common roofing options and discuss the pros and cons of each type.

  • Slate Roof System
    • Slate is a natural stone that can be chiseled into thin, flat tiles. Slate roofs are made of these tiles, overlapped to form the roof. Because of the irregular shape and size of these tiles, this system is not considered the most waterproof, and therefore needs to be installed with a good slope to promote the water running off the roof instead of pooling between the tiles. Additionally, it is very heavy, and in some cases a roofing contractor may need to reinforce your roofing trusses to support the additional weight. A slate roof system runs in the higher price range, as well. The benefits to this type of roofing are it’s elegant and beautiful appearance, combined with an easy to maintain system which is highly durable and can hold up well in any type of weather.
  • Clay Tile Roof System
    • A clay tile roof is a staple for a traditional southern Mediterranean style home. Natural clay is shaped into forms with lips and channels that will direct the flow of water, then hardened by heating at extreme temperatures. This tile is both wind and moisture resistant, and provides a long lasting roofing option – potentially lasting 80 years or longer. While you may experience a single broken or cracked tile on occasion, this roof type is easy to repair and maintain, and provides a distinctive curb appeal.
  • Wood Shingle Roof System
    • Wood shingles are a somewhat more costly option, and is often found on higher-end homes. These shingles have a natural aged appearance, that many homeowners find very attractive. They are light weight, and easy to replace, but are susceptible to damage from insects and rot, and generally have a poor fire rating. The longevity of this roof type is determined by the type of wood used. Redwood and cedar roof shingles can last upwards of half a century.
  • Asphalt Shingle Roof System
    • Asphalt shingles are the most popular roof option, and the most affordable. These shingles are made of thin rubber-like sheets, cut to look like clay or stone shingles, and adhered onto the under-surface with adhesive or hot bitumen. They are durable, easy to maintain, and are appropriate for most any climate. They generally last around twenty to thirty years, and for a homeowner who is willing to spend a little more there is an upgraded thicker version available which will provide more durability. Another variation is an architectural shingle, which is essentially an asphalt shingle that has been laminated to provide more options in color and texture.
  • Metal Roof System
    • Metal roofing is an extremely popular option. In the past, this would have been most commonly found in an industrial setting, but can be used in any type of building, and has recently gained traction in the residential market. It is ideal for homes that feature a steep or flat roof line. Metal roofing is inexpensive, quick to install, lightweight, waterproof, and incredibly durable. Metal roofing has many design options,  with different colors, styles, and textures, in order to simulate other types of roofing. This option is a great investment from an insurance standpoint, and can be expected to last around half a century.

Ultimately, your decision will be based on a number of factors, including your budget, climate, architectural style, and personal taste. Before making a final decision, be sure to seek professional consulting from a seasoned local roofing contractor so you can make the most informed decision possible.


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