Types of Roofing

Roofs come in many different styles, partly for aesthetic reasons and partly for functional ones. Roofs protect homes from weather of all kinds, and are made in a variety of different materials. Each form of roofing has its own advantages and disadvantages, and must be considered carefully to see if it is the best choice for the particular home as well as the area and climate in which the home is located.

Asphalt shingles are the most common form of roofing in North America, and are becoming more common in many other parts of the world. Asphalt shingles are made of roofing felt which is saturated with asphalt and mineral granules.

Used on everything from tin sheds to cathedrals with copper domes, metal roofing has become more modernized. Today, most metal roofing is comprised of galvanized steel or corrugated aluminum. Metal roofing is usually painted and can be very attractive and relatively inexpensive.

Wood shingles are another popular form of roofing around the world. Wood shingles are attractive and durable, although they should be treated with a preservative at least every five years. Wood shakes are thicker than shingles and more expensive, but they last about 50 years — twice as long as wood shingles.

Common in the United States, slate shingles are made from blocks of slate — a mineral mined in the eastern United States. The blocks of slate are split into shingles, which should be installed by professionals. If slate is installed correctly and maintained well, the shingles are almost indestructible. However, slate roofing is expensive, especially when you take into account the materials, the cost of installation, and the reinforced roof structure required to support the weight of the shingles.

construction worker Clay tiles are similar to slate shingles in their advantages and disadvantages. However, clay tiles create a different sort of appearance. Like slate, clay roofing is heavy, expensive, fireproof, and weather-resistance. Clay tiles can be held on with clips or fasteners or by a tie-wire system, suspended from the ridge of the house. Clay roofing should always be installed by a professional.

Built-up roofs are made out of layers of roofing felt and hot tar. These alternating layers are then covered with a layer of gravel. This type of roofing is found more often on commercial buildings, but can also be found on some houses and apartment complexes. Built-up roofs are best for flat roofs or roofs with a very slight slope. This type of roofing can usually be repaired by homeowners with little to no roof repair experience.

Written by Bronwyn Harris