Types of Roof Covering

Last updated on September 3, 2023

Discover the various types of roof covering materials available in today’s market as we delve into their unique features, benefits, and suitability for different architectural designs.

When it comes to building or renovating a house, choosing the right roof covering is crucial. It not only serves as protection from the elements but also adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home.

With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose one that fits your budget and style preferences. In this article, we will discuss different types of roof coverings and their pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision for your roofing needs.

So let’s dive in!

Solar Tiles

Solar tiles are a relatively new roofing material that has gained popularity in recent years. They are designed to look like traditional roof tiles but have the added benefit of generating electricity from sunlight.

Solar tiles work by capturing energy from the sun and converting it into usable electricity for your home.

One of the main advantages of solar tiles is their ability to reduce your energy bills significantly. By harnessing solar power, you can generate enough electricity to power your home without relying on grid-supplied energy entirely.

They require little maintenance and have a long lifespan compared to other roofing materials.

However, there are some downsides associated with installing solar tiles as well. Firstly, they tend to be more expensive than traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or metal roofs due to their advanced technology and installation costs involved in setting them up correctly.

Secondly, not all homes may be suitable for installing solar panels due either because of structural limitations or lack of adequate sunlight exposure throughout most parts of the day.

Asphalt Shingles

They are affordable, easy to install, and come in various colors and styles that can mimic other materials like wood or slate. Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt granules that protect against UV rays and weather damage.

One of the significant advantages of asphalt shingles is their durability; they can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. However, they may not be suitable for areas prone to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or heavy snowfall.

Another advantage is their affordability compared to other roofing materials like metal or slate tiles. Asphalt shingle roofs also require minimal maintenance besides regular cleaning.

Metal Roofing

It can last up to 50 years or more with proper installation and care. Metal roofs come in various materials such as aluminum, copper, zinc alloy, steel coated with zinc or aluminum-zinc alloys.

One of the significant advantages of metal roofing is that it reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it like other materials such as asphalt shingles. This reflective property helps keep your home cooler during hot summer months by reducing heat transfer into your attic space.

Another benefit of metal roofing is its resistance to fire and wind damage compared to other types of roof coverings. Metal roofs are also lightweight yet strong enough to withstand heavy snow loads without collapsing.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option for your roof covering needs, consider using recycled metals like copper or aluminum which are sustainable choices that reduce waste while providing long-lasting protection against the elements.

Slate

It is known for its durability, longevity, and classic appearance. Slate roofs can last up to 100 years or more with proper maintenance and care.

One of the main advantages of slate roofing is its resistance to fire, making it an ideal choice in areas prone to wildfires. Slate tiles are resistant to water absorption and do not easily crack or break under extreme weather conditions such as hailstorms.

However, there are some downsides associated with using slate as a roof covering material. Firstly, it’s relatively expensive compared to other options like asphalt shingles or metal roofing materials due to the high cost of production and installation.

Secondly, because slate tiles are heavy (weighing between 800-1500 pounds per square), they require additional structural support during installation which adds extra costs on top of already high expenses.

Clay Tiles

These tiles are made from natural clay materials and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your preferences. Clay tile roofs have been around for centuries due to their durability; they can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.

One of the benefits of using clay tiles is their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or strong winds. They also provide excellent insulation against heat during hot summer months while keeping your home warm during winter seasons.

However, it’s important to note that installing a clay tile roof requires professional expertise due to its weight compared with other roofing materials like asphalt shingles or metal sheets. It’s essential not only for safety reasons but also because improper installation could lead to leaks or damage over time.

Concrete Tiles

They are made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water, which makes them resistant to fire, wind damage, and extreme weather conditions. Concrete tiles come in various shapes and sizes that can mimic the look of other materials such as clay or slate.

One advantage of concrete tiles is their low maintenance requirements compared to other types of roof coverings. They do not require frequent cleaning or sealing like wood shingles or metal roofs.

They have excellent insulation properties that help regulate temperature inside your home.

However, one downside to concrete tile roofing is its weight; it’s heavier than most traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or metal sheets. Therefore it requires proper structural support during installation.

