We don’t generally put a lot of thought into the roof on a house we buy or build but there are some things to know about the roofing materials that we have to choose from when replacing an asphalt shingle roof. The roof contributes to the look of the house, so when building a new house, adding on, or re-roofing, think about your choices.
If you really want to look at all the players, the choices range from asphalt shingles to clay tiles, metal roofs and rubber lookalike slate. Like stone siding, the trend in roofing is towards engineered roofing materials. This change is being driven by a few different factors. One is simply the high cost of wood. The second is that in many cases, codes now mandate the use of fireproof construction materials. And third is the enhanced look of engineered materials that create the image of something that is spectacular and unique. Still, asphalt shingle are the most dominant roofing material in the Atlanta area.
Asphalt shingles are commonly a standard three-tab shingle. They are available in a dozen or so different colors both solid and blended. The shingles made today are guaranteed for 20, or in some cases 30 years. Value is the principal advantage of this roofing but it is the same old same old. The next thing up is a thicker variation called an architectural shingle. These shingles are built up to be about twice as thick as a normal shingle with the layers staggered to give them a heavier full dimensional look. In some colors they resemble slate, and in other colors wood shakes. With a modest upgrade in cost and a 30-year guarantee, architectural shingles also represent an excellent value with an added touch of style.
Cedar shake roofs are an option, maybe in the mountains of Northern Georgia at least. 10 years ago we began using a plastic matrix product that is like a scrubby pad which allows air to circulate behind the shingles. For all their great looks, wood shingles and shakes are expensive to install and do require some periodic maintenance, typically in the form of washing to remove any mildew or moss, and then re-oiling with a clear wood finishing product. Another expensive option is slate. It lasts for generations, sheds ice and snow, and is very expensive. Instead of real slate, consider an “engineered” product, a slate lookalike fabricated from recycled rubber and plastic. It is only about one-third the weight and cost of slate, these shingles can be installed using standard tools and techniques.
Metal roofs come in the form of corrugated, galvanized sheets, have been a standard feature of barns, sheds and other agricultural and utility buildings for years. This type of roof is cheap, rugged, long-lasting and easy to install — perfect for a utility application. On the other end is a copper roof, elegant enough to grace the country’s finest mansions and public buildings. Metal is a great choice for a house in snow country, as well as in agricultural country. There is much to choose from between the galvanized low-end and the copper high-end. Several types of metal shingles are available. Regardless of the style you choose, in general, a properly installed metal roof should last you at least 50 years.
Ceramic tile roofs are found in the Mediterranean and parts of Florida and California. Barrel tiles resemble half cylinders about 16 inches long. In the old days they were individually made by hand, their tapered shape achieved by forming the clay over the top of the thigh. Tile roofs are heavy, so the roof framing must be stout. The process is labor intensive, which makes an authentic tile roof expensive, three times the cost of a standard three-tab shingle job. Additionally the tiles can fracture in the ice storms of Atlanta, We expect more rubber engineered tile roof lookalikes though to become popular.
For Dacula Roofers call Roofing where our 18 years of roofing expertise will help you decide on traditional and engineered roofing systems for your home and business.