The Materials Roofers Use and Their Pros and Cons
There are many options on the market for roofing materials. Customers may find themselves overwhelmed when searching for the right type of roof for their home or business. Here is a brief rundown of common materials that roofers offer on the market, the pros and cons of each, and the price range for each type.
Metal is more expensive than asphalt, but some varieties have a longer lifespan than other less expensive materials. Copper, for instance, is known to last up to 100 years. Copper is also resistant to corrosion, so it doesn’t present the risk of rusting the way iron does. In fact, when copper is exposed to oxygen for extended lengths of time, it develops copper oxide, which has a distinct greenish tint. The oxide serves to protect the underlying copper, unlike iron oxide, which will corrode iron over time.
The most common type of metal used by roofers, however, is corrugated galvanized iron or steel. Steel allows for a low-cost, yet highly durable material, and can withstand heavy weather, rain, and snow. A common misconception is that because metal is highly conductive, this would make the material more attractive to lightning strikes. When lightning strikes a metal roof, the electricity is dispersed. Ultimately, metal roofs will not catch fire during a lightning strike.
Rolled roofs are comprised of an asphalt composite, and because they are not considered as visually pleasing as shingles, they are best suited for low slopes or flat tops. The benefit, however, is that rolled asphalt is very inexpensive, and can be installed quickly. The downside is that they have a shorter lifespan than other materials, mainly five to 10 years.
There are many benefits to rubber roofing. This material is normally recycled, so this is a very eco-friendly option. Also, rubber has a longer lifespan than asphalt. Rubber can also be purchased in the form of shingles, which are made to look more attractive than rolled rubber. The marketed lifespan of a rubber roof is 30 years, but some reports say it can last as long as 50.
Slate is composed of rock made from shale or clay, so it retains its natural splendor, making it one of the most beautiful types of roofing available. Slate roofs have a decent lifespan, between 20 and 30 years. The downside to using slate is that it is quite expensive, and the tiles can fracture much more easily than asphalt.
Asphalt shingles are the material most widely used by professional roofers, and for many reasons. The price range is moderate, and the lifespan is fairly long. The downside to using this material is it requires proper maintenance and upkeep. Sudden changes in temperature can cause asphalt to crack or decay, which will then require roofers to repair or replace the pieces. Otherwise, this may be the most affordable option.
When it comes to roofing materials, there is a wide array of options to from which to choose. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, pricing, and the longevity of the product.