Roof Repairs & Installation
Your Roof, Your Choices
Asphalt Shingles | Ceramic | Mosaic | Clay | Metal | Slate | EDPM | Rolled
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Metal roofing comes in steel, aluminum, copper, and alloy strips, and in various shapes and textures. Copper is especially expensive. Over time, its surface acquires a greenish patina that some people find attractive. Advantages of metal include easy installation and it's ultra-lightweight, about half the weight of asphalt. And of course metal roofing doesn't burn. But it can be noisy in a rainstorm. Although the steel strips we tested dented easily, their textured surface hid minor damage quite well. Such roofing effectively reflects the sun's rays, so it keeps your home cooler in summer—a benefit in hot climates. Make sure you hire a contractor who is familiar with the material.
Slate Roof Shingles
This composite material looks like the real thing, even close up. And it weighs about the same as asphalt, so there's no need to beef up the roof structure. Made of a variety of compositions, including plastic/polymer, clay, rubber or asphalt, fake slate is slipperier than real slate. (If you live in a snowy climate, consider installing snow guards as well.) Some fake slate may crack under impact or may fade. And it is relatively costly, though not nearly as expensive as slate.
Asphalt Roofing Shingles
The most popular by far, asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass sandwiched between asphalt and ceramic granules. Relatively light and easy to install, they are a good choice if you're looking for style at a budget price. They may last 30 years or more but can be vulnerable to high winds. Asphalt roofing comes in two types. Laminated shingles, also known as "architectural" or "dimensional" shingles, are layered, and their thickness and depth make them look more like slate or wood shakes. Three-tab asphalt shingles, though similarly priced, are made in a single layer. They're flatter and thinner than laminated shingles and didn't perform as well in past tests. What's more, falling prices for laminated shingles are helping them grab more and more of the market.