A Look at Some Alternative Roofing Options
Asphalt shingles are the most popular materials for roofing a home in North America. With thousands of asphalt roofing companies here in the United States alone, asphalt shingles make for an easy to install, attractive and affordable addition to any smaller home. But do you really want to go with asphalt shingles? Check out these other roofing materials and find out for yourself which roofing product is best for your home.
Asphalt shingles come in two basic forms—organic and fiberglass. In the case of organic, an organic material, like paper or cotton is used to create the substructure of the asphalt shingle. It then receives multiple coats of hot asphalt mix and layers of organic materials. Granules are added to the surface, and then the shingles are baked in a furnace to harden and cure.
Fiberglass shingles are more fire resistant and can therefore be heated in the kiln under higher temperatures. This strengthens the materials more and provides a longer lasting and more durable material than organic materials.
Let’s begin by answering the question directly—do I want asphalt shingles or not? To really find out, it’s best to weigh the pros against the cons and decide which features are right for your home:
- Multiple Design Options
- Can Be Recycled
- Quick Installation
- Average Age is 5-15 Years
- Not Energy Efficient
- Not Tolerant to Extreme Hot or Cold Conditions
- Can’t Be Used on Roof Slopes Less Than a 3:12 Pitch
Materials like wood and slate shingles have been used as a roofing product for thousands of years. Slate and wood have a look and mystique about them that can make them seem like an inferior roofing material, when in fact, with the proper maintenance and care, wood and slate shingles have been known to last well over one hundred years. With oil prices on the rise, they can make for an affordable alternative to asphalt shingles, all while adding the perfect architectural details to your home.
Advantages of Cool Roofing:
Metal roofing comes in several different grades with varying lifespans. Metal roofing can be made from a wide variety of metals and paints, making it a little tough to choose the right material. It also ranges in thickness, further confusing the buyer. The bottom line is: the thicker the metal and protective coating, the longer it will last, but the more costly it will be. Many metal roofing products have very long warranties—some are even last lifetimes. Here’s a list of metal roofing grades that start at the cheap end of the spectrum and go up from there:
- Unpainted Galvanized- Zinc galvanized steel: 5-10 year warranty
- Unpainted Galvalum- Aluminum/zinc galvanized steel: 10-20 year warranty
- Painted Galvanized- Galvanized steel painted with a protective zinc coating: 20-30 year warranty
- Painted Galvalum- Galvalum painted with a zinc and silicon coating: 30-40 year warranty
- Copper- Aesthetically appealing material that develop a green patina with age. These materials are 100 percent recyclable, last a lifetime, but can be very costly
- SMP Galvanized- Considered the start of the cool metal roofing systems. Premium galvanized steel painted with a silicone-modified polyester paint product that protects against UV damage and adds a protective layer against radiant energy: 40-50 year warranty
- SMP Galvalum- Premium grade galvalumed steel that is covered with a thicker layer of silicone-modified polyester and is the ultimate in UV and radiant heat protection: Lifetime warranty
Clay TilesAffordable and adorable, clay tiles offer a look like no other roofing material. While the style of clay tiles might not attract everyone, the lifespan and energy efficiency of the product certainly will. Clay tile installations increase LEED ratings of the structure, making it more energy efficient as well as possibly making it eligible for certain local, state and federal monetary incentives. Clay tiles come in a huge variety of shapes, shades and styles, allowing you to get the perfect roofing design and at a great price. Did I mention they are also 100 percent recyclable with some companies actually selling 100 percent recycled products?
Cool Metal Roofing Coalition: www.coolmetalroofing.org/
U.S. Department of Energy, Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency: Energy Savers