Most residential roofs consist of six materials:
Asphalt Shingles – the most common material being used for roofing, also known as “composition shingles”, and is compatible with warm and cold climate. Asphalt shingles are very durable, and the heavier the shingles are, the more durable they become (life expectancy is 15-30 years). Manufactured in a variety of colors. Note, that heavier shingles will probably mean higher installation cost.
Fiberglass Shingles – very common, and highly durable. Again, as with asphalt, heavier shingles will be more durable. Fiberglass shingles are considered highly resistant to fire, and are widespread due to the successful combination of price, looks, and durability.
Wood Shakes and Shingles – “shingles” – refers to sawn wood, while “shakes” – refers to wood that has been split. Shake is thicker, and has a more rough look. The cost of materials and installation of the wood roofing my get up to four to five times of that of asphalt or fiberglass one. Notice that the material is considered highly flammable. Although It is well resistant to the weather, it will usually be the choice of style, due to its textures, and the contribution it makes to certain house styles.
Slate Shingles – very highly durable and expensive, the shingles weigh a lot, and require a strong enough roof frame to support the roof thus increasing the cost even more. Slate shingles are available in many textures, and make a beautiful roof that will last a 100 years and more.
Tile Shingles – made of clay or cement, and available in many colors and textures, these tiles are very heavy and require a very strongly framed roof to carry the weight. The roof will be highly durable and will last for a very long time. Very common in warm climate areas and very expensive.
Metal Shingles – usually made of alloy or tin/lead alloy, these shingles are very light in weight and very durable. They will last a long time if fastened well with aluminum nails. Considered relatively expensive, and may be noisy during rain. Come in many colors, shades and styles.
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