8 Types of Roofing – Forbes Advisor

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Most homeowners in the United States choose asphalt shingles because they are the easiest to find, most affordable, and most versatile types of roofing. The most durable types of roofs are slate and clay tiles, but they are more expensive than materials like metal or wood. Functional roof alternatives such as green roofs and solar shingles are among the most expensive types.

Replacing an old roof is one of the best and most profitable ways to invest in a home. Choose the roof type that suits your home, climate and budget.

Shingles (asphalt, fiberglass, composite material)

Nearly 90% of households in the United States use composite asphalt shingles because they are affordable, durable, and easy to install. Asphalt shingles only cost $ 1.50 to $ 5.50 per square foot or gross $ 8,000 per roof installation. They can last up to 30 years and can be recycled into plasters.

Manufacturers mix fiberglass, asphalt, and mineral composites to create different colors such as gray, brown, red, green, or blue. However, their color will fade over time due to exposure to sunlight. The color and quality will look different depending on whether you choose architectural clapboard or three-tab clapboard.

benefits

  • Affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to find
  • Works well in most climates
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Recyclable

disadvantage

  • The color fades when exposed to sunlight
  • 3 tab style prone to wind damage
  • Short lifespan

Architecture and three-tab

Architectural asphalt shingles are single bricks that are thicker than three tabs to create a layered, permanent texture on your roof. The higher quality material and the longer installation make architectural shingles more expensive. However, they can last for 15 to 30 years and are more weather resistant.

Three-tab asphalt shingles are thinner and cut to look like three shingles. This allows for faster installation and creates a uniform, brick-like pattern. They are prone to strong winds and typically last 7 to 15 years. These are usually the cheapest roof options.

Metal roof

Metal roofs feel like a modern choice, but they have been around since the 19th century. Sheet metal and shingles are still a popular choice today as materials like aluminum and zinc are affordable, easy to transport, low-maintenance, and beautiful as they age. They can last up to 80 years and cost between $ 6-14 per square foot depending on the design and material.

There are two types to choose from: shingles and sheets (also called panels) connected with a “standing seam”. You can also have the metal pre-treated with sealants. While metal roofs come in a variety of colors, you can paint some styles too.

Did you know? The blue-gray roofs of Paris get their color from zinc plates that were first installed in the 1830s.

benefits

  • Low maintenance
  • Permanent
  • Can imitate slate, asphalt or wood
  • Variety of colors
  • Light
  • Recyclable

disadvantage

  • Needs soundproofing to reduce noise
  • May warp or develop waves if improperly installed
  • Requires specialized labor for installation and repair

Standing seam and clapboard

Standing seam metal roofs require careful installation so that the panels do not curl and create clean vertical lines. The installation of such sheets is usually more expensive and costs between $ 9 and $ 14 per square foot.

Metal shingles are made to mimic slate, asphalt, or wooden roofs. These are on average about $ 1 to $ 3 per square foot less expensive as a standing seam.

Wooden roof

Wooden roofs go well with charming Cape Cod cottages, cozy Craftsman and Tudor style houses. They start out sandy brown and silver as they age. Wooden roofs can last 50 years in arid climates, but must be treated in fire-prone areas like California. Wet climates like the east coast go through wooden roofs faster due to water damage.

Cedar, redwood, and pine are common building materials as they each repel insects. Cedar Shake Roof is the most popular choice and averages $ 5 to $ 7 per square foot.

benefits

  • Curb appeal
  • Natural material

disadvantage

  • Vulnerable to water damage, mold, mildew and rot
  • May need to be treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives
  • Maintenance intensive

Shakes and shingles

There are two ways to shape wooden roofs:

  • Shakes are broken up into wedges for a more natural, robust look. These are the more expensive options $ 3.50 per square foot and $ 7 to $ 13 to install.
  • Shingles are sawn into a uniform length, width and thickness to create clean lines. These are on average about $ 1 to $ 2 less expensive than shakes.

Clay tiles

Clay tiles are one of the most popular roofing materials in the world, dating back 5,000 years on glazed earthenware roofs in China. they cost $ 10 to $ 18 per square foot and last 50 to 100 years or more. You can choose from a wide variety of styles including Spanish, French, Scania, and more.

Clay tiles, while expensive to install and repair, last longer than almost any other type of roof. It’s common in places like Southern California and Florida because clay roofs are perfect for hot climates, can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour, and are incredibly fireproof.

benefits

  • Low maintenance
  • Great attraction to the curb
  • Colors include terracotta, red, brown, and gray
  • Made from natural materials
  • Regulates the temperature in the house

disadvantage

  • Prone to bumps
  • May need additional structural support for its weight
  • Specialized labor may be required for installation and repair

Slate roof

Slate is one of the most durable types of roofing materials and has a cost similar to that of clay tiles $ 9 to $ 20 per square foot. This material can last for 50 to 200 years. It is not only fireproof and resistant to strong winds and extreme temperatures, but also to shocks from hail and small branches.

You can choose between natural, quarried slate or synthetic alternatives such as fiber cement slate or bitumen. Synthetic slate is much cheaper and offers many of the same benefits as natural slate.

benefits

  • Long life span
  • Low maintenance
  • Permanent
  • The colors include gray, blue, green, brown, and red

disadvantage

  • costs
  • May need additional structural support for its weight

Green roof

Green roofs (or living roofs) cover your home with vegetation such as grasses or native wildflowers that aid pollinators. They cost between $ 10 and $ 25 per square foot to install and have many benefits such as combating excessive heat outside the home and reducing rainwater runoff. Green roofs often last 30 to 50 years.

Once you know the truth about green roofs, it could be high on your list.

benefits

  • Permanent
  • Support the environment

disadvantage

  • Gardening and water maintenance
  • Needs additional structural support for weight and water.
  • Requires skilled workers

Sun shingles

Solar shingles are one of the newest types of roofing materials. For the installation you have to hire a roofer who specializes in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

While solar shingles can work efficiently for 20 to 30 years, this renewable energy solution is an expensive investment. The installation ranges from $ 21 to $ 25 per square foot. However, they can add to the value of your home $ 15,000 or more. The future of US solar energy looks bright.

benefits

  • Produces usable, renewable energy for your home
  • Improves the resale value

disadvantage

  • Requires specialized labor for installation and repair
  • Moderate maintenance
  • Requires additional structural support for weight and wiring

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