The Pros and Cons of Common Roofing Materials

Investing in a home or commercial building requires the ability to finance proper roof, plumbing, and exterior maintenance, regardless of your purpose for the property. If your property currently has traditional roofing installed, but it’s become worn down and degraded over time, it might be necessary to consider replacement shingles or a brand-new roof altogether. Taking the time to compare the pros and cons of traditional roofing materials and advanced alternative solutions is a way to make the most educated and informed decision when you’re ready to invest in a new roof for any type of home or place of business.

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Whenever you’re in the market for any type of traditional roofing, it’s likely you will be presented with a wide range of asphalt shingles, designed for both residential and commercial structures alike. Asphalt shingles are some of the most common materials used in the roofing industry today, whether you’re searching for a new roof installation or require a few repairs on existing shingles. With asphalt shingles as your roof’s base, you can expect a modern roof to last anywhere between 15 and 30 years with proper inspections and routine maintenance.

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

Some of the benefits of asphalt shingles are that they are extremely popular, making them more affordable than alternative materials for roofing, regardless of the size and location of your roof. Asphalt shingles are typically much easier to install than alternative materials, depending on your preferences and the angle of your existing roof. It’s also important to note that asphalt shingles are typically constructed with the use of fiberglass or another organic base, depending on the manufacturer you choose for the shingle design and style you’re interested in.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Before you start calling local roofing contractor services for your own roof project, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the cons of asphalt shingles. While 15–30 years may seem like a longer lifespan to some new homeowners, it is a significantly shorter lifespan than when using alternative materials, such as metal or concrete roofing to get the job done. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that when you’re using materials such as asphalt, they are not designed for natural disasters and severe weather, which can lead to more damage that requires constant repairs and inspections.

Concrete or Clay Roofing

If you’re looking to steer clear of traditional roofing, and you’re working with a flat or commercial roof, you may want to consider clay or concrete as your chosen material of choice. Clay and concrete tiles are extremely timeless, durable, and distinct. For those who are fans of Mediterranean design styles, clay and/or concrete tiles may be the way to go.

Pros of Concrete and/or Clay Roofing

Some of the most notable advantages of going with clay or concrete roofs is the ability to do so even if you live in an area that is prone to fires, natural disasters, or even high winds. If you want to mitigate damage or issues with your roof during all seasons, it’s much easier to do so with peace of mind when you go with a concrete or clay roof solution. Using concrete or clay tiles will allow you to make one major investment that is guaranteed to last for many more decades to come.

Cons of a Concrete or Clay Roof

Unfortunately, just like any other type of roofing material, there are also drawbacks to using concrete or clay, regardless of the size and location of your home. When you’re speaking with a professional roofing contractor, they will inform you that a concrete or clay roof is extremely heavy and complex, which may require more time and money to install. Additionally, concrete and clay roofs will typically cost much more upfront than standard shingle-based roofs. You will also need to tend to the maintenance of your roof more frequently with concrete or clay tiles in place.

Wood Shingles

If you prefer the look and aesthetic of traditional roofing, or you’re in the process of building a cabin, another type of roofing solution you might want to consider includes the use of wooden shingles. Wood shingles are extremely appealing to those who prefer the appearance of redwood, pine, or even cedar wood trees in nature. With versatility and plenty of styles, you can find a wood shingle that is pleasing to the eye and protective for your home or any structure you’re building.

Pros of Wood Shingles

Most residential roofing contractors will inform you that wood shingles are extremely appealing for various rustic cabin designs and architectural styles today. Wood shingles provide a natural appearance and are often considered one of the best options to go with if you’re someone concerned about living a more sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, wooden shingles can be the perfect choice if you’re concerned with the insulation in your home or cabin, as they can be ideal for insulation purposes.

Cons of Using Wooden Shingles on Your Roof

With wooden shingles, it’s important to remember that they’re not indestructible, which is why they’re ideal for calm or moderate climates. Wooden shingles may also require additional sealing and fire treatment services to help with preventing flammability and potential rot from water damage. When you’ve installed wooden shingles onto your roof, you will also need to pay attention to potential pest infestations or openings that may trigger issues with the internal structure of your home itself.

Metal Roofing

If you’re tired of using traditional roofing materials such as asphalt, or you’re working on a commercial building, you might also want to think of using metal roofing solutions. Metal roofing is one of the most popular choices for larger buildings and commercial spaces. Most often, metal roofing comes in materials such as aluminum, steel, zinc, and even copper, depending on your preferences, budget, and the climate or zone you’re in.

Benefits of Using Metal Roofing

When you’re working with roof installers who are well-versed in installing metal roofing, you can learn plenty of the benefits of going with metal, regardless of the type of metal you’re interested in. With metal roofing, it’s possible to ensure the lifespan of your roof lasts for more than 50 years in most instances. Additionally, metal roofs are not only recyclable, making them more sustainable, but they’re also extremely energy-efficient, which can save you from wasting energy while reducing electricity costs each month.

Cons of Metal Roofing Solutions

When it comes to investing in metal roofing, you’ll need to remember that it’s likely to cost you significantly more if you choose to do so upfront. However, the larger initial cost is typically offset by the longevity of the roofing material itself. It’s also important to remember that a metal roof is more prone to potential damage, such as denting. You will also hear much more when you’ve installed a metal roof, which can be extremely disruptive to those who prefer a quiet roof or a soundproof home.

