If you’re putting a roof on a new home or need to replace your roof, you want to think carefully about your options. Most people end up choosing asphalt shingles simply because that’s the most common style in our country. Asphalt shingles are definitely not a bad option. Still, they aren’t your only choice. There may be another option that works better for your home. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of all of the most common roofing materials. This is so you can understand your options and find the one that you like the most or works best for your home.

Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Three-tab asphalt shingles were the industry standard for decades and were found in the vast majority of American homes. However, the roofing industry is now quickly phasing them out, mainly because they’re not very durable and typically only last for 15 to 25 years. Three-tab shingles are especially prone to damage from sun and heat. So they’re not really an ideal option in places like Texas where the summers tend to be extremely hot.

On the plus side, three-tab shingles are much more budget-friendly than most other roofing materials and are among the cheapest of all options. However, the fact that most manufacturers are phasing them out means you usually only have a few color options. It can be more difficult to find something that matches the rest of your home.

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural asphalt shingles, sometimes called dimensional or laminated shingles, have quickly replaced three-tab shingles as the new industry standard in the US. While they are more expensive, they also are much stronger, more durable and last far longer. They are rated as 30-, 40- or 50-year shingles based on how long they would typically last under ideal conditions. However, these ratings aren’t always that accurate. Most roofs with architectural shingles won’t last as long as they are rated for. This is since they can be quite prone to storm damage and cracking and weather due to heat and sun exposure.

In the US, almost all architectural shingles have to come with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. The word lifetime is a bit of a misnomer though. What it actually means is just that the manufacturer has to warrant against any defects for however long the roof lasts. Most asphalt shingles fail and need to be replaced due to general weathering or storm damage. The shingles may get damaged by hail or strong winds or they crack or break due to weathering or simply because of age. This means the warranty won’t cover them since it only protects against manufacturing defects.

Architectural shingles are much more visually appealing than three-tab shingles. They typically also cost a bit less than the majority of other roofing materials. They’re also available in a much wider range of colors. You can easily find an option that matches exactly what you’re looking for and seamlessly blends in with the rest of your home.

Slate Shingles

Slate shingles or tiles are extremely durable and will give your roof an unmatched beauty. They are cut from pieces of natural stone, which makes them much less resistant to weathering. It also allows them to last far longer than any other roofing material. Most slate roofs will last for 50 years at the very least and could even last for 100 to 200 years. However, slate tiles are fairly brittle and prone to cracking from the impact of hailstones and tree branches. The good thing is that any broken or cracked tiles can typically be replaced fairly easily without needing to replace the entire roof. This isn’t always possible with other types of roofing.

While slate roofs are durable, they are also extremely heavy so the roof requires lots of extra reinforcement to carry all of the weight. The tiles are also costly and take a long time to install, which makes a slate roof the most expensive of all the roofing options. Dark-colored slate tiles will absorb lots of heat, but light-colored tiles will reflect sunlight to help your home stay cooler in the summer.

Composite Shingles

Composite or synthetic shingles are a more recent addition to the roofing industry that is quickly gaining popularity. They are made from various synthetic materials that can be molded to look like slate tiles, wooden shake shingles, Spanish clay tiles, etc. This allows you to get the beauty of a slate or clay roof without the high cost and added weight. Most composite shingles look almost exactly like the real thing. The only time you’d really be able to notice that they weren’t real slate or clay tiles is if you’re standing on the roof.

Composite shingles typically fall somewhere in the middle of the price range. They’re always going to be more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they cost less than real slate or clay tiles. One advantage of choosing composite shingles is that they are more impact resistant and less prone to storm damage. They’re also more resistant more weathering and sun damage than asphalt shingles. In most cases, a composite roof will last for 40 to 50 years. This increased lifespan helps to offset the fact that they cost more upfront than asphalt shingles.

Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles are by far the most popular option for Spanish Colonial-style homes. They can also add a beautiful touch to more modern homes. They are among the most environmentally friendly of all available roofing options. They are made from natural clay that is molded into either curved or rectangular tiles. As with slate tiles, clay tiles are extremely durable and long lasting but also more prone to cracking from impacts or even just stepping on them wrong.

Again, this is less of an issue than with other roofing materials as any damaged tiles can be replaced fairly easily. When it comes to lifespan, clay tiles are only second to slate. A clay roof will typically last for up to 100 years, which is important considering that they’re also only second to slate in cost.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs have long been used on commercial buildings, but they’re increasingly becoming popular for residential roofs as well. Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but it is also less prone to damage and leaks. On average, a metal roof will last for 30 to 50 years so you may not ever need to worry about replacing your roof again.

There are several different types of metal roofing, but a standing-seam metal roof is usually the preferred choice for homes. On a standing-seam metal roof, all of the fasteners are hidden so that the roof has a much more streamlined, stylish appearance. You have a wide range of color choices when considering a metal roof. But you’re usually best off choosing a lighter color as a dark-colored metal roof will absorb lots of heat and become extremely hot in the summer.

Call the Roofing Professionals

Riker is the contractor to trust if you need any roofing services in the Plano area. We offer expert roofing installation, replacement and repair services, and we work with a wide range of different roofing materials. For more information on your roofing options or if you need any garage door services, contact the pros at Riker today.

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