Asphalt shingles are ubiquitous across the US due to their reliability and relative low cost compared to other potential roofing materials. They tend to last a shorter time than alternatives, however, so it's likely that older homes will need to have new shingles put on before too long. If your old asphalt shingles are wearing out and you're considering upgrading, here are a few options for your to consider based on your climate and aesthetic tastes.
Natural Wood Shingles Add Beauty And Longevity
Wood shingles are one of the most attractive traditional roofing materials available. They come in a wide range of wood colors, from red cedar to treated yellow pine, and they weather into a gorgeous silver color after their first few years on your roof. The color of weathered wood shingles is eye-catchingly unique, and it can lend a mystical, natural air to your home's appearance.
While wood may change color over time, its durability remains for up to 50 years, about 20 years longer than even the toughest asphalt shingles. Wooden shingles can also be made to interlock without nails or mortar, which can improve longevity as well. In some cases, the nails between shingles will rust and break long before the shingles themselves fail. Opting for a nail-free roof can prevent this.
Classic Slate Tiles Greatly Increase Durability
Slate is another traditional roofing material that has retained its popularity for its incredible durability and longevity. Slate tiles are far heavier and more solid than other roofing options, and the weight of the tiles ensures that they'll stay in place through much stronger winds than lighter materials would be able to withstand. A typical slate roof can last for generations, making it an ideal investment if you intend to pass your home on to your children.
On the other hand, slate's additional weight can make it costly to install, since you may have to add new supports to your home. A good solution for this is to use imitation slate or waste slate tiles, which share many properties with solid slate but are are lighter in weight. These tiles should still withstand rough weather, but their 50 year lifespan is not quite as long as that of natural slate.
Metal Sheets And Shingles Help Bust Snow Drifts
While other options may be better suited to warm climates, some forms of metal roofing are especially well suited to battling housetop snow drifts. This is partially due to how snow and metal interact: instead of weighing directly down on the home, snow drifts on metal roofs tend to weigh down at an angle toward the sides of your home. This can reduce the amount of direct weight the roof has to bear, lengthening its life and reducing your risk of stress-induced leaks.
Metal roofing is also well-suited to hydrophobic and ice-resistant coatings, which will repel snowflakes as they fall and also help to get rid of water as the snow melts, preventing refreezing. Coatings usually last a few months at a stretch, though, so you'll need to reapply them regularly to keep your roof at its most water-resistant.
Asphalt tiles are cheap and reliable for their short lifetime, but they're also common and not the most attractive choice. Plus, if you want to plan for a home that lasts over the generations, it's a good idea to invest in more long-lived roofing materials. If you're on the fence about which new roof to get, or you have questions about the options available, get in touch with your local residential roofing expert. A little professional guidance can go a long way when it comes to choosing the best roof for your home.