When it comes to a new roof replacement, you have options. Although many homes have asphalt shingles, there are other materials available that may be a better fit for your home. The following guide can help you better understand the shingle choices that are available for your new roof.
Asphalt is so common because it is cost-effective and reliable. These shingles can last two or three decades in ideal conditions, requiring only minor repairs. An asphalt roof goes on relatively quickly because most homes are already designed for this type of roofing. You have choices in asphalt shingles, which include choices of shape and color. There are even different quality grades of asphalt with some having a much longer lifespan than others, which ensures you have roofing options for most budgets.
Fiberglass shingles are actually a modified asphalt shingle. The main part of the shingle is made of fiberglass, but then it is coated in asphalt and gravel granules just like a traditional asphalt shingle. The result is much more durable, which does extend the life of the roof but at a higher initial installation cost.
The common term for wood shingles is shake. Shake can be made from pine, cedar, redwood, or cypress. Properly installed and maintain, shake can last as long as an asphalt roof or even longer. Many people opt for shake due to its pleasing appearance, but it isn't suitable for every roof. Shake can be dangerous in areas under high fire pressure, and the material may have a shorter lifespan in wet climates where rot can be an issue.
Tile shingles can very well be the last roof you install, simply because they can last many decades. The most common variety is the terracotta Spanish tile that is seen on many stucco homes. Your roof must be engineered to hold the additional weight of tile shingles. Some older homes can be updated for this very purpose. Tile is one of the more expensive options so it isn't for every budget.
Much like tile, slate is heavy and a roof must be engineered to hold the additional weight. Slate roofs are also exceptionally long-lasting like tile, although broken or loose slates that have to be replaced are a common maintenance issue. Unlike tile, slate doesn't absorb moisture so it is well suited to areas with freezing weather and frequent temperature fluctuations.
Most people have seen metal panel roofs, but you can also get metal shingle roofs that are designed to mimic the look of tile or asphalt roofing. Although more costly than asphalt, these roofs have a long life and they require nearly no maintenance. They are exceptionally well suited to areas with high fire risk.
Contact a roof replacement service in your area to discuss the shingle options available.