What Materials Make Up A Roof?


What Materials Make Up A Roof?

The shingles make the topmost parts of a roof, and choosing a material can be challenging. The roofing materials determine your roof’s performance and longevity. The material you choose will also determine the maintenance costs your roof will need.

Different roofing materials have various characteristics. The common materials are wood, slate, asphalt, and metal roofs, among others that we will mention. Besides, these roofing materials also perform differently in various climates.

When buying a roofing material, it is essential to buy one that suits your location. For example, wood absorbs water, swells, and rots so that the wooden shingles won’t be ideal for wet climates. The materials must also match your home style.

Let us first look at the other factors to consider when buying a roofing material.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Roof

Some roofing materials last for decades, but other factors determine their longevity. Therefore, when buying a roof, ensure you consider the climatic condition of your area. You should also buy a roof that fits your home’s style and fulfills the area’s building codes.

Some of these factors are:

1.    Your Home’s Architectural Design

Your home’s architectural design will determine the types of shingles to install. Some shingles fit well in modern houses while others in historic homes, like the tiles. Installing unmatching shingles with the home’s design can lower its aesthetics and value.

Additionally, homeowners should choose a roofing material depending on the use of the building. For example, commercial buildings require rubber roofs mainly to reflect the sun and increase energy efficiency.

2.    Roofing Installation

You could be buying the roof for the first time, a replacement, or adding the new roof on top of the current one, which will determine the roofing material to buy. Homeowners installing new roofs have more choices because there are no other components to consider.

If you install the roof on top of the existing one, you will have limited materials because they must blend well with the old roof. Also, if it is a roof replacement, you already have the high pitched or flat roof structure in place, so you should choose your roofing material considering that.

3.    Functionality

Whether a steep pitched or a flat roof, the roof’s structure will dictate the roofing shingles to install. It is important because some materials retain water for a longer time, so they are unsuitable for flat roofs.

For example, wood shingles retain and absorb water in flat roofs, making them better on high-pitched roofs. Also, if your roof has corners and edges, slate roofing will be a perfect choice.

Roofing Materials For Your Roof

Roofing materials have different characteristics, and they perform differently under various environments. Now that you know the factors to consider when choosing a roofing material, here are some to buy.

1.    Woods Shingles

Wood shingles are widespread compared to metal roofs, and homeowners buy them because of their natural beauty. Besides the aesthetics, wood shingles have a longer lifespan and are available in various shapes.

However, when buying wood shingles, check the pros and cons. For example, ensure your home’s climate is dry. Wood soaks in water, swells, and rots. With time, the shingles get patches and reduce their curb appeal.

Besides, when wood shingles absorb water, they could lead to roof leaks. Other house parts like the walls and rafters could suffer water damage and weaken, leading to a fall of the entire roof. Wood shingles are also expensive.

2.    Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are available in different shapes because the roofing material is easy to mold. They are hard, meaning they have higher durability and a long lifespan. You can also choose unglazed clay that appears reddish-orange or glazed tiles.

Clay tiles are expensive, with the standard cost being $10-$18 per square foot. However, the ceramic tiles cost about three times more. You should also get a roofer experienced in clay tiles installation.

3.    Concrete Tiles

If you don’t fancy clay tiles, buy concrete tiles because they have similar characteristics. However, manufacturers make the concrete tiles from a mixture of sand and concrete and add the colors according to the homeowner’s taste.

Besides, some manufacturers make their concrete tiles with a decorative coating. It is a suitable roofing material if you live in areas that experience high winds. These tiles are also more affordable than clay because they cause about one-third less.

4.    Slate Shingles

If beauty and longevity are your main concerns, slate shingles are suitable. These shingles can go for over a hundred years and still function well. However, slate shingle roofers are rare because this roofing material requires a lot of expertise.

The cost of slate shingles is about $9-$12 per square foot, including the installation costs. Although they are costly, you won’t need a replacement any time soon, and the roof requires minimal maintenance.

5.    Rubber Roof

Owners of business buildings require rubber roofs because of their energy efficiency. A rubber roof is manufactured from engineered polymers processed with recycled plastic and rubber. The roof is mainly white to reflect sun rays and increase energy efficiency.

However, a lightweight rubber roof makes it suitable for houses that cannot support heavy materials. The roofing material is also quite affordable because you will pay about $3-$6 per square foot for this roof, including the installation cost.

6.    Metal Roof

Metal sheets and shingles are the most common roofing materials. Metal is available in various materials like aluminum and steel, and others are made from a combination of other metals to strengthen the roof.

Metal shingles are suitable for areas that experience heavy snow or houses more exposed to wildfires because the roofing material is fireproof. Although metal roofs are long-lasting, they eventually wear out. However, the material is recyclable, making it environmentally friendly.

Metal roofs are affordable, with the standard prices being $6-$12 per square foot. Their longevity ranges between 30 and 50 years, and you should paint them to prevent the roof from rusting.

Final Words

Choosing a roofing material can be challenging because of the many materials. However, once you know the factors to consider when buying and comparing the characteristics of the roofing materials, your work will be easier.

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