Green Roofing

It involves planting vegetation on the rooftop to create a natural habitat that provides insulation and reduces energy consumption. Green roofs can be extensive or intensive depending on the depth of soil used and the type of plants grown.

Extensive green roofs are lightweight with shallow soil depths (less than 6 inches) suitable for growing low-maintenance plants such as sedum, mosses, herbs, grasses which require little water or maintenance. They provide excellent insulation properties by reducing heat loss in winter while keeping buildings cool during summer months.

Intensive green roofs have deeper soils (more than 6 inches) allowing for more diverse plant life including shrubs and trees which require regular watering and maintenance but offer greater aesthetic appeal. Intensive green roofing systems can support recreational activities like gardens or even small parks providing an oasis in urban areas where open space is limited.

Rolled Roofing

It is made of the same materials as asphalt shingles but comes in larger rolls that are easier to install. Rolled roofing can be used on flat or slightly sloping roofs, making it ideal for sheds, garages, and other outbuildings.

One of the benefits of rolled roofing is its ease of installation. It requires minimal tools and expertise to install compared to other types of roof coverings.

However, it has a shorter lifespan than most traditional roof coverings like asphalt shingles or metal roofing.

Another advantage is its affordability; rolled roofing costs less per square foot than most other types of roof covering materials available in today’s market.

Membrane Roofing

It’s commonly used in commercial buildings and flat roofs due to its durability and waterproofing properties. Membrane roofing can be installed using different methods such as fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted.

One advantage of membrane roofing is its flexibility which allows it to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking or splitting. This makes it ideal for areas with extreme weather conditions where other types of roof coverings may not hold up well.

Another benefit of membrane roofing is that it requires minimal maintenance compared to other types like asphalt shingles which need regular inspections for damage caused by wind uplifts or hailstorms.

However, one downside to consider when choosing this type of roof covering material is the cost. Membrane roofs are generally more expensive than traditional materials like asphalt shingles but they offer long-term benefits in terms of durability and energy efficiency making them a worthwhile investment over time.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

It consists of multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics, such as fiberglass or organic materials like felt, which are built up to create a durable and waterproof membrane. BUR is commonly used on flat or low-sloped roofs due to its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic.

One advantage of BUR is its affordability compared to other roofing options. It also provides excellent insulation properties, making it an energy-efficient choice for homeowners looking to reduce their heating and cooling costs.

However, the installation process can be time-consuming since each layer needs time to dry before adding another layer. The weight of the multiple layers can put stress on older buildings not designed for this type of roof covering.

Wood Roofing

Wood shingles or shakes are made from cedar, redwood, or pine trees and can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. They are also eco-friendly as they come from renewable sources.

One of the benefits of wood roofing is its insulation properties. It provides excellent thermal protection during winter months while keeping your home cool in summer by allowing air circulation through the small gaps between each shingle.

However, wood roofing requires regular maintenance such as cleaning debris off the roof surface and treating it with preservatives every few years to prevent rotting caused by moisture buildup. It’s not fire-resistant like other materials such as metal or asphalt shingles which may be a concern for some homeowners.

Synthetic Composite Shingles

These shingles are made from a mixture of plastic and rubber, which makes them durable and long-lasting. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes to mimic traditional roofing materials like wood shakes or slate tiles.

One significant advantage of synthetic composite shingles is their resistance to harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms or heavy winds. They also have excellent fire resistance properties that make them ideal for areas prone to wildfires.

Another benefit is their low maintenance requirements compared to other types of roof coverings. Synthetic composite shingles do not require regular cleaning or sealing like wood shakes do; they only need occasional washing with water and mild soap.

However, one downside is that they may not be suitable for all architectural styles since some homeowners prefer more traditional-looking roofs made from natural materials such as cedar shake or slate tile.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

It consists of vertical panels with raised seams that interlock together, creating a watertight seal. This type of roofing material is made from durable metals such as aluminum, copper, or steel and can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

One significant advantage of standing seam metal roofing is its energy efficiency. The reflective surface helps reduce heat absorption during hot weather conditions, keeping your home cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning.

