Different Roof Coverings Explained

Trouble juggling all the roof types? Our experts explain the difference between asphalt shingles, metal roofs and non traditional slate and tile coverings.

When you are building a new home or doing some extensive renovations, one of the things you will have to consider is what type of roof you want to use. You may want to consider the longevity, durability, price points and how suitable your roof is for the climates you live in. There are a plethora of options in the market. Here is a quick overview of the most common types, to hopefully help you make an informed decision.

Asphalt Roofing

The most common type of roofing in the US is asphalt roofing. This type of roof is built using asphalt roof shingles. The shingles are installed into a marine-grade plywood roof deck, which provides superior strength and structural stability to the entire building. Asphalt roofing is versatile as they can be laid onto roofs that pitches to as low as 10 degrees, as well as vertical walls. Hence, they are suitable for any roof.

Asphalt shingles are made from fibreglass, asphalt and ceramic, which makes them water resistance and great UV light deflectors. They commonly come in 2 varieties: three-tap shingles which is made up of a single layer of material as well as architectural shingles which laminates two asphalt shingle stripes together.

Asphalts roofing is preferred over other types for many reasons. Due to its flexibility and robustness, they can withstand extreme weather conditions such as hot, humid climates as well as dry, colder climates. They can be a very cost effective option of roofing since they are manufactured in bulk amounts and can be purchased at a low cost. Since their installation process is also quite simple, it makes them cheaper to install too. Their flexibility allows us to use them on a variety of different kinds of roofs – even curved ones. Asphalt roofs are also lightweight at around 18kg per square metre post installation. They are low maintenance and in the case they become damaged, roof repair can be done easily and cheaply. Asphalt roofs are wind and water resistant. Moreover, they are fire resistant and comes in a variety of fire resistance grades, class A being the most resistant.

Asphalt shingles are available to be bought in a wide range of colours and styles, making it a versatile roofing options for any home. For this reason, asphalt tiles can mimic the look of other materials (for instance, wood or slate), allowing users to achieve the aesthetic they desire for their homes, while still enjoying the advantages that come with using asphalt roofs. They provide architectural benefits as they can be used in homes of any style, ranging from the more traditional ones to more modern types.

While there are many advantages of using asphalt roofing, there are a few setbacks that should be kept in mind. Asphalt shingles have relatively shorter lifespans compared to most other types of roofing. They can last no more than 30 years, while other types like tile roofs can last up to a 100 years. Furthermore, asphalt shingles cause for large amounts of greenhouse emissions during production.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is gaining more popularity as of recent. Many home builders are attracted to this type of roofing for good reason. Metal roofs are generally built out of steel and are characterised by longevity, resilience and impermeability. Metal roofs are known to have a long lifespan of at least 50 years. Architecturally too, they provide many options due to the large range of styles and colours they come in. Metal roofing allows for the interlocking of panels, which makes them extremely wind resistant. They are fire and water resistant too. Metal roofing has the capability to keep their homes cool due being energy efficient and can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%. Moreover, its light weight can prolong its structural integrity and lifespan. They can also be installed easily and quickly, as roofing materials come in multiple-shingle sections and in wide panels. This may contribute to less installation costs too. Due to the slipperiness of their surface, metal roofs allow for optimal shedding of snow and rain. Metal roofs are a sustainable option because a part of its material comes from recycled materials, with some roofs being made from up to 95% recycled material. Once they reach the end of their life as a roof, they can be 100% reused, depending on their condition, in contrast to many shingle-type roofs that end up in waste streams.

Despite the advantages, metal roofs can have some potential shortcomings. For one, metal roofs can be quite expensive. For the durability and longevity of life it provides, users must certainly consider it an investment. Metal roofs can get noisy especially during heavy rains. The problem can be fixed by installing additional insulation, which again may increases costs. Furthermore, they can dent during hailstorms, depending on the type of material the metal roof is made of.

Clay/concrete/slate Tiled Roofs

The origins of clay tile roofs go all the way back to the 17th century. Tiled roofs are still being used today for many reasons. Tiled roofs are still favoured over other types due to its longevity, as they are able to last for over 100 years. They are also highly robust and are able to resist extreme weather conditions, superior to most other types of roofs. They are known to be able to withstand hail, high winds and fire. Clay is non-combustible, meaning they cannot catch fire. Tile roofs are also immune to decay, unlike wood. Furthermore, tile roofs are impervious to insect damage too.

Tiled roofs provide energy efficiency for homes too as they will help regulate temperatures indoors. They are also of low maintenance as they rarely cause for leaks and requires repair or other maintenance, thanks to their high durability. Tiled roofs also come in a variety of styles and colors and can easily be matched with many house styles. Many home owners favor tile roofs over other types due to its aesthetics. Tiled roofs are used to resemble houses styles ranging from Medieval to Contemporary Europeans.

Clay roofs are not as popular as they were years ago, because they can be quite expensive. They can cost about double the cost of asphalt roofs, or more. Clay roofs are most expensive while concrete tile roofs may be slightly more economical. Since tiled roofs have long lifespans, this cost may be offset on the long run. The installation of tile roofs are time-consuming and is difficult. They are not the type to DIY and requires the help of well-experienced professionals and licensed roofing contractors. They must also be installed extremely carefully as for moisture to not come through it. Tile roofs are also quite heavy and only specific types of building structures can withhold such a roof. They are only suitable for roofs with a decent amount of slope too, and cannot be installed in ones with a minimal tilt or flat surfaces.

It is important that when you are building a home, you choose the type of roof that is best suited to your home and your needs. If you are in the Greenville area of South Carolina, we can help you with all of your roofing needs. We serve a number of surrounding areas too. At Greenville Best Roofing, we provide quotes free of charge! Moreover, if you are not sure of which option to go with, we are happy to give you more information on different types of roofs and help you choose the best suitable roof for your home. Call us today! ‪(864) 660-9378‬

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