Types of Roofing

Roofing is the top covering for homes and buildings, protecting against rain, snow, sunlight, extreme temperatures, and winds. A roof can be built of a variety of materials.


Regardless of the type chosen, a good roof starts with an underlayment that’s a water barrier atop sheathing or decking-the- the flat boards made of oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood fastened to rafters. Read on Top Notch Roofing/Siding for more information.

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used in North America. They’re designed to protect homes from the elements for decades with minimal maintenance. They are available in a variety of colors and styles, with options that can complement any home’s architectural design. They also are resistant to algae, moss, and mold.

They are made from either an organic mat or a fiberglass mat saturated with asphalt and coated on both sides with a layer of roofing granules. The granules help to reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays. This helps to lower the roof’s temperature and reduce energy bills.

Originally, they were cut from red cedar or pine but modern shingle manufacturers use wood from newer trees that don’t need to be treated with chemical preservatives. They’re also made with a fire-resistant base to ensure they meet UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and FM (Uniform Fire Code) standards.

A three-tab asphalt shingle is a great option if you’re looking for a basic, affordable roof. They offer a good amount of protection and can be found in most home improvement stores. However, if you’re ready to invest in your home’s future, consider upgrading to an architectural shingle instead. These shingles are thicker and create more definition, giving your home’s roof a more premium appearance.

These shingles are designed to last for 25 to 30 years and are ideal for steep-sloped roofs. The layered construction offers more defense against impact damage and rain. They’re also more likely to resist damage from flying debris like hail and tree branches.

The protective nature of asphalt shingles comes from the long-chain hydrocarbons impregnated in the paper. As the shingles lose their hydrocarbons over time, they begin to degrade and wash away in rainstorms. This process happens faster along eaves and ridge lines where water is more channeled.

Premium shingles, also called designer shingles, are designed to imitate the look of other types of roof materials, such as slate or cedar shakes. They’re made with the same two-layer structure of laminate shingles but add features that create a unique look for your home. These shingles can also be treated to offer other benefits like wind resistance or solar reflectivity.

Metal Roofs

While metal roofs may be most familiar to homeowners as the roofs on barns and industrial buildings, today’s product is available in designs to match any architectural style. Whether the homeowner is looking for a more traditional look of shingles or a contemporary appearance of standing seam, a metal roof offers superior weather protection and durability that will last many decades with minimal upkeep.

CONS: A metal roof can dent easily. Depending on the type of metal, even small hail can leave dents that require repair or replacement. And while the dents are usually superficial, they can affect the aesthetic of the roof and lower a home’s value. In addition, some types of metal roofing aren’t suited for areas with high temperatures.

Fortunately, the latest coating technologies can significantly limit rust and corrosion in any metal roofing system. These coatings also provide a high level of solar reflectance that helps keep the roof 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a shingle roof in the same area during peak summer weather.

If the homeowner wants to minimize the amount of maintenance required for a metal roof, he or she should consider choosing a panel with concealed fasteners. Exposed fasteners can be vulnerable to water penetration when the screw holes in a metal roof expand and contract with temperature changes. If this happens, the screws may loosen or dislodge from the ridges of the panels. Special resilient washers should be used with these screws and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In terms of upkeep, any roof will need some general cleaning and inspection once or twice a year. Metal roofs are no different, but they do tend to require less upkeep than shingle roofs, especially when using a concealed fastener system.

Besides the durability and energy efficiency, homeowners who choose metal roofs will enjoy the added value to their homes. Buyers will likely be willing to pay more for a house with a roof that can’t be damaged by hail, snow or other extreme weather conditions. In fact, a metal roof can add as much as $15,000 in value to a home.

Tile Roofs

Known for their durability, clay, slate and concrete tile roofs add a touch of luxury to a home. They are also one of the most energy efficient roofing options and provide excellent protection against high winds, hail and snow. Tile roofs can last from 50 to 100 years depending on the material and offer a wide range of colors and styles.

Aesthetically, they can match almost any type of house design from medieval to contemporary European, with some tiles designed to resemble traditional asphalt shingles or wood shakes. They are also resistant to rot and insect damage. However, because of their weight, tile roofs require more structural reinforcement than other roofing materials.

The type of roof you choose will have a direct impact on the overall cost of the project and the lifespan of the product. However, because of their long lifespans and superior insulation properties, tile roofs are more affordable over time than most other types of roofing. They also save money on energy bills because air flows naturally beneath them, keeping homes warmer during winter cold snaps and cooler during summer heat waves.

Slate tile is a durable and natural roofing option that has been used by many civilizations. It does not fade over time, unlike asphalt shingles, and can last for centuries. This material is also fireproof and offers a timeless look that can increase the value of a home.

Another popular roofing option is terra cotta roof tile. This material is a more affordable choice than real slate or clay roof tiles, but it still has a timeless appearance and can increase the value of your property. If you are considering a new roof for your home, it is essential to work with an experienced roofing contractor. A roof professional will be able to help you select the right tile for your home and provide expert installation services.

Tile roofs are a great addition to any home but they are not for everyone. You need to be able to maintain the tile roof and keep it in good condition for decades. If you do not want to spend a lot of time maintaining your roof, it is best to go with an asphalt shingle roof.

Wood Roofs

Wood was one of the first roofing materials used and continues to be a popular choice for those who prefer a more traditional look. The material is strong and durable, and it can be stained in many different hues to achieve the desired aesthetic. A wood shingle or shake roof is also an excellent insulator, and laying down additional insulating material under the shakes can help homeowners save on their energy bills.

There are several types of wood that can be used for a residential or commercial roofing project, including fir, cedar, and redwood. Few materials can compare to cedar for moisture and rot resistance, and this type of wood is also extremely long-lasting. Fir and cypress are two budget-friendly alternatives to cedar that can still provide excellent wearability.

While wood is a very environmentally friendly material, it does require more maintenance than other types of roofing materials. Wood shingles and shakes must be treated with fire retardants and other preservatives, which can make them more expensive to maintain over the long term. Wood roofs are also more susceptible to fire damage, and they may raise insurance premiums as a result.

Shakes are thicker than shingles and can be made of pine, spruce, or occasionally oak. The shakes are typically split by hand and can be textured for added weather resistance. There are also shingle-style wood roofs, which have a more traditional appearance and are usually made of spruce or cedar. The shingles are thinner than shakes and can be textured to offer added weather resistance as well.

Whether or not you choose to go with a natural wood shingle or shake roof depends on your home ownership goals. Wood shingles and shakes have a lower return on investment than other types of roofing, and they need to be replaced every 20 years or so. However, they’re an excellent option if you’re looking to enjoy the natural beauty of a real wood roof for a longer period of time.

Wood shingles and shakes are also very vulnerable to moisture, which can cause them to swell, warp, or harbor mold. Adding a moisture barrier to your wood roof can prevent this from occurring, and it’s important to have your wood roof regularly treated to keep it in great shape.