Homeowners have a plethora of choices when it comes to roofing or re-roofing the home. There is a multitude of different types of roof shingles on the market, with manufacturers trying desperately to convince the homeowner that their particular type is the very best choice. What is it, really, that makes one shingle better than another? This article will not make any attempt to sway a homeowner toward any one type of shingle, but will rather list the pros and cons of a wide number of roofing shingles types so the homeowner will be better equipped to make an informed decision.
So what are the choices in roofing shingle types that the homeowner is faced with?
Asphalt is probably the type of shingle most often applied to individual homes with a steeped roof. Wood shingles are another popular choice. In certain situations, metal shingles are recommended, especially for very steeply sloped roofs or for very low-sloped roofs. Slate shingles are very popular, particularly in the Northeast where the slate is quarried. Finally, there are tile shingles, very popular in the Southwest, especially on homes with that classic Spanish look. Each of these different types of shingles has its pros as well as its disadvantages.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular forms of roof material and it is not difficult to see why. They are relatively inexpensive in fact, they cost half as much as some other choices and they are easy to install by either a moderately skilled homeowner or a roofing professional. Many coated asphalt shingles meet certain Energy Star standards and actually qualify for a government rebate.
The three-tab asphalt shingles are not coated, making them faster and easier to install than their coated counterparts, and are one of the least expensive of the roofing alternatives available to the homeowner. Asphalt shingles, especially the three-tab variety, have a useful life expectancy of anywhere from 15 to sometimes as long as 30 years, depending on weight.
Asphalt shingles are lightweight and easy to install, which can reduce installation costs. They are also relatively easy to repair should something go wrong. Another advantage to asphalt shingles is that they come in a variety of weights (higher weights lasting longer but costing more) and they come in a wide range of colors and patterns to go with almost any decorating style. Many of the patterns on asphalt shingles are made to mimic other roofing materials, providing the homeowner with possibly the best all-around choice there is.
Homeowners considering asphalt shingles should immediately contact the experts at United Home Experts. The shingle wizards at United Home Experts know everything there is to know about asphalt shingles and can give the homeowner a mountain of advice, free of charge and with no obligation.
If the homeowner wishes a professional to install a roof, the roofing experts at United Home Experts have many years of experience installing asphalt shingles and because they buy shingles in bulk they can give the homeowner the best deal in all of the Northeast.
Wood shingles are more costly than asphalt shingles. Aesthetically, many people like the look of wood and wood shingles can sometimes enhance the value of a home, although because of the added fire danger of wood shingles, many homeowner’s associations ban wood as do some communities. Hardwood shingles, those made of cedar or redwood, for example, provide good insulation and they can last as long as 50 years with only minimal attention. Softer woods such as pine are less costly but do not last as long. Wood comes in both shingles and shakes. The primary difference between the two is that shingles are machine-made whereas shakes are hand cut. One of the disadvantages to wood shingles is that they are not fire-resistant. In fact, homeowners are advised to contact their homeowner’s insurance company to see if wood shingles will increase their fire coverage.
Metal shingles were once the almost exclusive province of the Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, but today they are making inroads in most parts of the country. The only draw is that they can last 50 years or more. Many people do not like the way they look, although paint can hide some of their features. They also tend to be noisy, and not only during hail and heavy rain; metal roofs may produce constant popping sounds as they expand in the heat and contract in the cold. Metal shingles require an underlying insulation; however, even with the cost of the additional insulation added in, metal shingles can still be a very economical solution for many homeowners.
Slate shingles are extremely durable and long lasting. Properly installed, slate shingles can easily last 50 years, perhaps longer. Slate shingles can be difficult for a homeowner to self-install and there can be problems with the structure holding the weight of the slate and cause installation costs to sharply rise. It is best for homeowners who wish to roof with slate to consult a roofing expert such as those at United Home Experts who have years of roofing experience to draw on.
Tile roofs are one of the most distinctive of the roof types. These roofs are very popular in the southwest and are associated with classic Spanish-style homes. Modern tiles can be made of either clay or concrete. Tile roofs are one of the strongest and most long-lasting of all roofing types. It is not unusual for a tile roof to last for 50 years or more with only minor upkeep. However, they are also difficult for the average homeowner to self-install, and they are heavy. In fact, tile roofs are so heavy that unless the frame of the house has special supports to sustain the extra weight of the tiles, tile roofs can cause catastrophic failure of a home’s frame. One of the other disadvantages of tile is the cost. Compared with other roofing choices, especially asphalt, tiles roofs are one of the most expensive, not only to purchase initially, but also to repair. Again, any questions about the appropriateness of a tile roof should be addressed to the roofing professionals at United Home Experts.
As stated earlier, homeowners have many choices when it comes to re-roofing a home, with one of the least expensive and fastest being asphalt shingles. Hopefully this article has shed a little light on some of those choices and the inherent strengths and weaknesses of each type of roof. It is highly recommended that homeowners who are seriously considering a new roof consult a roofing expert, such as those at United Home Experts, whether the homeowner intends to do the work him or herself, or if the homeowner plans to use the services of a professional roofing installer.