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You probably already know just how big an investment a new roofing system can be. Because it will take a considerable amount of your time and money, you need to make sure you can fully get the most out of it, which means covering all your bases, including material selection.
Choosing a suitable roofing material for your new system is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in this project. After all, this can affect the overall longevity and performance of your replacement roof. It pays to do a bit of research first, weighing each option’s pros and cons to match them with your home’s specific needs. You should with two of the most popular roofing systems available today: asphalt shingles and metal roofing.
The dominant choice for steep-slope roofing, asphalt shingles graces millions of homes across the United States. Arriving at the turn of the 20th century, the roofing material has evolved into the three-tab and architectural choices you know today. They are manufactured by covering a reinforcing material, like waste paper, fiberglass or cellulose, with an asphalt-based coating to keep them waterproof. The surfacing side exposed to the harsh elements are also covered by mineral granules, serving as a protective layer against weather damage.
Asphalt shingles come in two popular types:
- Three-Tab: This option is known for its satisfactory weather resistance at a reasonable cost. Unlike its architectural counterpart, three-tab shingles are thinner and more lightweight. You’ll recognize them by their cutouts – or tabs -made along the length of their lower edge. The resulting appearance makes it seem like three separate shingles are installed when it’s actually only one.
- Architectural: These shingles have no cutouts like three-tab, but they are thicker and heavier. They also come with a contoured, eye-pleasing dimensional look, which helps make your home stand out better. Additionally, architectural shingles use a sealant to bond their layers, further reinforcing its waterproofing ability.
How Asphalt Shingles Benefit You
There are several reasons asphalt shingles remain a fast-favorite among many homeowners. This exceptional option is:
- Affordable: Asphalt shingles are generally more cost-effective compared to other roofing materials, but they offer more savings because they don’t require additional support structure or complex installation methods. In fact, most reliable roofers in your area can easily work on your new shingle roofing according to your budget and schedule.
- Lightweight: Because asphalt shingles aren’t as heavy as tile or slate, they are easier to handle and faster to install. This doesn’t mean they can’t deliver superior weather protection you’ve come to expect from heavier roofing materials though. Asphalt shingles can head off heavy rainfall, high winds and hailstorms to keep your home dry and damage-free.
- Customization is not a problem when you invest in asphalt shingle roofing. They are available in a wide selection of colors, textures, styles, and thicknesses. This allows for many design possibilities, ensuring your new roof can perfectly match your home’s architecture and color scheme.
- Beautiful: Given how your roof is a large and highly visible design element, you want it to draw attention for the right reasons. Fortunately, asphalt shingles can emulate the rich look and feel of genuine slate or wood shakes. With this feature and their dimensional appearance, you’ll get a roof that can effectively help your home make a bigger impression from the curb.
- Energy-Efficient: Some asphalt shingles have a reflective coating that bounces back heat to its source. This cooling technology helps prevent passive heating inside your home, allowing for more thermally comfortable indoor environment no matter the weather or time of the year.
- Long-Lasting: When properly installed and maintained by a reliable roofing contractor, asphalt shingle roofing can provide durable weather performance for up to 30 years.
Metal roofing is fast gaining traction among many homeowners with its exceptional benefits. You can trace the use of this roofing material to thousands of years ago, when copper played a significant role in many architectures. Other metallic options popped up since then, from the standard corrugated galvanized steel to zinc and aluminum.
This option is produced when a roll former turns a metal coil into panels. The extensive designs of metal roofing are made possible by these roll former machines, which can be fitted with different panel profiles to create its intended form. As with asphalt shingles, metal roofing comes in an array of types, including:
- Steel: This heavy and sturdy option is used for most metal roofing and comes with a number of durable coatings and finishes to protect it from rust and corrosion.
- Aluminum: This material is more lightweight than steel, but is extremely resistant to rust. However, aluminum metal roofing still needs paint or coating to help it withstand harsh weather.
- Copper: A premium option, copper roofing usually graces historic or more high-end homes. It doesn’t rust, scratch or peel because it doesn’t require a coat of paint. Copper also weathers naturally to a beautiful patina over time.
- Zinc: This metal roofing type isn’t just corrosion-resistant; it also self-heals, meaning it can recover within a given time when scratched. In addition, zinc roofing can be formed into interesting shapes and curves while maintaining its durability.
- Terne Metal: Like copper, terne metal roofing is a staple for historic and vintage homes. It resists corrosion and can last for up to hundred years.
How Metal Roofing Benefits You
If you prefer something sleeker and more modern, you might want to consider the excellent benefits metal roofing can provide. It is:
- Extremely Durable: You no longer must worry as much about weather damage when you choose a metal roof as it can effectively resist the harshest weather conditions, protecting your home all year round from water, wind, or hail.
- Good-Looking: Metal roofing can fit both traditional and modern homes with its smooth and clean-cut appearance. It’s also available in a variety of styles, colors, finishes and textures so customizing your new roof is stress-free.
- Energy-Efficient: Thanks to its inherent reflective properties, metal roofing can keep your living spaces cooler and more comfortable while lowering your home’s energy costs.
- Low-Maintenance: Metal roofing’s durability and lifespan ensure only worry-free performance, reducing the need for frequent repairs or maintenance.
- Long-Lasting: When you invest in a metal roof, expect top-notch weather protection and performance for up to 50 years.
Which Roofing Option is Best for Your Home?
Both asphalt shingles and metal offer a number of advantages, so the right choice will depend on which option can address your needs the most. If you’re having trouble deciding, don’t hesitate to talk to a reputable roofing contractor in your area for assistance.
Wendy Wygle is a Northeastern State University alumna and is now connected with Above It All Roofing and Construction Inc. as its PR/Marketing Manager.