When deciding on a new roof for your home, the choices can seem overwhelming. There are so many products available, each offered in numerous colors and styles. With such a big decision, it is no wonder why many people tend to leave the choosing up to the roofing contractor.
The average homeowner will spend only 15 minutes selecting the roof to be installed on their home. Many more will simply replace the old roof with one that is nearly the same product, color and style as the old roof. Getting a new roof is an exciting experience that can revitalize the look of your home. Every homeowner should review all their options before deciding on a roof product.
These are the most common type of roof materials. The majority of homes in America have these shingles, as they tend to be the cheapest option. Asphalt shingles provide good coverage and fire protection in most climates. However, shingles may crack, bend or break in high winds or extreme climates. They also tend to have a shorter life span than alternative roof materials.
Traditional, asphalt shingles are not environmentally friendly and are difficult to dispose of. They are unable to be recycled or reused and end up in landfills. However, recent advancement in shingle materials has produced a recycled composition product. These recycled asphalt shingles are made from recycled rubber and plastic, producing a green roof product that is environmentally conscious.
In recent years, more homeowners have shifted towards roof tiles as the roof product of choice. These tiles come in many colors and are often made from clay, ceramic or slate. Roof tiles are longer lasting than asphalt shingles and are highly fire resistant. Roof tiles tend to be heavier than other roof materials and can be more costly to repair if a tile becomes chipped or broken.
Roof tiles have yet to come out with an explicit "green" product; however, the nature of the tile itself is inherently environmentally friendly. Clay and slate are natural materials found in the earth and do not give off the toxic chemicals found in traditional asphalt shingles.
Wood tiles, or shakes, are longer lasting than asphalt shingles and require less maintenance. In general, wood shakes are more resistant to wind and weather damage than asphalt shingles. However, wood shakes are more vulnerable to water damage, mold and mildew. They also require explicit treatment to be considered fire resistant.
Wood shakes are naturally environmentally friendly. They are biodegradable and do not posses any toxic chemicals. However, in recent pressure to conserve trees, many wood shakes are now made from a recycled wood composition.
Metal roofs have become increasingly popular over the years. They are usually made from aluminum, tin, steel or copper. Metal roofs are the longest lasting roof materials and highly weather resistant. Metal roof materials are light weight and provide better insulation than other roof materials. Metal roofs can be expensive to install or repair.
Metal roofs are can be made from scrap metal, which makes them a great quality green roof product. Old metal roofs can be recycled into new roofs or other metal products.