What Is The Best Roofing Material?

What Is The Best Roofing Material?

When looking to begin a home remodeling project, research is always a great first step. If you’re thinking of replacing your roof, there are several options to choose from. We at Brennan have compiled a comprehensive guide to the medley of roofing materials and styles available (select to jump to section):


Asphalt

Types: Fiberglass, Organic

Styles: Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles are the most common option for residential roofs in the United States. Why? For one, they are durable in a wide array of climates, holding up in heavy rains, snow, and warmth. Made of fiberglass or other organic materials (like paper or cellulose), asphalt shingles are one of the more affordable options. You can find these shingles in colors to match any design theme.

A contractor hammers a nail into an asphalt shingle on a residential roof.

Organic asphalt roof shingles tend to be heavier. They hold up well in high winds but are more porous than other options. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are lightweight, durable and offer great fire protection. Depending on the climate, asphalt roofing can last between 10-30 years. The more extreme the climate, the lower the lifespan of the shingle.

Brennan offers several lines of asphalt shingles such as:

GAF Timberline®

GAF Designer Lifetime Roofing Shingles

Tamko Heritage® Premium Laminated Asphalt Shingles

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Wood

Driveway view of a mixed facade neo-eclectic home with a bright cedar wood shake roof and red brick chimney.

Types: Various woods like Cedar, Redwood, Cypress, Pine

Styles: Shakes, Shingles

Wood roofs add natural beauty to homes and are popular across the United States. You’ll see them featured on all kinds of home styles such as Bungalows, Tudor and Victorian. They're great whether you’re looking to create a rustic aesthetic, or desire symmetry. Wood shingles are the thinner option and are machine-cut. This gives the pieces a smooth and uniform appearance. Wood shakes are thicker and hand-cut, so they tend to be pricer.

8 pieces of deeply grained wood, 4 hand cut as shakes, 4 cut as shingles.

Because these shakes and shingles are made from a thick, organic material, they often provide great insulation benefits, offering energy savings to your home.

So what about longevity? Certain woods, like cedar and redwood, contain oils that resist moisture and insects. Also, with proper treatment, wood roofing has a comparable lifespan with asphalt. Treated wood shake and shingles can also meet Class A fire ratings and decrease maintenance, but this can increase the cost of the materials. Once it’s time to replace, this material is easy to recycle.

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Metal

A modern home with a stucco facade, panel garage door, and a black standing seam metal roof.

Types: Aluminum, Steel, Zinc, Copper

Styles: Panel, Shingle, Shake, Tile, Slate, Corrugated/R-Panel, Seam  

Eco-friendly and trendy! Metal roofs are not just for barns anymore. Why the increase in popularity? A few reasons: Class A fire resistance, malleability (able to mimic shingles, shakes, tile, etc), extremely long lifespan (often 30-50 years minimum), lightweight, and energy efficient.

Style options are endless, so don’t think that a traditional corrugated roof is all you’d have to look forward to. Concerned about rust? Metal roofs these days are coated to combat this issue. Metal roofs can be installed as large panels or can be purchased in shingle, shake, and tile styles and in a variety of colors. That said, they can be suited to a wide range of home trends.

Interested in learning more about metal roofing? Check out a few of the shake, shingle, slate and panel styles available for residential buildings:

Tilcor Antica Steel Roofing

Tilcor Craftsman Shake Steel Roofing

Tamko MetalWorks AstonWood® Steel Shingles

Tamko MetalWorks StoneCrest® Slate Steel Shingles

Mueller R Panel

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Tiles

Contractor installing a large red clay tile on a roof covered in s-shape tiles.

Types: Clay, Concrete, Fiber Cement

Styles: Overlapping, Interlocking, Roman, Pantiles

One of the most distinctive roofing styles. Tiles can be made of a variety of materials such as clay, concrete or fiber cement. Tiles, particularly made from clay, are one of the oldest roofing options. Advancements in technology have yielded better performance and longevity out of this classic option. Concrete tiles are a lighter weight option, while fiber cement is the lightest option, containing a blend of wood, clay, and cement.

While contemporary tile roofs are lighter than those of yesteryear, they are one of the heavier options. Clay, concrete and fiber cement is fire and insect resistant, and are one of the longer-lasting roof options, often functional for 50+ years.

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Composite

A grey DaVinci Roofscapes composite slate roof on a residential building with a red brick facade.

Types: Polymer (resin), Fiberglass

Styles: Shingle, Slate, Shake

Composite, meaning “made up of various parts or elements”, refers to the variety of synthetic materials used to create these shingles, slate and shake tiles. Most often, composite roofing material will be made of some combination of polymers, vinyl and/or fiberglass. One major benefit of composite roofing lies in the longevity of these man-made materials. They’re also usually lightweight. Since so much of our everyday products contain polymers, vinyl, and fiberglass, these materials are easy to shape into a variety of roof styles to provide realistic impressions of asphalt, wood, clay, stone, etc. Composite roofing materials also tend to be a more economical roofing selection as well.

Brennan carries DaVinci Roofscapes composite shake and slate products:

DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Shake

DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Slate

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Slate

A close up of natural slate tiles on a roof reflecting a beam of sunlight.

Type: Natural metamorphic rock

Styles: Tiles

Natural slate is sourced from quarries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. One of the oldest roofing materials, slate’s regal appearance conjures images of large stately manors that have endured through the centuries. That image is well earned, as slate is one of the longest lasting materials available for roofing, often performing for 100+ years with minimal maintenance.  

The heaviest roofing material, genuine slate requires professional, experienced installation and extra framing. There are many options in the way of synthetic slate, like that offered by DaVinci Roofscapes. Their composite slate is a much lighter weight option that boasts the longevity of a premium home roof.

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The right roof for your home is based on the performance, durability, and aesthetic you envision. Want to learn more about your roofing options? Contact Brennan at 817-860-9767 to schedule a  free consultation today.





 

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