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How to Choose the Right Roof Material for your Home

The Asphalt shingle is the most common roofing material on the market today. It is comprised of three basic materials. A fiberglass matting, compressed asphalt and a granular surface that is exposed to the elements.
These materials are suited to just about any climate in the U.S but there are some things that affect the lifespan of this material. The basic design of this material setís it up for faster deterioration due to certain conditions. The fiberglass mat is nothing but a base for the asphalt which is the waterproofing element of this roofing material. The problem is that ultraviolet rays and extreme heat deteriorate asphalt very quickly. This is where the granules come in. They protect the asphalt from the suns destructive rays. The asphalt has a lower lifespan on low pitch roofs because they get more direct sunlight. This is not because of the ultraviolet rays, but rather the extreme heat from the more direct sunlight.

Hail storms are another enemy of the asphalt shingle because they knock off the granules that protect the asphalt from the U.V. rays.

The next type of roofing to cover is metal roofing. These are strong and stable roofs. There are a few drawbacks to them though. They need some kind of insulation or moisture barrier between them and the roof structure to prevent wood rot from condensation on the metal roofing material as temperatures change. If the surface is painted you can have panel fade over the years that can cause a color variance on your home. The last downfall of the metal roof is probably the most important. Most metal roofing companies will tell you that metal roofing is maintenance free. This is not the case. Expansion and contraction of the metal over the years can cause the fastening system to work lose and this can cause leaks and damage to your home and it is fairly expensive to correct. So make sure to have your metal roof checked every year after the 10 year mark.

The last basic system for residential is the wooden shake. This is a wonderful choice as long as you are not in a humid and hot climate. This is not the ideal roofing system for the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the lower east coast. They will not last over 15 years on average without major mold, mildew and rotting of the materials. But it has great insulating qualities and ads instant additional value to your home.

There are many good roofing materials available for your new roof and most are top quality materials. Choose wisely and you will have many years of protection for your home.

About the Author: C.J.Gannon is a Retired Residential General Contractor and now writes for several construction companies to educate buyers on the construction process so that consumers can make decisions with confidence about their Home Improvement Projects

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