Another benefit of this type of roof covering is its durability against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rainstorms or strong winds. The interlocking design prevents water from seeping through the seams while also providing resistance against wind uplifts.

However, one downside to consider when choosing standing seam metal roofing is the cost factor compared to other types like asphalt shingles or rolled roofing materials. But if you’re looking for long-term value in terms of durability and energy savings over time – it may be worth investing in this option.

Metal Shingles/Shakes

Made from steel, aluminum, or copper, these roof coverings come in a variety of colors and styles to match any architectural design.

One advantage of metal shingles/shakes is their longevity. They can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance and care.

They are fire-resistant and energy-efficient since they reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it like asphalt roofs.

Installation costs for metal shingle/shake roofing can be higher than other materials due to its complexity but may save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills over time.

Wood Shingles/Shakes

They are made from cedar, redwood, or other types of wood that have been treated to resist decay and insect damage. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides while shakes have a rougher texture as they’re split by hand.

One advantage of using wood shingles or shakes is their durability; when properly installed and maintained, they can last up to 50 years. The natural insulation properties of wood make it an energy-efficient option for roofing.

However, there are some downsides to consider before choosing this type of roof covering material. Wood is susceptible to fire damage unless treated with fire retardants which may increase the cost significantly compared with other materials like asphalt shingle roofs.

Moreover, wooden roofs require regular maintenance such as cleaning debris off them regularly so that moisture doesn’t accumulate leading rotting issues over time.

Synthetic (Rubber) Slate Tile

It is made from recycled rubber and plastic, making it an eco-friendly option for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Synthetic slate tiles are designed to mimic the look of natural slate but at a fraction of the cost.

One advantage of synthetic slate tiles over natural ones is their durability. They can withstand harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds without cracking or breaking like traditional slates would do.

Another benefit of synthetic (rubber) slate tile roofing is its lightweight nature compared to other materials like concrete or clay tiles which require additional structural support during installation.

This type of roof covering requires minimal maintenance since it does not absorb water nor attract moss or algae growth commonly found on organic materials such as wood shakes and shingles.

Stone-Coated Steel Shingles

These shingles are made by coating galvanized steel with stone chips and acrylic resin, which gives them a textured appearance similar to natural slate or clay tiles.

One significant advantage of Stone-Coated Steel Shingles is their longevity. They can last up to 50 years or more, making them an excellent investment for homeowners looking for long-term solutions.

They offer superior protection against harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms and high winds.

Another benefit is their energy efficiency; these shingles reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it like asphalt roofs do, reducing heat buildup in your home during hot summer months and lowering cooling costs.

Stone-Coated Steel Shingle roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other types of roofing materials since they don’t crack or warp over time due to temperature changes. They also come in various colors and styles that mimic traditional roof coverings such as wood shakes or Spanish tile without sacrificing durability.

Aluminum Shingles

They are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall. Aluminum shingles come in various colors and styles that mimic the look of traditional roofing materials like wood or slate.

One of the main advantages of aluminum shingles is their energy efficiency. They reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, which helps keep your home cooler during hot summer months while reducing your cooling costs.

Another benefit is that they are eco-friendly since they can be recycled at the end of their lifespan without harming the environment. This makes them an excellent choice for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

However, one downside to aluminum shingles is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of metal roofing materials like steel or copper. Installation costs may also be higher due to its specialized installation process compared with other types such as asphalt shingle roofs.

Corrugated Steel Roofing

It consists of sheets of galvanized steel with ridges or corrugations that provide strength and rigidity while also allowing water to flow off easily. Corrugated steel roofing can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance, making it an excellent investment for those looking for long-term solutions.

One advantage of corrugated steel roofing is its resistance to extreme weather conditions such as high winds, hailstorms, and heavy snowfall. Its interlocking design makes it less prone to leaks compared to other types of roofs like asphalt shingles or flat roofs.

Another benefit is the variety in color options available in the market today. You can choose from a range of colors that complement your building’s exterior design scheme.

However, one downside may be noise levels during rainfalls or hailstorms since metal tends not absorb sound well; this issue could be mitigated by adding insulation materials between the roof deck and panels.

