Nov 202014

A roof is one of the essential components that make up any building, hence the idiom “Four walls and a roof”. Unsurprisingly this means that the type of roof you decide to use for a given building is a crucial decision, equally as important as the material of the walls or floors.

There are different advantages and disadvantages to different types of roofing. As with all things, finding the right balance between these benefits and the needs of your building are key to its construction, renovation and long-term stability. So what are the benefits of different types of roofing, and how can you best exploit them? Once you’ve answered this essential question you will know what to ask for when you call up the installer (I would recommend North Carolina residents consider Housetop Roofing).

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt’s main advantage is that it is dirt cheap. As one of the most affordable materials around, you can quickly and easily lay down a large amount of roofing on a tight budget, and it does its job well. It also comes in a wide range of styles, and as such it is flexible with regards to the buildings it is used with. They are also very fireproof and can be treated against moss and mildew.

However, it is cheap for a reason. In general asphalt roofing does not last very long, thirty years at most, and more commonly somewhere half of that. Largely this is due to how vulnerable it is to extreme temperatures. It blisters easily under intense heat, while heavy rain or snow will quickly cause the asphalt tiles to degrade. While it is cheap and easy to replace, the costs will nevertheless build up over time.


Slate Shingles

Beautiful, uniform and distinctive, slate tiles are a widely popular choice of roofing because of their stately, dignified look. It helps that they are practical too, being both long lasting and very resistant to both fire, moss and mildew. They also last a good while too. A good slate roof can last for as long as 150 years before it needs replacing, which means replacement probably won’t be needed for several generations of homeowners.

That said, slate shingles are expensive to install, and they are also rather fragile. A good slate roof can cost as much as $6000 or even $8000 per square to install, although some estimates drive it significantly lower at $1000 to $4000 per square. You should always take care when hiring people to work on the roof – careless footing can easily shatter or dislodge tiles. They are also notoriously difficult to replace, as each set of slate tiles is different.

Wooden Roofing

While not usually an immediate choice of tile for most home owners, wooden shingles have their own merits. For one thing, they present a home with a very warm and handsome visage. Second, wood is a very durable material even under adverse conditions. They can endure most weather conditions remarkably well, and as they season this durability only increases. Further, they can help insulate your home while at the same allowing the house to breathe, as air circulates through them very well even as they keep water out. With sufficient maintenance, a wooden roof can last for nearly fifty years with little fuss.

However, without proper treatment wooden tiles are susceptible to moss, mildew and rot. Over time, they may also split. Such shingles are also flammable unless they’ve been treated beforehand. Wooden roofing can also be expensive to install, and require a specialist to do it all properly.

Metal Roofing

We’ll finish off by looking at the advantages of metal roofing. To start, it is very durable indeed. A metal roof has a minimum lifespan of fifty years and can very well last longer than slate roofs with adequate maintenance. As well as being fireproof, resistant to moss and mildew, and very strong as a material, it is possible to treat metal roofs to prevent them from rusting, which makes them very durable against extreme weather. In warmer weather, the reflective surface of metallic tiles can help keep the house cool. Unlike stone tiles, metal roofing is also very light yard for yard, so they promote greater structural integrity within the building proper. Further, they can easily be installed over existing roof types.

Of course, metal roofs are very expensive, about as expensive as slate tiles in fact. Not only is the material itself expensive, it also requires specialists to install. They are not tiles you can lay down on a Sunday afternoon. As such, they are not recommended if you want a roof quickly and cheaply.


The writer, Christian Mills, is a do-it-yourself type who likes to make sure his home is always kept in fantastic shape, and recognizes the importance of a good solid roof. You can learn more about Christian on Google+.

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