Asphalt roofing shingles are the most commonly used covering on residential properties in the market, covering 4 out of 5 homes. Asphalt’s primary purpose in roofing shingles is to serve as a waterproofing agent. Asphalt also holds the granules in place and adds to the overall strength of the roofing shingle. The best asphalt will stay flexible and will not dry out or become hard or brittle for the expected life of the roofing shingle.
Asphalt shingles are composed of: a base material, either organic felt or glass-fiber mat, that provides support for the weather-resistant components and gives a shingle strength; asphalt and fillers; and surfacing material, generally in the form of mineral granules, that provides protection from impact and UV degradation and improves fire resistance.
A shake is a basic wooden shingle that are made from split logs. Shakes have traditionally been used for roofing and siding applications around the world. Higher grade shakes are typically used for roofing purposes, while the lower grades are used for siding purposes. In either situation, properly installed shakes provide long lasting weather protection and a rustic aesthetic, though they require more maintenance than some other more modern weatherproofing systems.
Modern wooden shingles, both sawn and split, continue to be made, but they differ from the historic ones. Modern commercially available shakes are generally thicker than the historic handsplit counterpart and are usually left “undressed” with a rough, corrugated surface. The rough-surface shake is often considered to be more “rustic” and “historic”, but in fact this is a modern fashion.
When it comes to longevity, few roofing materials can compete with slate. A slate roof will easily last over 100 years, which is at least double of what other roofing materials can offer. Many slate roofing manufacturers offer a 100 year warranty on their slate roofing systems. For people who do not plan to ever sell their home, the incredible longevity of slate is a highly desirable feature.
Being a natural stone, slate is more durable than any man-made material. High density of slate makes it waterproof, meaning that it will not absorb water. Slate is also completely non-combustible and will protect your home in the event of a fire. Slate is also highly resistant to any temperature fluctuations and inclement weather conditions, making it ideal in areas prone to heavy rain, snow, and wind. Moreover, a slate roof will not be affected by fungus and mold. These properties make a slate roof practically maintenance free, allowing you to have the peace of mind, without having to spend extra cash on expensive maintenance and repairs.
A metal roof is 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile, fiber cement shakes and slate. With metal roofing, weight on a structure is never an issue. In locations that see heavy snow, metal roofing has been the choice of homeowners for years. It sheds snow fast, which protects the structural integrity of the roof. And it can eliminate ice damming at the eves, so water can’t back up and collect under the roof then leak into your home.
Not only is metal roofing great for your home, it’s great for the environment. The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 28% from production to installation to reuse – far superior to asphalt.