10 Roofing Materials You Need to Know About for Your Home

10 Roofing Materials You Need to Know About for Your Home

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    10 roofing materials for your home

    Roofing material is usually measured in “squares” that are 10×10 squares. This gives one “square” of roofing material a coverage of 100 square feet in area.

    The total cost is not just the cost of the materials. The true cost depends on labor costs, including removal of the old roof, and fixing any structural elements.

    The slope and complexity of the roof will impact the overall cost of any roof replacement.

    In 2015 the average cost for a simple shingle roof of a 1781 square foot roof was around $6300. This includes the average cost for labor and tearing off the old roof.

    **Costs do not include cost of any vapor/moisture barrier required. Labor costs will vary by location.

    Asphalt Shingles – Asphalt shingles are the most common form of roofing material. They are made of a felt or fiberglass base covered in asphalt and stone granules. Usually come in tiles of three shingles.

    Pro: Asphalt is available in many different colors, is widely available, and is an inexpensive option

    Con: Shorter lifespan than other materials, is has little insulating qualities, and the quality can vary widely by maker

    Cost: $120-$140/Square

    Lifespan: 15-20 Years

    Ecological Impact: Medium

    Preferred Slope: Low to Steep

    Fire Resistance: Good

    Wind Resistance: Fair

    Hot Mop – Hot tar mopped onto the roofing surface, often with layers of felt to give a more durable surface. The result dries into a waterproof coating.

    Pro: Relatively inexpensive option, moderate lifespan, good for roofs that have ridges and bumps.

    Con: Unattractive, releases bad smelling pollutants when installed, may not be allowed by building codes or home owner association rules.

    Cost: $250-450/Square

    Lifespan: 15-25 years

    Ecological Impact: High

    Preferred Slope: Flat only

    Fire Resistance: Good

    Wind Resistance: Excellent

    Clay and Concrete Tiles – Tiles made from clay or concrete. Clay is normally made in “S” shaped tiles that lay over each other and interlock. Common in Spanish style homes.

    Pro: Long Lasting, Non-Combustible, concrete is energy efficient and insulating

    Con: Expensive, Heavy, may require extra roofing support, requires professional installation

    Cost: $400-$1000/Square

    Lifespan: 40-50 Years

    Ecological Impact: Moderate (high energy cost to make)

    Preferred Slope: Moderate to steep

    Fire Resistance: Excellent

    Wind Resistance: Fair to Low

    Metal roofing – Tin or Copper metal sheeting applied to the roof of the home.

    Pro: durable, highly reflective of solar heat

    Con: expensive, requires specially trained installers

    Cost: $250 – $1300/Square

    Lifespan: 40-75 years

    Ecological Impact: Low

    Preferred Slope: Low to Steep

    Fire Resistance: Excellent

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Slate – Natural stone that is quarried and then cut into roofing tiles that vary in natural color

    Pro: Very durable, Fire Resistance-resistant, recyclable

    Con: Expensive, requires extra framing, professional installation only

    Cost: $250-$600/Square

    Lifespan: 50-100 Years

    Ecological Impact: Low

    Preferred Slope: Steep only

    Fire Resistance: Excellent

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Wood shingles and shake – Wooden shingles made from old hardwood, shakes are more irregular than shingles for a more rustic look.

    Pro: Rustic look, Natural product

    Con: May not be allowed due to flammability, can mold/split/rot

    Cost: $400-$900/Square

    Lifespan: 20-40 Years

    Ecological Impact: Low

    Preferred Slope: Moderate to Steep

    Fire Resistance: Poor

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Synthetics – Synthetic materials can be found that mimic the look of slate, wood, and other materials. These are often made from up to 95% recycled materials. Synthetics give you the look and style of a material at a slight price advantage, and with less weight.

    Pro: Not as fragile as stone or clay, long lasting, lightweight

    Con: Quality varies, not tested over time so long term viability unknown

    Cost: $800-1000/Square

    Lifespan: 50 years (Estimated by warranty length)

    Ecological Impact: Moderate

    Preferred Slope: Moderate to Steep

    Fire Resistance: Good

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Ceramic – Clay type tiles that have been given additional coatings and then glazed, giving them more water resistance and color options.

    Pro: Long lasting, durable, inflammable

    Con: May require extra support due to the weight. Labor intensive installation.

    Cost: $500-$1500/Square

    Lifespan: 60-80 Years

    Ecological Impact: Moderate

    Preferred Slope: Moderate to Steep

    Fire Resistance: Excellent

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Green Roof– Grass or small garden on the roof composed of growing medium and turf

    Pro: Natural, Innovative, Cleaner Air

    Con: Water use first year, regular maintenance

    Cost: $10-$25/square foot, plus $1.50/square foot annual upkeep

    Lifespan: As long as it is maintained properly

    Ecological Impact: Low

    Preferred Slope: Flat only

    Fire Resistance: Excellent

    Wind Resistance: Fair

    Photovoltaic Shingles – Solar power panels in shingle sized elements. Normally placed only on part of a roof.

    Pro: Creates electricity which reduces electric bill.

    Cons: High initial investment, High Maintenance

    Cost: Adds approx. $20,000 to normal roofing cost

    Lifespan: Unknown, Warrantied for 20 years usually

    Fire Resistance: Good

    Wind Resistance: Good

    Additional resources:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_commercially_available_roofing_material

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