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5 Types of Roofing and How to Choose the Right One


Whether you’re buckling down for tornado season, preparing for a hot Texas summer, or just carrying on an average day, your roof is what constantly protects your home. If your roof is looking a little rough for the wear, it might be time to hit refresh and think about replacement and the types of roofing that you can choose from.

But before you call a single roofing company or collect a quote from a single roofing contractor, you need to know what type of roofing you’re interested in.

Here’s a look at five of the most common types of roofing on the market right now, the benefits of each type, and how to choose the best roofing company once you find a material you like.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt shingles are among the most common roofing materials used in the U.S. For good reason, they’re economical and easy to install.

Roofing asphalt comes in three grades:

  1. Saturant-grade asphalt
  2. Coating-grade asphalt
  3. Mopping-grade asphalt

Saturant-grade asphalt is oxidized or non-oxidized asphalt used to manufacture saturated felt piles. Coating-grade asphalt is the type of asphalt commonly used in asphalt shingles and polymer-modified bitumen roofing. Mopping-grade asphalt is oxidized asphalt melted for the construction of BUR and modified bitumen roofing.

In plain English, these shingles are impressively durable, easy to reinforce, and among the least expensive materials on the market. Plus, it’s pretty easy to customize the color of asphalt without changing the price too much.

Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tile is much heavier than asphalt, but you’ll see the difference right away. There’s a certain elegance to a tile roof that’s hard to find anywhere else. If you’ve seen Spanish or Spanish-inspired architecture, you’ve seen a clay tile roof before.

Clay tile roofs feature a unique texture since they are made of natural clay and fired in kilns. Clay roof tiles are washed with manganese solution before firing to produce a deeper, richer color. If you’re looking for a roof with character, a clay tile roof should be your first stop. Better still, they last for a long time—think 50 to 70 years.

However, clay tile is more brittle than other options, so it doesn’t perform well in climates prone to freeze and thaw cycles. Remember, this roof style was designed for warmer areas of the country. It does its best work in hot, arid climates.

Slate Roofing

Slate is a type of fine-grained, metamorphic rock, primarily composed of micas or clay minerals (depending on the degree of metamorphism the particular rock went through). Slate can occur naturally in shades of green or red, but you’ll most often see it in varying shades of gray.

standard slate roof is 1/4″ to 3/8″ slate, cut into uniform square butts to form shingles. In plain English, it’s a sleek, sophisticated roof for an upscale home. Plus, slate delivers many great features, like fire resistance, rot resistance, easy maintenance, and a projected lifespan of around 100 years.

There is one significant downside: slate is expensive to install. It’s heavy to work with and requires an experienced roofer to handle the material properly, never mind the expense of the material itself. That’s why you usually only see slate roofs on upscale homes.

Metal Roofing

For a modern option that’s also environmentally friendly, metal roofs are the way to go.

These roofs are generally made of:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Steel
  • Zinc
  • Terne

Of the lot, the strongest and least expensive option is steel. Roofing steel is normally galvanized steel (steel dipped in molten zinc or an aluminum-zinc alloy to protect against rust). For those in sunny, hot climates, metal roofs offer excellent sun reflectance to keep the heat at bay. Metal roofs are also an excellent investment because they are a very durable option overall. The biggest downside of metal roofing is the price. Metal roofs are among the pricier options on this list.

Wood Shingles and Shake Roofs

Last but not least are wood shingles and shake, the most common of which is cedar shake. This type of roof shingle is a true classic, with a rustic look that’s been a go-to material for hundreds of years. For a classic home, there’s nothing quite like the look of a wood roof.

The biggest downside of a wood roof is its lack of fire resistance. Some fire-prone areas ban wood roofs for this reason, so make sure to check your local building code before shopping for wood.

Do You Need a Roof Repair Company or a New Roof?

Before you shop around for materials and get estimates, it pays to ask whether you need a roof repair company or a new roof altogether.

For example, if your roof was installed 20 years ago, it might be time to look into a replacement, especially if your area has seen any severe weather during that time. Keep in mind that significant weather events always shorten a roof’s lifespan.

If your roof is damaged, it’s essential to assess the extent of the damage before deciding on roof repair or roof replacement. Cosmetic damage only requires repair, but structural damage (bald spots, rusted shingles, curled shingles, missing shingles, or dented material) demands a roof replacement.

Choosing Between Local Roofing Companies

When you’re shopping around for a roof, don’t just search for “best roofing company near me.” Don’t just go with any roofer around the neighborhood either, especially right after a significant storm. You’ll be tempted because you need roof repairs in a hurry, but there are plenty of fly-by-night roofing companies that leverage that desperation and give you poor workmanship for your money.

Instead, look for a trusted local roofing company with extensive experience working with the material you want. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations, then use this list to do some research. Pay attention to company reviews and testimonials online.

Once you find one you like, give them a call. Look for a company that’s friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. They should be able to answer your questions efficiently and professionally. If you request for them to look at your roof and produce an estimate, make sure you ask them to break down the pricing details.

The Roof Repair Company You Can Count On for All Types of Roofing

No matter what types of roofing you’re looking for, our expert team atBlue Nail Roofing and Construction can help. Since 2009, we’ve led the industry in full-service renovations with 100% customer satisfaction. We’ve been recognized with several professional certifications and professional affiliations over the years.

But most of all? Our expert team is ready to get to work, delivering the roof you and your family need. If you need residential roofing, get your free estimate today.

Get Started With Blue Nail Today!

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