Learn The Basics Of Roofing Structures And Materials

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Roof Structures and Materials

While almost every building needs a roof, the available materials for roof projects vary widely. Learn about roofing shingles and metal roofs, and the advantages and disadvantages of several types of popular roofing materials.

Types of Roofing Materials

A wide variety of roofing materials are available on the market today, including:


  1. Aluminum
  2. Asphalt shingles
  3. Complex clay tile
  4. Concrete tile
  5. Copper
  6. Slate tile
  7. Standard clay tile
  8. Steel
  9. Synthetic slate
  10. Wooden shingles.

You'll choose the material for roof projects based on the geographic area of the building, the budget of the project and the type of building.

Roofing Materials: Advantages and Disadvantages

With all of the different choices of roofing materials, you might wonder how to decide which materials are best for your specific roof. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of the following materials:

  1. Asphalt shingles are one of the most inexpensive roofing materials, with many colors and types available. They are suitable for most houses, easy to repair and fire-resistant. On the downside, asphalt roofing shingles have a shorter lifespan; they scar in the heat, are environmentally unfriendly and are subject to mildew.
  2. Metal (steel, aluminum, copper) roofs have many different looks and colors, and are lightweight and durable. Metal roofing has a long lifespan, is low maintenance and can be installed over existing roofing. Metal roofs are high performance and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, metal roofing is difficult to install, can be expensive and may need periodic painting.
  3. Slate tile is very attractive, fireproof, and low maintenance with a long lifespan. However, it is very expensive and may need a lot of maintenance. Slate tile is also heavy and fragile.
  4. Synthetic slate is lighter in weight than slate and is available in a variety of colors and styles. It has a long lifespan, and is an affordable, attractive and environmentally friendly option. However, it doesn't typically last as long as a real slate roof, and may not look as nice.
  5. Tile (concrete, clay) is attractive, fireproof, durable, easy to maintain and is available in many colors and styles. The disadvantages of tile are that it is expensive, heavy, fragile and tricky to install and repair.
  6. Wooden shingles lend a natural look to a house even when they're weathered. They provide some insulation, blend with the environment, are easy to repair and replace and are long-lasting. On the downside, wooden shingles can also rot, split and mold, and have a poor fire rating. They are also expensive, high maintenance roofing materials.

Find a Professional Roofing contractor

If you need professional help understanding or making decisions about roofing structures or materials, LendingTree Home Pros can help!

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a roofing contractor in your area. All the roofers listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a roofing contactor today.


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