Determining the best roofing material for your house is not as simple as you might think. There are a lot of variables to consider, and you always want to balance your decision with what is best for your environment, and your budget, not to mention the style you want to achieve. After all, a roof has to blend in with the rest of the structure that you call home.
Different Kinds of Shingles
The most popular choice for roofing material is shingles. If you take a drive through most any suburban community, you’re going to see mainly shingle roofs. Asphalt shingles are the roofing material of choice because of the wide range of styles and colors available, and the low cost, when compared to other types of roofing material. Your roofing contractor in Gainesville, GA, will go over some of these choices with you before making a final decision.
There are several factors worth considering when you are deciding what kind of shingles you want to have on your roof. These include the slope or roof “pitch,” the way they are constructed, and the locally available products. In the end, your choice of roofing material will be personal but functional, as well as fitting into your budget.
For instance, you might be considering plastic shingles, which can mimic almost any kind of roofing material, but it’s probably a bad idea where wildfires might be prevalent; plastic shingles are combustible. The same thing could be said for wood shingles as well as other organic-based materials used in the making of the shingles.
Common Types of Roof Materials
Wood shingles are very classic and traditional and are available in either shakes or shingles. The biggest difference in these is how they are made. While both shingles and shakes are made from larger pieces of wood, shingles are made by a saw, and shakes are made by splitting the wood. No two pieces of shakes are alike, and this irregular shape gives them a more rustic appearance. You will see shake roofs in oceanfront or seaside housing. Many homeowners shy away from installing wood shingles because they are flammable and the maintenance expenses are higher.
Slate and Flagstone
These cost more than other kinds of roofing material, but they are well worth the investment when it comes to durability. Stone or slate shingles can last centuries with regular maintenance. With this kind of lifespan, it’s easy to consider the larger investment. Another interesting bit of information is that these shingles are reusable and they can also be moved from one structure, or home, to another without losing any durability.
Almost always used where wildfires are a common threat, because of their resistance to flames. In more gentle climates, metal roofs are not usually the choice due to budget constraints.
Plastic is the primary material in imitation slate shingles, which can provide the classy appearance of slate shingles at a budget price. As you can imagine, plastic isn’t going to last for several lifetimes as slate does, but the look is still there. Do not choose plastics if you live in an area that experiences fires.
Composite shingles, such as fiberglass asphalt shingles, are the most commonly used roofing material in residential areas of the United States. This type is easy to install, recyclable and affordable. A wide range of colors is available for some flexibility in the final appearance of your home. Composite shingles last about 20 to 50 years.