Roofing Material Options For Your Home

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 at 10:42am.

5 Roofing Materials You Should Use on Your HomeA home’s roof will naturally wear down over time, and depending on what it’s made out of, it may have a lifetime of 20-30 years or longer before needing to be replaced. Replacing a roof is a big job that homeowners want to do as little as possible, and picking the right material can help a roof last a long time. But what are the different types of roofing materials available? Here are some of the best roofing material options and what makes them good choices for a homeowner looking for new roofing materials.

Roofing Materials Overview

There are plenty of roofing materials to choose from, but some are definitely going to give you more value for the money than others. Throughout the years there has been a wide variety of newer roofing products put out on the market, but asphalt shingles have stood the test of time and they remain one of the most popular types of shingles used on homes today. They are easy to repair, install and offer great value since they are inexpensive and easy to come by.

Fortunately, there are many different textures and colors to choose from when it comes to roofing materials that will help to bring out the best in your home. Wooden shakes and shingles are still available and many people choose them for the cultured traditional look they can bring to a home. They are not as popular as asphalt singles though since they are less fire resistant.

High-tech alternatives to the roofing materials that have been traditionally used are also offered by many companies. These newer types have been made to resist mold, insects, extreme weather conditions and fire. Some are also extremely lightweight, which makes them more versatile for a number of construction needs.

You can purchase roof shakes that are very lightweight made of aluminum, which are a popular choice for homes that are looking for energy efficient solutions. They help to keep the house warmer during the cold winter months and cooler during the heat of summer.

There are also high-tech roofing solutions that use cement that has been fiber-reinforced and they are lightweight like premium or wood shingles. They are available as wood shakes or in shingle or slate forms. Other base materials include galvanized steel and acrylic resins with earth stone that have been bonded to aluminum to create a tiled and rich look much like wood shingles.

With all of the different types of roofing materials available you'll want to contact a reputable roofing company here in Calgary to take a look at all of your options. It's important to measure the cost of the materials against the potential energy savings when making your decision. Some roofing materials end up paying for themselves after a few years in the form of substantial energy savings!

The Classic: Composition and Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles for Your RoofAlthough they may go by two different names, these are the same shingles, and they’re the most popular roofing option for residential roofing and can be easily identified by the asphalt base covered in granules that give it the look of extremely rough sandpaper. Asphalt shingles are cost-effective, and it’s hard to find a roofer who doesn’t know how to install them, so there shouldn’t be any need to find a niche specialist. This type of shingle will typically last around 20 years, but they’re known to go longer as well. For those looking for an affordable roofing material, because of how widely used and accessible asphalt shingles are, they’re the cheapest roofing material on this list.

For a Rustic Look: Wooden Shingles

Wooden shingles used to be popular before the rise of the asphalt variety, but now they’re more difficult to find used on homes. While they’re more expensive than asphalt shingles, wooden shingles can last up to 50 years if the home is in a location with a dry climate. If the home is in a wet climate, the homeowner will find moss and lichen growing on their roof, which will need to be cleaned regularly. Wooden shingles can be a fire hazard if they aren’t specially treated to be fire resistant, and that can make them a safety hazard, so homeowners interested in wooden shingles should be aware of their building code before investing any money in them.

For Aesthetic: Clay and Concrete Tiles

While not very common in Canada, red clay tiles can be found easily in the southern United States due to the Mexican influence. While many people associate clay tile roofs with a south-of-the-border look, there are many different styles that clay tiles can be formed into, including but not limited to:

  • Mission tile
  • French tile
  • Interlocking shingle tile
  • Spanish tile
  • Monarch tile
  • Scandia tile
  • Barrel tile

Clay tiles can even be made to look like wooden shingles and shakes or even slate, so they’re extremely versatile, and homeowners should be able to find a style that reflects their own personal aesthetic without much trouble.

While clay tiles are great in the dry southern climates, homeowners who are interested in using them should make sure to use glazed tiles instead, otherwise moss will be a constant problem. Homeowners also need to make sure their home in High River can support the weight of the tiles, as they can be extremely heavy.

For the Environment: Slate

More common on the east coast, slate different from common asphalt shingles because the slates hang off of nails and aren’t glued down. Because of this, they’re best suited to steep roofs. Homeowners who are eco-conscious will be interested to know that slate roofs are environmentally friendly, and the slates can be reused on different homes should the home ever be torn down or the homeowner decides to choose a new material for their roof. Slate is the most expensive roofing option on this list, so homeowners need to account for these factors when choosing a material. 

For Durability: Metal Tiles

Before residential use, metal were predominantly used just for farms and commercial buildings, but now these tiles can be made to look like wooden shingles and other materials, so homeowners can have the durability of metal without sacrificing the aesthetic of other materials. Metal tiles are extremely durable, but they’re more expensive than most other materials because of it, and homeowners also need to be aware that the grooves in the tiles can trap leaves, so they need to be cleaned fairly often.

Plant-Topped Roofing

Green Plant Roofs for the EnvironmentHave you ever heard of green roofing? And, no, not an energy-efficient roof—a plant-covered roof. Did you even know that there was such a thing as a plant roof? Well there is, and in today's environment anything that can be done to help keep this planet clean is a benefit that can't be overlooked.

What is a Green Roof?

A plant-topped roof allows vegetation to grow on top of a roofing structure that is man-made. It consists of a system for drainage, a system for repelling roots and a medium for growing plants. Plant roofs have been quite a popular item in Europe and are slowly making their way over to North America. Both businesses and homes can make use of plant roofs to help protect the environment.

The Value of Plant Roofs in Calgary

Calgary plant roofs supply vegetation to the urban infrastructure without using up any ground space. It is just a simple matter of making good use of neglected space.

When you add plants to a rooftop they act as a natural insulator and help to reduce heating bills. They absorb water that would otherwise head to the drains, which helps take some of the pressure off the draining systems. They offer a natural retreat for birds and help to keep the city cool.

Energy Value of Plant Roofs

You can feel the heat in the city as sunlight is stored in the roofs and then released. With Calgary plant roofs, the city would be cooled down and would certainly look a lot nicer from above.

There are 2 different kinds of plant roofs.

    • Extensive green roofs: These green roofs are lighter than intensive roofs since they weigh approximately 20 to 50 pounds per square foot. There is little maintenance required and they support groundcover that is hearty and native.
    • Intensive green roofs: These roofs are heavier, weighing in at 50 - 90 pounds per square foot. They require structural support since they can hold trees, benches, shrubs and even walkways. They are like a miniature park on top of a building.

While Calgary is quite far away from having a grass roof on every building in the city, it is something to look forward to the future.  As more people get on the environmental bandwagon, plant roofs will become a popular trend that will be sure to last.

These are some of the most common different roofing materials on the market, and between them, there should be something to suit every homeowner’s needs. Homeowners interested in any of these roof materials should make sure their roof can handle the option they want and look for a local roofer who knows how to install the material. For more information about these and other roofing materials, be sure to consult a local roofing specialist.

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