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Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Materials

So many different roofing materials and styles have entered the market. Choosing the right materials for a house can cause difficulty for homeowners. Here is a list of the pros and cons of different roofing materials:

Asphalt Shingles

People working on a roof

Asphalt shingles sit on the roofs of around 80% of homes. They did not become popular by accident. On the one hand, they fit almost every roof’s angle, they do not weigh a lot, and they do not cost that much. On the other hand, their cheapness comes at a cost. While asphalt shingles protect homes well against wind and fire, they do not last as long as other materials. A homeowner with asphalt shingles usually needs to replace parts of his or her roof more often. This is especially true of humid climates. Where the air is more humid, roofing companies usually use algae-resistant shingles to keep roofs from breaking down even more quickly.

Metal Roofing Materials

There are a number of different metal roof types. Builders have used anything from steel to tin to copper. Like asphalt shingles, metal roofing fits most roofs. Metal also weighs less than most roofing materials and stands up to the elements more effectively than asphalt. Unfortunately, metal can also begin to oxidize. While this does not affect the roof’s strength, it can look ugly. In more humid areas, copper can begin to turn green or blue over time. In addition, metal roofing also tends to cost a bit more than other materials, depending on which metal you use. Steel, for example, usually costs a moderate amount whereas copper can run very expensive.

Concrete Roofing

Concrete only recently joined the roofing game. Many modern homeowners and builders use concrete, especially in storm-heavy areas. This is because concrete lasts. In fact, concrete is among the most long-lasting roofing materials in the market. Additionally, it generally costs less than other options on this list and it usually looks good on modern homes.  The biggest downside of concrete, however, is that it weighs a ton. Most houses cannot carry a concrete roof without reinforcement. Additionally, concrete has trouble in rainier areas because it absorbs water so well. This leads to leaks, which progressively get worse over time.

Slate Tiles

Slate has been around a long time. Lots of older homes wear slate roofs, and most of those roofs still look healthy. That is because, if slate is known for anything, it is known for longevity. Because slate is stone, it also protects from bad weather and fire. The bad news is that slate does not work for every house. Like concrete, slate weighs a lot, so slate often requires reinforcement. Additionally, due to how builders install slate, these roofs only work if the angle is steep. Many houses would have to completely rebuild their roofs to allow for slate roofing. Slate also tends to run more expensive than most roofing materials.

Roofing Crane

Composite Roofing Materials

In an effort to come up with new, cheaper roofing materials, companies have developed composite roofing. Most composite roofing is meant to look like other roofing materials such as wood or slate. These materials can contain anything from PVC to resin to plastic polymers. The number of options actually serves as a benefit. For example, a homeowner can get a roof that looks like slate without having to pay for slate. Composite roofing also requires less upkeep. While composite roofing might be a good option for those who want a slate or wooden roof, it still does cost more than asphalt roofing. And depending on which material you use, composite roofing materials can weigh more than one might think. 

Composite roofing tends to be the most involved of materials, since there are so many different types. While this list contains pros an cons for composite roofing in general, each individual type of composite roofing will have its own pros and cons. Make sure you know what they are before installing a composite roof.

Clay Slats

Clay Slats have gained a reputation for their presence on stucco and Mediterranean-style homes. Due to their unique color and appearance, many people find clay roofing to be the prettiest of roofing materials.  While they may be pretty, clay slats also break somewhat easily. Homeowners with clay slats have to replace tiles more often than with any other roofing material. They also weigh a ton, meaning that most homes need roofing reinforcements before adding them.  Additionally, clay slats cost more than most roofing options.

Wooden Roofing Materials

Wooden roofing adds a natural look to houses. For the most part, wood is easy to deal with and it tends to run cheaper than most materials. Along with this, wood is the most sustainable type of roofing, as it recycles easily. However, wood needs to be treated with chemicals to protect from the elements. Wood also burns more easily than any other roofing material. Due to these two factors, wood tends to last a shorter period of time.

In addition to picking the right material, make sure your contractor or roofing company knows how to install the material you want! Regardless of your house’s roof, Bear Roofing Systems is here to serve your needs and install any roofing material you need. To get a free quote, call (210) 557-1451. Bear Roofing can provide you with excellent customer service and the owner will personally oversee each individual project to make sure the end product fits your goals.