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Having a sturdy roof that looks attractive is one of the perks of owning a home. It might not seem like a big deal, but when people come to visit, they’ll notice. A good roof can make a home feel warm and inviting, but a bad one can turn your exterior into an awkward spectacle for passers-by. Some roofing choices are more cost-effective than others, but each of these popular styles comes with unique advantages that make it worth considering when building or renovating your home.

Asphalt Shingles: The Most Popular Choice

Asphalt is the most commonly seen option. It has been a staple of roofing for over 100 years and is best known for its ability to suit almost any style of home. Asphalt is also notable for its affordability; it tends to have one of the lowest costs for supply and installation. Asphalt comes in two varieties and two styles. As far as material goes, you can choose between fiberglass and organic. Fiberglass weighs less and is easier to install. Organics are denser and provide more resistance to high winds.

Asphalt shingles come in architectural and 3-tab styles. Architectural shingles are thicker and come in more shapes and sizes. They’ve gained popularity in the last 30 years due to their durability and aesthetics. Unfortunately, they also cost more. 3-tabs are the most common choice. They’re lightweight, with a consistent shape, and are the most cost-efficient type of asphalt. If you’ve lived in an apartment complex, it’s likely that your building had 3-tab shingles. The low cost of asphalt means that these shingles can be prone to damage. In hotter climates, with overexposure to sunlight, asphalt roofs can crack, lowering the value of your home.

The Positives:

  • Affordable
  • Very easy to find
  • Looks great with almost every house style

The Negatives:

  • Easily damaged
  • Replacing one section usually requires replacing the whole roof
  • May not last as long in hot weather

Wooden Shingles or Shakes: The Natural Beauty

If you want to add more style to your home, wood is the way to go. Wood comes in two styles, shingles and shakes. The main difference between the two is in their manufacturing. Wood shingles are cut using machines, which allows for smoother edges and gives a consistent appearance to your roof. Shakes are cut by hand, are generally thicker than shingles, and are less uniform, giving your house a unique feel.

A roof made with treated wood will boast a Class A fire rating, which can add value. Wooden shingles also offer better insulation—double that of asphalt—and can last as much as ten years longer. In contrast to asphalt’s environmental footprint, these shingles and shakes are fully recyclable and are often made from trees that are salvaged from storm damage or too old to stand. If you neglect to clean them, plants like moss or algae can take root and damage your roof. The cost of these shingles increases when they are made from treated wood. Shingles without treatment will only offer you a Class C fire rating. While saving money is always tempting, untreated shingles cost even more to fix when they become damaged than treated shingles cost in the first place.

The Positives:

  • Very durable
  • A beautiful addition to any home
  • Treated wood has a Class A fire rating

The Negatives:

  • Untreated wood has a Class C fire rating
  • Costly to replace or repair
  • Higher maintenance

Metal: The Original Roofing

Metal roofing has been around since the Bronze Age, and with good reason—it’s built to last. Most roofs made with metal can go without replacing for up to 100 years. As a bonus, many contractors offer warranties for 50 years.
This style is often used on sheds and barns, but recent advances allow for a more versatile look, and its popularity for home use has increased. You can find metal roofing in a wide array of colors.

If you’re looking to save money on energy bills, then metal is a great choice. Its reflective surface will keep your home cool on hot summer days, and its nonstick paneling prevents rain and snow from getting trapped. Metal is also lightweight and completely recyclable, and while it may cost more up front, its longevity makes it a competitive option.

While metal also has a Class A fire rating, the fact that it is more challenging to penetrate makes things challenging for firefighters in the unlikely event of an emergency. Although snow cannot become trapped in metal roofs, it can clump up and fall all at once, which can be dangerous. But the most overlooked issue with metal is sound— This annoyance can be remedied by making sure that your roof is built over a substrate.

The Positives:

  • Lasts up to 100 years
  • Comes in many colors
  • Has a Class A fire rating

The Negatives:

  • Can get damaged by falling debris
  • Replacing it can be costly
  • Heavy rainfall can be very loud

Slate Tiling: Lasts for a Lifetime

Even though metal roofs last a long time, slate roofing can last even longer. This highly durable material is known to last for well over 100 years, and many manufacturers will offer warranties for that duration. It also tends to have a higher resale value. The density of slate creates a waterproof seal for your roof, and it won’t ever get mossy or moldy. Slate is also fairly low maintenance; even when the weather gets bad, you can count on a slate roof to protect your house and look good doing it.
But while slate increases your property value, it also requires a hefty sum to install. But the biggest issue might be its weight. If your home’s frame isn’t strong enough to handle the burden of slate roofing, then it might not be an option at all.

The Positives:

  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Low maintenance
  • Increases property value

The Negatives:

  • Heavier than other materials
  • Expensive to build and to replace
  • Difficult to install

Roofing Material Takeaways:

While the typical lifetime of an asphalt roof is 30 years, in harsher climates you might only get ten years out of one roofing, however, they are the most affordable option. Wooden shingles are more aesthetically pleasing but require regular cleaning and maintenance.  Metal Roofing will last for 50 years, but, if you install a metal roof above a wood frame, and more specifically, above your living area, you will hear every single drop of rain hitting your home. Slate will last an entire century but is one of the most expensive roofing materials, and on the off-chance that it does get damaged, the repair costs are also high.

Whether you opt for the traditional shingle roof or want to give a slate or a metal roof a try, Industry Elite is fully qualified to meet your needs. We have been servicing homeowners in Plainfield and the surrounding western Chicago suburbs for many years with their home exterior construction projects and repairs.

Contact us today about your next roofing project, and we will provide you with a FREE consultation and quote!