Roofing

Roofing is responsible for several important functions. Most importantly, it serves as the structural support of your home. In addition, the roof controls water ingress, air flow, water vapor diffusion, heat flow, and offers surface protection. However, in order for a roof to function properly, the right roof materials and components in the assembly must be selected based on the properties that make them suitable for these various tasks.

The price of a new roof system varies widely, depending on such things as the materials selected, contractor doing the work, location, local labor rates and time of year. It is important to keep in mind that for each roofing material, there are different grades and corresponding prices. There also are a variety of roof styles and shapes to choose from. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.

 

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products. Furthermore, they don't require specialized accessories for roof edges, wall terminations, and chimney or vent flashings.

These shingles are typically reinforced by organic or fiberglass material. Fiberglass shingles use a fiberglass reinforcing mat, while the organic kind uses a cellulose-fiber mat derived from wood. Fiberglass roofing shingles are more popular because they are more fire resistant, tear resistant, last longer, and are the most budget-friendly. They are also thinner, lighter, and easier to lug around.

Asphalt shingles now come in all kinds of colors and profiles, and to enhance the aesthetic pleasure of asphalt roofing shingles they may be coated with special laminate to provide an eye pleasing texture. They also can come equipped with zinc plating to protect against algae build up. Keep in mind, any and all additional features will increase the pricing of your roof, but asphalt shingles are still going to be the most affordable roofing option.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Drawbacks

The main drawback to asphalt shingles is related to the service life. Asphalt roofing shingles are available in grades with an expected life of 20-50 years depending on the price. However, durability issues and wear-out or material failures occur earlier than expected in some situations. Also, shingles used in warmer climates will have a lower life expectancy, but these types of shingles generally come with 20+ year warranty. Keep in mind, however, that warranties are a marketing device and are not a reliable predictor of lifespan. To be on the safe side, it is wise to demand shingles that meet industry manufacturing standards.


Asphalt shingles are a great choice for a roofing material if you are looking for a fairly standard roof, with low maintenance, a great price, and a reasonable service life. They typically cost anywhere from $50 to $150 or more per square. Keep in mind that tearing off the existing shingles will add another $30 to $50 per square.

Metal roofs have become a popular alternative to traditional roofing materials. This is due to the fact that metal is lightweight, maintenance-free, fireproof, energy efficient, durable, and can be manufactured to give virtually any look conceivable. Furthermore, metal roofs have a life expectancy of over 30 years and houses with metal roofs may receive a discount on the homeowner's (fire) insurance.

Metal roofing may start at $100 per square and run up to $600 a square or more for coated steels and copper. They cost more to install than shingle roofs, but the difference is not as great when re-roofing. In addition, metal roofs can be applied over several layers of old shingles, so the tear-off expenses are eliminated. And most metal roof manufacturers also provide a lifetime warranty.

Metal Roofing Materials

The two most common metal roofing materials are painted aluminum and steel. Both are durable and light weight. For those that enjoy the look of tile or slate, the lighter weight aluminum or steel can resemble the look and also be supported by your roof structure. Copper and stainless steel are also metal roofing options, but their cost is often outside of the budget of many homeowners.

Aluminum is fast-becoming a top choice because it does not rust, it deafens the sound of rain, and it is easily formed to perfectly simulate cedar shakes, tiles, and slate. Simulated cedar shakes are most popular and are difficult to distinguish from real shakes. They are available in many standard colors and in a few energy efficient paint options. Most aluminum and steel roofs are painted with tough Kynar (a dense, high-purity plastic).

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