When you need to install a roof on your newly built house or replace your old roof that’s beyond repair, the first things you should do is choose a material. But there are some other things you need to consider too, like the color, the style, and of course, the cost. Nowadays, there are so many different roofing materials available, including some that have an Energy star rating or are made of recycled materials. So, if you are currently looking for the right roofing material and need advice from an experienced roofing contractor, read the following paragraphs.

Helpful Information about the Different Types of Roofing

Asphalt shingles. Over 75% of the homeowners in America choose asphalt shingles for their roofs because of the low cost, the easy and quick installation, and its resiliency. However, asphalt shingles do not insulate very well and do not last as long as some other roofing materials that are available nowadays. They are made of petroleum products and usually can’t be recycled because of the layer of fiberglass that’s added to them. The standard shingles come in many different colors, price points, and longevity options that will always be the cheaper option for your roof. The downside is that they have the worst environmental track record.

Lifespan: Between 15 and 30 years.
Style: Asphalt shingles can be used on any house.
The Green Factor: These are the least green option available.

Wood shakes and shingles. Wood shakes and shingles can be made of cedar, southern pine, redwood and other woods. The wood shingles are cut with a machine, while wood shakes are handmade and have a rough look. Most of them have a Class C fire rating or no rating at all, so whenever you are installing a new roof, be sure to speak with a residential roofing service provider about the local building codes. You can also find Class A wood shingles that have been treated with a fire-resistant coat, at a higher price.

Lifespan: Between 30 and 50 years.
Style: The wood shakes and shingles will look good on houses of cottage, ranch, historic, and contemporary style.
The Green Factor: These shingles are a natural product, but they are very high maintenance, have a poor fire rating, and tend to mold, rot, and split.

A great alternative to the wood shakes and shingles are recycled synthetic shingles that are made of rubber or plastic, mixed with recycled wood and shaped to mimic wood shakes. They are UV-resistant, lightweight, long-lasting, and fire-resistant. Some can even last up to 50 years. And even though they cannot be recycled because the mixture of biological and plastic materials cannot be separated, the recycled synthetic shingles are still more environmentally-friendly than cedar shakes.

Concrete and clay tiles. The clay tiles are really heavy and require additional roof framing, but they are non-combustible and sturdy. The clay tiles can be made in lighter colors as well, which adhere to the cool roof standards and can reflect over 50% of the sun rays. The concrete tiles look elegant and add value to your home. They are very versatile and provide great protection for the home. These tiles come in many different shapes, textures, shades, and styles, that they don’t even look like tiles. Shake, shingle, and slate are just some of the types of tile.

Lifespan: The concrete and clay tiles can last over 50 years.
Style: These tiles go well with homes in the Mediterranean, Mission, European and sometimes in ranch and contemporary styles.
The Green Factor: If there is a local source available, clay tiles are definitely one of the most environmentally-friendly options. Concrete can be made of sustainable mixture and is highly energy-efficient.

Slate. Slate has a unique and beautiful appearance. Even though it’s very heavy, a slate roof won’t leach and will last for hundreds of years. Also, according to residential roofing service providers it’s easy to repair and can be recycled. However, because slate is often in a dark color, it’s not recommended to install such a roof if you live in a high-heat area.

Lifespan: Slate roofs last from 50 up to 100 years.
Style: This type of roof can be installed on the French, Chateau, and Colonial types of homes.
The Green Factor: It’s an excellent sustainable roofing choice. Quarrying and splitting slate tiles have very little environmental impact compared to other roofing products.

Metal roofing – aluminum, steel, tile, and copper. Metal roofs are some of the coolest roofs you can find, both in temperature and style. These roofs are available in aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and usually have high percentage of recycled content. They often last twice as asphalt and wood, offer high insulation solar resistance, and are really durable. Metal shingles usually imitate traditional roof covering like shingles, slate, wood shakes, and tile. Apart from their longevity, metal shingles are much lighter than most materials and resist severe weather.

Lifespan: Metal roofs last at least 50 years.
Style: They go well with bungalows and houses in the contemporary, cottage, and ranch styles.
The Green Factor: Metal roofs are a great green option because they are highly energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Fiber cement. The fiber-cement composite tile is made of concrete, clay, and wood fiber. This mixture is fireproof and durable, and it’s often shaped to look like shakes. These tiles are not as heavy as the regular concrete tiles, so they don’t need heavier roof structures. Fiber cement is available in a wide variety of textures and colors and it’s very sturdy. However, you should not step on them or use this material for your roof if you live in a very cold climate, because it can crack.

Lifespan: The fiber cement roofs last between 20 and 30 years.
Style: Fiber cement works well for all kinds of houses.
The Green Factor: It can be recycled, it is non-leaching, and it makes a good base for water collection.

So, if you need a new roof and are looking for a roofing contractor who can get the job done, contact Audubon Construction. We offer our help to people in Louisville, KY, and we can be reached at (502) 238-0554.