Popular Roofing Materials
Most homeowners and commercial business owners desire a roof that's not too expensive, doesn't require maintenance, and lasts forever. But most roofs are replaced or repaired every ten years. By carefully choosing your home's roofing material, you can bring down the cost of replacement. In the long run, you will use less building material while fill minimally filling up less landfill space with your discarded materials, and put less of a demand or drain on our natural resources.
Asphalt Composition Shingles --- This is a good choice for a clean look at an affordable price. Higher-quality versions are made from asphalt or fiberglass shingles and they offer a more durable option and may be available with recycled content. Composition shingles come in a large variety of colors, types, and brands. They are versatile and adapt easily to different applications. They are relatively easy to install, and in some applications can be nailed in place over an existing roof. They require low maintenance and can be walked on without damaging the material. Class A fire protection is offered by most brands. There are three negatives --- they can blow off in high winds, the material is easy to scar when hot, and it does not have the dimensional look of tile or shake. Architectural Shingles
Asphalt Architectural Shingles is another type of asphalt roofing that gives your home a little more character. These shingles are higher quality than your standard composite asphalt shingles and give you an aesthetically pleasing look with more durability than standard composite shingles can provide. The major difference between architectural shingles and standard shingles is their three dimensional appearance giving you the ability to mimic expensive roofing options such as cedar shakes and slate but without the hefty price tag of either of those roof types. The benefits of architectural shingles include: increased durability, aesthetically pleasing look that mimics more expensive roofs, and longer warranties --– some of which last the entire lifetime of the roof.
TPO SINGLE-PLY --- Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes are among the fastest growing commercial roofing products and have gained broad industry acceptance for their many performance and installation advantages. As demand increases for heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing systems, TPO single-ply continues to provide exceptional resistance to ultraviolet, ozone, and chemical exposure. Due to the installation technology, it has high resistance to constant dampness, stagnant water, and high and low alkaline conditions. When comparing it with other types of single-ply roofing materials, TPO-membrane is the newest. Important advantages include longer service life (over 50 years), high frost resistance, and durability. This material can be installed at low temperatures without loss of quality. TPO-membranes are environmentally safe because they do not contain volatile plasticizers. They can be installed with a ballast, by mechanical fastening, or by gluing.
Clay Tile --- This is a good choice for homes with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish Mission design, or even for homes with a modern, clean look. Tile lasts a long time --- its expected lifespan is greater than the lifespan of the material on which the roofing rests. Tile won't rot or burn, and it can't be harmed by insects. It requires little maintenance, and comes in a variety of colors, types, styles and brands. The biggest drawback to clay tile can be its weight. Depending on the material used to make it, tile can be very heavy --- so heavy that extra roof support can be required. With some new materials, however, color is added only on the surface of the tile, and can fade over time. Most modern tile is kiln-fired into the tile making the color permanent. Tiles are fragile, so walking on them can break them. That makes it more difficult to accomplish maintenance like painting or cleaning rain gutters or fireplaces. Initial installation can be more complicated than other roofing materials plus it can cost more than other roofing materials.
Slate --- These actual shingle-like slivers of rock are another roofing material that shows up on more upscale homes. Although slate is an expensive choice, it offers a very natural look and can be laid out in a variety of patterns. The benefits of slate are identical to those of tile: a very long lifespan, good fire protection, low maintenance, and an invulnerability to rot and insects. It comes in a good selection of sizes and colors, although colors are limited to those found in nature. Like tile, slate can be very heavy, sometimes requiring expensive extra support. It is also breakable, meaning that walking on your roof is difficult for a non-professional which complicates such tasks as rooftop maintenance, gutter cleaning, and painting.
Concrete Tile --- This is now a roofing material. Shingles, simulated wood shakes, lighter-weight tiles and concrete panels are being manufactured from a variety of fiber-reinforced cement products. Some are coated with plastics, enamels, or thin metals, and some contain recycled material. Although the products themselves are not yet recyclable, they are a good choice for durability and resource efficiency. The advantages of concrete roofing vary from product to product, but generally they all have a long lifespan, require low maintenance, offer good fire protection and are resistant to rot and insects. Many tiles mimic the appearance of wood shakes, while improving on the durability and fire protection that real wood affords. It can approximate the look of clay tile or slate while mitigating the structural problems caused by the weight of the real material. Concrete is more expensive than some roofing materials. Early types of concrete roofing had problems with the material curling, breaking, and changing color. Technology has improved, however, and these problems have mostly been overcome. Style and color choices are expanding and by mixing the cement with additives, manufacturers are making lighter and lighter products.
Metal --- These roofs are coming back in style. In the late 1700s, the most popular materials used for roofing were zinc, copper, and lead. Famous historic buildings, such as the Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, have metal roofs. Standing-seam steel roofing is the most popular residential metal roofing today. The term standing-seam describes the upturned edge of one metal panel that connects it to adjacent sections, creating distinctive vertical lines and a trendy historical look. Metal roofs can also be made to resemble wood shakes, clay tiles, shingles, and Victorian metal tiles. Aluminum or coated steel is formed into individual shingles or tiles, or into modular panels four feet long that mimic a row of shingles or tiles. Metal roofs are durable, fire retardant and almost maintenance-free. They are also energy efficient; metal reflects heat and blocks its transfer into the attic. Research by the Florida Solar Energy Center in 1985 showed that metal absorbed 34 percent less heat than asphalt shingles, and homeowners switching to metal roofing reported saving up to 20 percent on their energy bills. Steel roofs offer other environmental benefits as well. They are made from between 60 percent to 65 percent recyclable material. Because they weigh very little, metal roofing can be installed over existing roofs, eliminating the need to dispose of excess material in a landfill. Installing metal roofing can be an intricate process best done by a seasoned professional, plus the initial cost of a premium metal roof is higher than most other roofing materials. You need to compute the lifecycle cost to see if paying more to begin with a metal roof will prove to be a better investment than some other form of roofing.
Hot Mopping --- This technique is mostly seen in commercial applications. Hot mopped asphalt roofing is sometimes applied to flat or semi-flat residential roofs that have good access and proper drainage. Asphalt's advantage is that it is less expensive than other roofing materials and holds up fairly well when properly applied. The technique results in a roof that's not very pretty, although in residential use it is often covered with a layer of decorative stone to improve the appearance. You've no doubt noticed roofing projects that use this technique, since it requires a large kettle of melted asphalt. When being applied, the hot mixture releases extremely high levels of smelly air pollutants. In addition to being unpleasant, the hot asphalt poses a health risk to installers. Because hot mopped fumes contribute to smog, hot mopped asphalt may be restricted in some urban areas.