Cedar Shingles and Shakes

These roofing materials are made from natural cedar wood, which is known for its durability and resistance to insects and rot. Cedar shingles have a smooth surface, while cedar shakes have a rougher texture that adds character to the roof.

One of the benefits of using cedar shingles or shakes is their energy efficiency. They provide excellent insulation, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

They require minimal maintenance compared to other types of roofing materials.

However, there are some downsides associated with using cedar as your roof covering material. Firstly, it can be expensive compared to other options such as asphalt or metal roofs due to its high-quality properties.

Secondly, cedar requires regular maintenance such as cleaning debris off the roof regularly so that moisture doesn’t accumulate on it leading up moss growth which could damage them over time if not taken care properly.

Asphalt & Fiberglass Shingles

They are affordable, easy to install, and come in a variety of colors and styles. Asphalt shingles consist of a base material coated with asphalt and covered with mineral granules for added protection against UV rays.

Fiberglass shingles have a layer of fiberglass matting that provides strength to the roof.

One advantage of using asphalt or fiberglass shingles is their durability; they can last up to 30 years if properly installed by an experienced roofer. These types of roofing materials require minimal maintenance compared to other options like wood shakes or slate tiles.

However, there are some downsides as well; asphalt/fiberglass roofs may not be suitable for areas prone to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or heavy snowfall due to their lightweight nature which makes them susceptible damage from strong winds.

Clay and Concrete Tile Roofing

They offer a classic, timeless look to any home and come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Clay tiles are made from natural clay that is fired at high temperatures while concrete tiles are made from cement mixed with sand or other aggregates.

One of the main advantages of clay and concrete tile roofing is their durability. They can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainstorms, hailstorms or strong winds without getting damaged easily.

They require minimal maintenance compared to other types of roof coverings.

Another advantage is their energy efficiency properties; they help regulate indoor temperature by keeping your home cool during hot summer months due to their reflective nature which reduces heat absorption into the house.

However one downside associated with these types of roofs is weight; both materials tend to be heavier than most others on this list so it’s important you ensure your building structure can support them before installation commences.

Slate Roofing

It’s made from natural stone, which gives it a unique look that can’t be replicated by other materials. Slate roofs are also known for their durability and longevity, with some lasting up to 100 years or more.

One of the main benefits of slate roofing is its resistance to fire and water damage. This makes it an ideal choice for areas prone to wildfires or heavy rainfall.

Slate tiles come in various colors and textures that can complement any architectural style.

However, there are some downsides associated with slate roofing as well. For one thing, it’s relatively expensive compared to other types of roof coverings like asphalt shingles or metal roofs.

The installation process is also complex due to the weight of the tiles; therefore only experienced professionals should handle this type of work.

Living Roof

It involves covering the rooftop with vegetation and soil to create a natural habitat for plants and wildlife. The benefits of having a living roof are numerous; it helps reduce energy consumption by providing insulation, improves air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reduces stormwater runoff by retaining rainwater on the rooftop and provides aesthetic appeal to your home.

However, before opting for this type of roofing system, it’s essential to consider factors such as weight restrictions on your building structure and maintenance requirements. A professional roofer can help you determine if your house is suitable for this type of roofing system.

Choosing the right type of roof covering material depends on various factors such as budget constraints, architectural design preferences or environmental concerns.

Solar Tiles

types of roof covering

These tiles are designed to look like traditional roof shingles but come with built-in solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. They offer an eco-friendly solution for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint while also saving on energy bills.

One of the main advantages of solar tiles is that they can be seamlessly integrated into your existing roof design without compromising its aesthetic appeal. Unlike bulky solar panels, these sleek and low-profile tiles blend in perfectly with your roofing material, giving your home a modern and sophisticated look.

Another benefit of using solar tiles is that they generate clean energy from a renewable source – the sun! This means you’ll be reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also enjoying significant savings on electricity bills over time.

However, it’s worth noting that installing solar tile roofs can be more expensive than traditional roofing options due to their advanced technology. But if you’re looking for long-term cost savings coupled with environmental benefits, then investing in this type of roof covering may well prove worthwhile over time!

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