Have you noticed that your roof is looking a little past its best? If you’ve got an asphalt roof and you’ve had it for over 20 years, it’s probably time to start thinking about a replacement.
Wooden roofs may last a little longer, and slate roofs will outlive us all. But when it comes time to choose a new roofing material, there are pros and cons to each type to consider.
Join us as we explore the many roof shingle types so you can find the best choice for your home.
Asphalt Composite Roof Shingles
America’s most popular roofing material, they’re much loved from Maine to California.
They are one of the most cost-effective roofing materials out there, and they’re relatively lightweight. This means that they go on fairly easily, being easy for installers to trim. Repairs are also relatively straightforward.
They are made of three layers. The back is fiberglass with an asphalt layer on top. The final finish is made of mineral granules, giving it a textured appearance.
Premium asphalt shingles are also available that mimic old-world roof shingle types. They are laminated, and the final finish can mimic slate and wooden shingles. Your local roofing contractor will be able to advise you whether they’re a good choice for your locality and climate.
If you go for asphalt, there are many roof shingle colors to choose from. This makes it easy to match the style of your house and neighborhood.
One of the best things about asphalt shingles is that they are recyclable. The asphalt can be reused in asphalt pavements and to repair cracks in roads.
The downside to asphalt shingles is that they are susceptible to wind damage. Plus, they can crack if the weather fluctuates between extremes of hot and cold.
They have a lifespan of between 15 and 25 years, depending on the quality of shingles used and your local climate. Some premium shingles can last longer.
Metal Roof Shingles
If you’d like a metal roof, but standing-seam roofs aren’t your thing, then metal roof shingles could be a great choice.
The advantages of metal roofs include their excellent watertightness, which is ideal in parts of the country that get a lot of rain and snow. Metal roof shingles are stamped and then have a weatherproof coating applied. They can also come with a mineral granule finish to mimic asphalt shingles.
Some metal shingles can resemble slate and wood, allowing them to blend in with the look of the neighborhood.
Getting a new roof with metal shingles will cost more than an asphalt roof. However, it will save you money in the long run. Metal roof shingles reflect solar heat, reducing the solar gain in the house, leading to lower energy bills.
Plus, metal roof shingles usually last much longer, sometimes as long as 80 years. If this is your forever home, it can be a do it once, do it right situation.
The drawbacks are the additional cost of the shingles, plus the need to hire an expert contractor. They need to be carefully installed so that they can expand and contract throughout the year without coming loose. They also need to be well insulated to reduce noise when it rains.
Wood Roof Shingles or Shakes
Do you know your shingles from your shakes?
A wood shingle is a thin, sawn piece of timber. But a shake is a thicker, hand-split type of shingle that is cut from a log. Shakes are more traditional and hardwearing as they are thicker.
Cedar roof shingles have been used in the US since colonial times. Timber was freely available, and cedar shakes became popular in the western United States in the 19th century.
Wood roof shingles remain popular because of their beautiful natural appearance. They’re still a great choice if you have a traditional-style home that can carry the look off. However, they are expensive, and they can’t be used everywhere.
If your home is at risk of wildfire or you live in a high rainfall area, they’re unlikely to be the best choice. They may only last for 20 years in a wet climate. In a drier area, they can last for up to 60 years.
Slate roofs, with their black roof shingles, are very popular across the pond. It is naturally almost totally waterproof and is a great electrical insulator. It creates a striking look at makes the right home really pop.
One of slate’s best qualities is its durability. With proper maintenance, it can last for hundreds of years. That said, it is expensive, and it can be hard to find qualified installers.
You’ll also need to check whether your home can bear the load. But if you do choose slate, you’ll only have to pay for it once!
If you love the look of slate but not the hefty price tag, synthetic slate could be the right choice for you.
From the ground, they look virtually the same, but they’re actually made from a rubber compound. This also makes them much lighter than natural slate. They can also last over 50 years with good care.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Although not strictly shingles, clay and concrete tiles are super-hardwearing choices. They can last for over 100 years, and they can withstand very hot climates. Clay is the more expensive option of the two, but they are more aesthetically pleasing in most people’s opinion.
Which Roof Shingle Types Are Best for You?
With so many roof shingle types to choose from, it can be overwhelming. The choice will come down to cost and suitability for the climate. Asphalt shingles are great value and versatile, but a metal or slate roof will be a once-in-a-lifetime expense.
Looking for more hints and tips to help you get the best out of your home? Head over to our Home Improvement section today!