Slate Roofing

When you’re interested in natural and traditional roofing but you no longer want to go with asphalt shingles, you might want to think about slate roofing. Slate roofing is the process of using natural stone from the earth that has been split into various roofing sheets for residential and commercial structures alike.

Pros of Slate Roofing

Choosing to install slate roofing is ideal if you’re interested in an elegant roof that also provides plenty of versatility in terms of stone style, patterns, and colors. If you want to ensure your investment is solid for more than 100 years, you can do so by going with a professionally installed slate roof of your choice. To guarantee your new slate roof lasts as long as possible or even longer than 100 years, proper inspections and routine maintenance is imperative.

Negative Aspects of a Slate Roof

When you’re working with a roofer who has experience with slate roofs, they will inform you immediately that your home’s structure must be suitable for slate roofing, as it requires additional support due to the sheer weight of the material. It’s also important to remember that the process of installing a slate roof is often more complex and robust, requiring more time and ultimately, more money. Slate roofing is not an inexpensive option, but it’s one of the most durable on the market for both residential and commercial structures.

Plastic or Rubber Materials

When you begin working with a trusted residential roofing company, they may mention the use of plastic or rubber materials, especially if you’re in the market for a brand-new roofing replacement. Most often, plastic or rubber roofing materials are simply referred to as composite roofing. Composite roofing can be made up of various materials ranging from traditional plastic and rubber to recycled items.

Pros of Using a Composite Roof

Using a composite roof solution is ideal if you’re interested in an affordable option for your roof that’s available in a variety of colors and styles. Composite roofs are also more modern, including high-quality materials for optimal insulation and protection. Additionally, composite roof types are also suitable for weathering and do not require excessive maintenance, such as slate, concrete, or clay roofs.

Cons of Using a Composite Roof

Using a composite roof may also have drawbacks, as they are not always as aesthetically pleasing. Because composite roofs may be created with the use of recycled materials, there is not always a guarantee that your roof will appear elegant or modern. Comparing composite materials and results can help find a solution that works for the look and style you’re going for with your own roof.

Synthetic Solutions

Along with composite roofing and traditional roofing solutions, there are also synthetic roof types to consider. When you’re working with trusted roofing companies in your area, inquire about synthetic materials that may be suitable for your home based on your home’s location and surrounding climate.

Benefits of a Synthetic Roof

A synthetic roof comes in a variety of materials, including both plastic and rubber composites, providing you with more choice. The materials of a synthetic roof are often recycled materials, helping you lead a more sustainable way of life. With the use of synthetic materials, you can often mimic natural looks without going overboard with natural materials, sealing, and fireproofing.

Cons of Synthetic Roofing Materials

When you’re using synthetic roof materials, there is more likely to be a variance in material quality, styles, and patterns. This can lead to an unpredictable look once your new roof is installed. Some synthetic materials are more costly than traditional shingles, which can cause you to increase your budget significantly, depending on the type of synthetic roof you’re purchasing.

Choosing the Right Roofing Materials for Your Home

Whether you’re in need of traditional roof repairs or you’re seeking a roof replacement business to help install a brand-new roof, you’ll want to be sure you’re making the right choice when it comes to selecting materials necessary to get started. When you’re working with a roofing contractor or company you can trust, it’s much easier to ask questions about particular roof styles, tiles, and materials that appeal to you most. Reviewing the pros and cons of each roof type and style before settling on a decision with your preferred roofing company or contractor will ensure your satisfaction once the project is complete.

If you’re still stuck or at a loss when choosing a material that’s ideal for your home’s look and feel, you can also brainstorm with the use of online resources and various social media platforms, such as Facebook Groups and Pinterest. Using online platforms is a way to research various roof types, tile colors, and materials based on your location and budget. You can also review roofing material manufacturers beforehand online to guarantee you make an informed investment.

Finding a Contractor

No matter what materials you end up choosing for your roof, it’s essential to ensure that you find a reliable roofing contractor to help with the project. In order to find a quality contractor, there are a few steps you can take.

First, you’ll want to do your research. You can start by taking a look online, whether that be at a specific company’s website or through search engines like Google. Looking at real customer reviews can help give you a good idea about how the company works, its specific services, and how its overall projects turn out. While you’re looking for reviews, you may also consider looking at a gallery page or service-specific pages to make sure the roofing contractors have experience in the project you need help with.

Similarly, it can be a good idea to ask friends or family members if they’ve had a good experience with any roofing companies in the community. Chances are if they recently had a project done that they are satisfied with, they will happily recommend the contractor.

While reviews are important, you’ll also want to check other details for the roofing contractor such as if they are licensed, insured, or even what their warranty is. These small details may seem like they don’t matter, but in the long run, it can make a big difference on how your project turns out, and can even save you money in the long run!

From traditional roofing to synthetic and composite roofing solutions, there are many different types of roofing materials available today for residential and commercial properties alike. Whether you intend to stick with traditional roofing solutions or you’re interested in an alternative, the right roofing professionals can assist you every step of the way. With the right roofing materials for your home or place of business, extend the lifespan of your roof while ensuring your investment goes a long way.

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