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The Pros and Cons of Various Roofing Materials

Replacing a roof is a significant investment worthy of time and consideration. For many homeowners, deciding which roofing material to use is no longer as simple as sticking with the status quo. Modern innovations mean comparing the pros and cons of several options.

Here are the pros and cons of various roofing materials to help you make the right choice.

image - The Pros and Cons of Various Roofing Materials
The Pros and Cons of Various Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most well-known roofing material options that homeowners have sworn by for years. The primary benefit of these shingles is that they’re affordable and easy to install, which helps minimize installation costs.

A well-installed and maintained asphalt roof can last for over 20 years. However, Expert Roof Replacement | Roof Plus notes that homes near the ocean likely won’t experience that benefit, as the salt air and wind cause quicker degradation. Most homeowners will need to consider an asphalt roof replacement after 15 years.

Asphalt roofing requires a notable amount of maintenance over the years to extend its lifespan. Replacing missing or damaged shingles and limiting moss growth on the roof will play a big part in how long it lasts.

Additionally, internal issues like improper attic ventilation can also shorten the lifespan of asphalt shingles.


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Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are an enhanced version of the traditional asphalt shingles. The primary benefit of these laminated shingles is their aesthetic appeal.

The layering techniques and color variations create more dimension, which can dramatically enhance your curb appeal. If you’re replacing your roof with intentions to sell your home in the near future, this type of roof can help attract buyers.

High-quality architectural shingles are designed for wind resistance, making them slightly more durable than traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles.

The design features and extra steps in the manufacturing process make these slightly more expensive than traditional shingles. However, this roofing system won’t add significant time to the lifespan of your roof. As such, the cost to value ratio isn’t great.

Asphalt shingles are not environmentally friendly, and architectural shingles are no exception. If you choose this option, consider working with a professional roofing service that recycles old shingles to offset the environmental impacts.

It’s also important to evaluate the quality of the shingles used, as there are cheaper architectural shingles that look nice and cost more but aren’t any better than traditional asphalt.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has become increasingly popular in recent years as the pros far outweigh the cons. The main benefit of this option is the extended lifespan.

A metal roof can last 30-50 years when installed properly and well-maintained. For many homeowners, choosing a metal roof means never having to navigate a roof replacement again.

This roofing material is also more eco-friendly than asphalt, often crafted from recycled metals or easier to recycle at the end of its lifespan.

This eco-friendly option also provides ample insulation to mitigate energy consumption for heating and cooling. Furthermore, it’s pest and fire-resistant, which could promote savings in home insurance premiums. You can click here to learn more about metal roofing.

The barrier to metal roofing for most homeowners is the cost. Purchasing and installing a metal roof costs significantly more than asphalt shingles. While the long-term ROI is worthwhile, some people can’t afford the upfront financial implications.

Some metal roofs are also prone to denting when stepped on or subjected to hail. If you live in an area prone to hail storms, a metal roof may not be ideal. Talk to your local roofing expert to determine which type of metal is being used.

Tiles and Slate Roofing

Tile and slate roofs are rare in many areas. However, a well-maintained slate roof can last a century, making it the most durable material. Clay tiles also have a long lifespan, though they’re more susceptible to breakage.

As these materials are from the earth, they’re the most eco-friendly to manufacture and recycle. Old tiles can be pulverized and used to create new materials.

The two biggest downsides of slate and clay are the cost implications and weight. High-quality slate and clay tiles are incredibly expensive and very heavy.

If your home wasn’t built to handle the weight of these materials, you might require structural changes to reinforce your roof. Additionally, these features drive up the installation costs.

Final Thoughts

It’s worth evaluating the options and considering your long-term goals when replacing a roof. Find your balance between affordability and durability to get the best possible value.


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