Roofing – Types of Roofing

The most common roofing materials used today are what most people refer to as shingles. What most people don’t know is that any material used to cover a steep slope roof (any roof other than a flat or nearly flat roof) is a shingle with the exception of metal coverings.

The first type of shingle roof is the asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingles are made up of a mixture of asphalt and fiberglass base covered with granules. The base is the primary portion of the shingle that sheds water and the granules protect the base from being damaged by the sun. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive shingles on the market to purchase and install yet has a functional life of 20 to 50 years depending on the quality of the shingle and other variables.

The cedar shake roof is another roof covering that is not only used on roofs but can be used to accent other parts of the house. Cedar roofs are exactly that, shingles made of natural cedar wood. The are installed used individual rectangular cut cedar about two feet long and varying widths using copper nails and accessories. The use of copper and the time consuming task of installing each separate shingle makes it a much more expensive option.

Clay roof are a type of roof found in locales the are very warm throughout the year. They are excellent for roofs that are low sloping. Clay shingles are called tiles. The are a semi circular tile 3″ to 4″ wide 12 to 16 inches long and installed intermittently one facing up and the next one facing down. The preparation of the roofs raw or bare surface is the most critical stage of the installation process.

As cedar roof are made of natural wood, slate roof are made of natural stone. The stone is rectangular shaped and is available in various colors and sizes. Slate roofs are the most expensive roof to install and copper nails and accessories are also required.

Many homeowners are opting for metal roof over shingles. Metal roof are colored panes of metal ranging in thickness from the thinner less durable 29 gauge to the heavier 24 gauge metal. AS is slate, metal roof are a lifetime roof and should never have to be replaced under normal circumstances. Metal roof are more expensive than asphalt shingles but far less expensive than slate, cedar and clay.

The other and newer alternative to residential sloped roofs is the composite shingles. These are engineered polymers made to resemble slate or cedar. In most cases there isn’t a noticeable difference between the real thing and composites. The advantages of composites are they are lighter weight in the case of slate, they maintain the consistency of color over the life of the roof, most carry a 50 year warranty, less expensive than slate and cedar, available in several colors and style, unique and can be more aesthetically pleasing depending on an individual’s preference.

For non sloping (flat roof) the choices are the old conventional built-up roofing installed with tar, gravel and a fiberboard underlayment or the membrane type which can be rubber, plastic or a modified asphalt. The latter three are most commonly used in residential construction; however commercial roof are more and more being covered with membrane roofs. The membranes are longer lasting and less susceptible to developing leaks.

​When making a decision about your roof options contact That Good Ole Handyman for choices and pricing.

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