Key Information About Common Roofing Materials

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If you’re thinking about having your house re-roofed in the near future, there are many decisions you need to make. Perhaps the biggest choice ahead of you is the material you want to use for your roofing project. While asphalt shingles still reign supreme in the Carolinas (and the rest of the United States), there are other materials that are continually rising in popularity. As you continue reading here, you will discover key information, such as pricing and expected lifespan, that pertain to some of today’s most common roofing materials.

Expected lifespan:
    • Asphalt shingles – There are two types of asphalt shingles on the market nowadays: traditional three-tab shingles and architectural shingles. Both are comprised of asphalt or fiberglass topped with textured granules for durability. Architectural shingles, however, have a three-dimensional appearance and sometimes mimic wood shakes or ceramic tiles. Generally, asphalt shingles last for 20-30 years, depending on their quality.
    • Wood shakes – Wood shingles, typically called “shakes,” have been used on roofs for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Red cedar is among the most popular woods for shakes and has a beautiful rustic aesthetic. In relatively temperate regions, such as North Carolina and South Carolina, wood shakes can last for about 30 years.
    • Metal – Metal has been rising in popularity as a residential roofing material in recent years. This is among the most durable choices available to homeowners, with most styles lasting about 50 years. Metal roofing sheets are often crafted using steel, copper, or aluminum. All of these can be coated with attractive finishes, making them aesthetically appealing on houses.
    • Slate tiles – Slate tiles are the longest lasting roofing material on the market. They can last for over a century without being replaced. As a matter of fact, some historic American homes still have their original slate roofs!
Perks of roofing materials:
    • Asphalt shingles – One of the major benefits of asphalt shingles is that they are quite affordable. At about $1.50 per square foot, most homeowners can afford to have their homes roofed with three-tab asphalt shingles without taking on a significant financial burden. Architectural shingles, it bears noting, are usually priced around $25.00 per square foot. Another perk of all asphalt shingles is that they work well with any type of home, thanks to the fact that they come in a wide variety of colors and textures.
    • Wood shakes – One of the main perks of wood roofs is that they are eco-friendly. If you prioritize the environment and want to make sure your remodeling project is as green as possible, wood is an excellent choice. Another benefit of wood shakes is that they are incredibly aesthetically pleasing, particularly for homeowners who live in mountainous areas where many houses take design cues from forests.
    • Metal – Metal roofing’s biggest pro is that it lasts a long time without breaking the bank. Although it is more costly than basic shingles, most homeowners who ultimately choose metal find that its longevity makes it worth the final cost. Another perk of metal is that it can frequently be repaired instead of totally replaced if it gets damaged during hail storms, wind storms, or, in certain parts of the Carolinas, hurricanes.
    • Slate tiles – Slate tiles have two major benefits. The first is its durability. As mentioned previously, they are expected to last for well over 100 years without requiring replacement. The second is that slate is a beautiful material that will draw the eyes of passersby for all the right reasons. Additionally, if you ever choose to list your current home, slate roofing is a great selling point.
Downsides of roofing materials:
    • Asphalt shingles – Asphalt shingles don’t have a lot of downsides, except that they are not a particularly high-end material. If you don’t mind your roof looking like a lot of other roofs, you shouldn’t have any major problems with this material. One thing that does bear mentioning, though, is the fact that asphalt shingles are not considered an eco-conscious choice, so if that is important to you personally, you might want to go in another direction.
    • Wood shakes – Wood shakes are not fire-resistant, which can be a problem in certain municipalities. If you aren’t sure what the building codes are in your area, contact your local city hall. Maintenance is another potential issue with wood roofing. If you choose this material, you will have to occasionally treat it with a specialized preservative to ensure that it doesn’t begin to warp or become infested with fungi. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance roof, this might not be it.
    • Metal – The main issue people have with metal roofing is that it can be expensive; in certain cases, Carolina homeowners have to pay about $50,000 for a total metal roof installation. Another possible problem is that it can be very noisy when it rains. If you live in a region that gets a lot of precipitation, you may want to rethink having metal sheets overhead. Finally, some people do not like the look of metal roofing and prefer something more traditionally residential on their houses.
    • Slate tiles – Slate tiles really only have two cons. The first is that they are extremely heavy. If your house has never had slate roofing before, your installation professional will need to make sure it can withstand the weight of slate prior to putting them on. The second is the cost. An average-sized 1,200 square foot roof will run about $100,000 if the homeowners select slate. Although financing is sometimes available, this is still a major investment.

The team at Hatch Homes would love to help you with your upcoming roofing project, no matter what material you are interested in. Give our office a call to schedule a no obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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