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Knowledge Base

Benefits and How to Choose The Right Roofing Material


It doesn’t matter if you are interest in roofing materials such as clay tile, asphalt shingles, wood shake, slate roofing or metal roofs, most homeowners just want to purchase a roof that is durable, safe, long lasting and requires little to none maintenance. Unfortunately, a majority of the roofs are replaced or repaired every ten years. Although this is so, after researching and carefully choosing your home's roofing material, you can lower costs and expense by reducing the cost of replacement and repair. Not only is this beneficial, but finding the perfect type of roofing materials, you'll consume less building material, fill up less landfill space with unwanted material, and put less demand on our stressed natural resources.  

There are other benefits in choosing the right type of roofing materials. By choosing a light-coloured roofing material, the house will reflect more heat and result in lower energy consumption to keep the place cool during the summer months. The right type of roofing can also insulate heat better in the winter. Thus, purchasing the right type of roofing can ultimately save you money on energy bills.


The Variety of Roofing Materials


In the roofing marketplace today, numerous materials are being used to form the perfect roof for the consumers. These products can range from thatch - dried grass, to slate - pieces of stone. Modern industrial products like plastic, fiberglass and concrete are also available for use, and on top of that some highly innovative, energy-efficient homes are being roofed with sod. New and different products are being researched and developed to overcome the shortcomings of older roofing materials. To become more innovative and durable, producers and manufacturers’ are improving on the strength and low maintenance factors of roofing products to meet the demands of modern building techniques, and conform to building codes. A quick summary on the most popular types of roofing is provided below.


Shingles Roofing products are common in the roofing market and are easy to install and durable. Generally known as composition shingles, higher-quality versions such as asphalt shingles, wood shingles, cedar shingles and fiberglass shingles are also available and provide a durable option; some may be available with recycled content. These are easy to install as it can be nailed on quickly and provide a low-maintenance set-up for busy homeowners. Most are approved with a Class A fire proof standard. However, the downside to this is that it is weak against strong winds and can be blown off. Also, material can deteriorate when the weather is hot and does not give the dimensional look provided by roofing types like tile or shake roofing.



Wood Shake roofing offers a natural look to the house and adds character and prestige. Due to the individual characteristics of wood, there will never be two identical shake roofing. Thus, it keeps its personality and individuality of the home and creates something more elegant. Not only does it look stunning, energy benefits are available too as it helps to insulate the attic, and it allows the house to breathe. This type of roofing can circulate air through the small ridges and openings under the felt rows on which wooden shingles are laid. However, wood shake roofing must be properly maintained and will not last as long as other products. The major downfall and problems are mold, rot, and insects. The lifecycle costs of a shake roof are fairly high, and old shakes are not recyclable. These are unrated by the fire safety codes but are sprayed to prevent fires, though the protective coat lasts only a few years. Other types of shakes are manufactured to combat fires. Wood shake roofing are extremely hard to install, as parts and pieces must be fabricated in perfect measurements to fit the consumers’ home. 



Slate Roofing is very durable is another roofing material that shows up on more upscale homes. They are rocky in appearance and an expensive choice, but valuable it that it offers a very natural look and can be laid out in a variety of patterns. Slate roofing materials have a very long lifespan, good fire protection, low maintenance, and an invulnerably to rot and insects. It comes in a decent selection of sizes and colors, though it is limited due to its hard, earthy, and rugged properties. The downside is that it is heavy and extra supports are recommended. Installations will be tough for contractors along with tasks such as rooftop maintenance, gutter cleaning and painting.



Tile Roofing is another solution to a durable type of roofing material. Common tile roofing materials are clay tile and concrete tile. Clay tile roofing provides that look for homes with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish Villa design. These lasts a long time, are immune to fire, requires little maintenance, and are manufactured in a variety of colors, types, styles and brands. Unfortunately they are heavy and once again will require extra supports to keep them in place. In addition, they are fragile and add difficulty to the routine maintenance procedures like painting or cleaning rain gutters or fireplaces. Initial installation can be regarded as the toughest among the other types of roofing materials and are quite expensive. Another alternative to this are concrete tile. Some of these are coated with plastics, enamels, thin metals, and some contain recycled material to provide a range of durability and weight. Although they are not yet recyclable, durability and resource efficiency are its strong points.


Metal Roofs made from zinc, copper, and lead were the most popular materials used for roofing with standing-seam steel being the most popular type of metal roofing. It is versatile and can be made to mimic and resemble wood shakes, clay tiles, shingles, and metal tiles. Metal roofing are durable, fire retardant and almost maintenance-free. Researches showed that “metal absorbed 34 percent less heat than asphalt shingles, and homeowners switching to metal roofing reported saving up to 20 percent on their energy bills” – courtesy of The Florida Solar Energy Center in 1985. Metal roofing are lightweight, and can be installed over your existing roofs, thus saving the environment by eliminating the need to remove the old roofing. Metal roofing is not cheap and contends with the more expensive roofing materials available. A professional contractor is needed to install this type of roofing material as it can be complicated and require fabrication accordingly.


In addition to these materials, contractors also branch off to provide homeowners with other alternatives and solutions like asphalt roll roofing, fiber cement siding, synthetic roofing, retrofit pipe flashings, seam metal roofing, ceilings backerboard underlayment and other types of roofing related products. Because the materials used continue to become more durable and cost-effective, maintenance times are shorter and more innovative products are available to the consumer.

Remember to choose a roof specified to your needs and surroundings. A well thought out plan and blueprint will only make your purchases easier. By combining a certified and experienced contractor and your research, your roof should be professionally installed and can last for decades. Remember to visit our other pages for additional information and you can be on your way in purchasing your new roof!

CMT Contractors 5921 Moravia Park Drive Baltimore, Maryland 21206 Tel: 410-294-8545

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