Most roofs undergo major repairs or outright replacements every decade. That’s once every ten years! Choosing the correct building materials from the outset can help defray or prevent spending more money than you absolutely need to on a roof. Wood shakes, composite shingles, concrete and slate probably remain the most popular choices today.
Before selecting which material fits your outdoor decor and budget, you’ll also want to consider the weight and durability of the material that you end up going with. Sometimes the style of your home or slope of your roof will dictate the material as well.
Because both tile and slate happen to be pretty weighty, the overall structure of the home needs to be hearty enough to carry the load. That said, if you’re getting into DIY roofing for the first time, you might want to consider asphalt shingles for a variety of reasons.
Asphalt shingles are the most frequently used roofing material for many reasons. Firstly, asphalt shingles are incredibly affordable and installing asphalt shingles requires only a small learning curve. Asphalt shingles are sometimes called composite shingles because these kinds of shingles combine fiberglass and asphalt.
One advantage to using asphalt shingles is that they can be nailed into place over a preexisting roof structure. This makes asphalt shingles a great option for a first-time, amateur roofer. It’s cheap, easy to install and can be placed over your current roof.
More thick varieties of asphalt shingles are sold, and these are made out of laminated materials. Laminated asphalt shingles are more durable and typically can last more than a generation. The downsides of using asphalt shingles is that they can shift if not properly nailed down and they’re not impervious to sun damage.
Most wood shake is made of cedar or pine. The aesthetics of wood shake probably explain why this material has been around for hundreds of years. There are two downsides to using wood shake – some fire codes prevent their use and wood shake is relatively expensive. That said, wood shake is incredibly durable; wood shake lasts on average over twenty years.
A roof comprised of wood shake will probably need some upkeep to last that long. As with using wood in other applications, termites and mold can be an issue. On the upside, wood is often considered an excellent material for insulating an attic or the upper stories of your home.
Slate is such a resilient material that a lot of the slate on the market has already been used commercially for decades (recycled slate). Slate roofs, like tile roofs, require very little maintenance but a steeper initial purchasing price. Slate isn’t necessarily difficult to install if you’re accustomed to using fasteners. This material, however, can be unwieldy since it’s so heavy. Slate will last a very long time and you won’t have to worry about things like applying fire retardants like you do with wood shakes.
A very common type of residential and commercial roofing is comprised of aluminum shingles or large tiles. Like slate roofs, using aluminum, copper, or another resilient metal to protect your home makes sense from the standpoint of avoiding routine upkeep costs. A lot of the steel roofs used today are comprised of fifty percent recycled materials. The downside to going with an aluminum roof is that you will probably need to pay a professional to install it. Over thirty years you will probably end up saving money by purchasing a metal roof because of low upkeep.