Outdoors

All About Roof Shingles

Just because we spend most of our time indoors, doesn't mean that we should neglect the fundamental parts of our home's exterior, like the roof. Replacing or repairing roof damage can be expensive and a good roof is an important part of decision-making when buying a new home. A good quality roof can provide extra warmth in the winter, general protection from the elements and also prevent major damage to your home from moisture seepage (like the dreaded "m" word -- mold). So, what kinds of roofing are out there? Let's examine some of the more popular materials used for today's roof.
 
Asphalt
Asphalt shingles are probably the most common types of shingles used. Asphalt shingles are made by layering multiple layers of asphalt on top of a base composed of either fiberglass or organic material such as cellulose fibers. They are fairly inexpensive, costing between $15 and $25 per square foot and last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. The are fairly fire resistant and easy to install or replace.
 
Slate
Slate roof tiles are like the granite countertops of roofing and are increasing in popularity. Slate is available in many lovely colors and the look is just beautiful. These shingles can last 100 years or more, but are very costly. The also require special reinforcements, which can make them difficult to replace and more costly.
 
Wood
Wood shingles, or shakes, have a warm and inviting feeling. They are also sometimes used on the exterior of the home in place of siding. Many times, cedar is used but pine and spruce are also popular. With proper care, wood shingles can last up to 50 years. Unfortunately, wood shingles are not fire-resistant and it can be more costly when insuring your home.
 
Tile/Clay
Tile shingles, concrete or clay, are popular in warmer climates and have a Mediterranean look. Flat shingle or a barrel-shaped shingle. They are cheaper than slate but can cost much more than asphalt. These tiles can last up to 50 years and are fire-resistant.
 
By Design Milk (Photo Credit: Juniper Images)

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