When it comes to maintaining the integrity of your home, one of the first places that you should look into is the roof. The roof helps protect the interior of your home from the outdoor elements. Different types of roofing materials are available in the market today. Choose one that will work best for the style of your home and your budget.
Tile roofs often come in forms of clay or concrete. Fired clay tiles such as the Spanish style red barrel tiles come from soil or mud made into clay, placed in molds and baked in high heat. They are durable and can last for several decades. Clay tiles are traditional roofing tiles that complement Spanish-Mission or Tuscan style homes. Modern versions of tile roofs come from concrete made into cement tiles added with coating. Lighter types of cement tiles use fibers or cellulose for more strength. Tile roofs come in different styles and colors. Some tile roofs come in barrel or concave shapes while others are flat. The most common types of color are red, gray and brown.
Tile roofs are non-combustible, long-lasting and durable. They provide enhanced circulation by allowing ambient air to circulate below and above the tile, which helps release solar heat readily. Tile roofs, however, can be costly to purchase and install. They are also heavier and take longer to install than other types of roofs.
Shingle roofs come from different materials such as wood, slate (stone) and asphalt. Wood shingles made of cedar, spruce or treated pines are smooth on both sides. Cedar shingles are brown or reddish when new, but turn gray in the first year. Wood shingles can shrink, warp or splinter over time. They are also susceptible to termite infestation and fire.
Sediments of clay or volcanic ash and fine silt deposited on ancient sea bottoms create slates. Slate shingles are very durable and can last for many years; however, just like tiles, they are heavier per square foot than asphalt. Colors range from different shades of gray, green, purple and cyan.
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingles. Reinforced with fiber glass or paper, they are more durable than wood and much lighter than slate. Asphalt shingles can last up to 30 years and are cheaper and easier to install than shingles made of slates and wood. Staggering multiple layers of materials that include asphalt can produce laminated shingles that can add color and depth to the roof. From afar, these laminated shingles can look like expensive slate roof.
Metal roofs have come a long way. They don’t just come in corrugated tin barn style, but they also come in high-tech finishes that look like clay tiles, wood shingles or slates. Some metals roofs get multi-layer factory finishes to give them a more realistic look similar to granular stone.
Metal roofs are fire-resistant, lightweight and durable. They are faster to install than tiles or shingles because they often come in longer sheets such as the standing-seam roofing. Aluminum, steel copper and alloys are some of the materials used for metal roofs. Galvanizing or applying coats of paint make them resistant to rusts.
A qualified metal-roofing contractor can install metal roofs quicker than an unseasoned do-it-yourselfer. Repairs and modifications can be trickier than asphalt or wood shingles. Metal roofs are generally less expensive than tiles and slates, but cost more than asphalt.