11 Common Roofing Materials for Your House

How secure is your roof? Despite being one of the most important parts of any home, roofs are often the last thing on a homeowner’s mind. Have you checked yours lately?

A damaged roof can lead to all kinds of problems: leaks, higher energy bills, and more. If you find an issue with your roof, you may need to install a new one altogether. That means choosing new roofing materials.

There are a lot of residential roofing materials on the market today; the first step of installing a roof is doing your research and figuring out what kind of material is right for your home.

Read on to learn about eleven popular roofing materials and how they can impact your home.

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are probably the first thing you think of when you imagine roofing options. They’re a classic option–homes have been using asphalt shingles for over a century!

There are two main advantages to asphalt shingles for home roofing: they’re easy to install and don’t cost very much. The tradeoff is that they aren’t as durable as many other roofing materials.

They’re easy to repair, too, but you may end up repairing them more often than you’d like.

2. Synthetic Composite Shingles

Synthetic composite shingles are made from a mixture of other roofing materials: asphalt, fiberglass, and paper all go into the creation of these shingles. The result is a highly durable roofing material.

In addition to high impact and wind resistance, synthetic composite shingles offer top-notch fire ratings and insulation. They also come in several styles, letting you customize your look.

These shingles tend to be more expensive than some other roofing options.

3. Solar Tiles

Solar energy has steadily grown in popularity over the years, leading many people to consider installing solar tiles instead of a more traditional roof replacement. Solar tiles are a great option if you’re looking to help the environment.

On the other hand, installing solar roofing materials is a much more complicated and expensive prospect than most other roofing options.

Depending on your home’s location and average sun exposure, you might not even get many benefits from solar tile installation.

4. Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are a popular roofing option due to their durability–they’re molded and fired for maximum strength. They also offer a sleek, classic look that can add a pop of color to a home without seeming ostentatious.

These tiles are more expensive than a lighter material like asphalt. They also weigh a lot, so they aren’t feasible for every home. Check with your roofing contractors to find out if clay tiles are viable for your house.

5. Concrete Tiles

On the surface, concrete tiles are similar to clay ones: both roofing options are heavy but durable, and both are better in hot, dry climates due to their issues with water absorption.

There are important differences between the two, though. The most important one is the price factor: concrete tiles are more affordable than clay ones. They can also mimic the look of many other roofing materials.

6. Slate Roofing

Slate is another contender with similarities to clay and concrete: it’s a highly durable roofing material that can add an unsustainable amount of weight to your roof.

That said, if your home can support it, slate roofing lasts a long time and looks amazing. It’s one of the most popular roofing materials because of its elegant, natural appearance.

Slate is very expensive and often requires a specialist to install it, so it may be a poor choice even if your home can handle the added weight.

7. Green Roofing

Green roofing sometimes goes by another name: living roofing. This style of roof is essentially a garden on top of your home. It’s a good option for eco-minded homeowners who can’t use solar tiles for one reason or another.

As you can imagine, the cost of maintaining a green roof is high. It also requires far more upkeep than most other roofing materials, since you’ve got to tend to the plants there.

8. Membrane Roofing

Does your home have a flat roof? If so, membrane roofing may be the best choice for you. The membrane in question is a kind of plastic sheeting called ethylene propylene diene monomer (or EPDM for short).

Membrane roofing is easy to install and creates a reliable, waterproof seal. Punctures are a risk, however, and improper installation can lead to leaks around the seams.

9. Wood Roofing

Wood tiles give your home a beautiful, timeless look; it’s also durable and offers good insulation. It’s not as heavy as some other options, either, making it a good choice for nearly any roof.

The main issue with wood roofing is the frequent maintenance it requires. Wood roofing will cost you a lot of time and money if you want to keep it functional. It’s not the cheapest roofing option, either.

10. Built-up Roofing

Often abbreviated BUR, built-up roofing is a more traditional version of membrane roofing that predates the creation of EPDM. Installation is a complex process involving several layers of material being laid over time.

First, roofers install a base sheet and cover it in adhesive. Then, they apply felt. They cover the felt in gravel before sealing the whole thing with asphalt.

BUR is cheap and effective, but the installation process takes a long time.

11. Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are extremely durable. They also provide UV protection and a solid defense against moisture. Best of all, there are lots of different styles to choose from, guaranteeing you can get a look you like.

The cost of a metal roof depends on the style you choose–many metal roofs are quite affordable.

Understand Roofing Materials

Choosing roofing materials is a key part of replacing a roof; the materials you choose will determine how much you pay, how long your roof lasts, and how your house looks for the foreseeable future.

Installing a roof is a great way to improve and customize your home. Afterward, you might want to renovate your home’s interior, too; visit our lifestyle blog for great home design tips and ideas!

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