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Various Types of Roofing Materials

Various Types of Roofing Materials
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Before doing a roofing project, one might not understand how wide the selection of roofing material. Only a part of shingles in a local home improvement warehouse can be enough to make an amateur head spin. Shingles is just the beginning; there are various kinds of materials to be decided between when starting a roof project. To begin with clarifying, the roofing material is the visible top layer of the roof. Roofing material is intended for the purpose of isolation and protection from external elements, with secondary functions as aesthetics.

There are several roofing materials made from natural elements. The thatched roof is made of overlapping plant material and can still be found throughout Europe and the UK. The thatched roof may look outdated but some can have a very long life expectancy and protect well against the elements. Most straw roof applications are currently in developing countries. But, there are many rich people who choose straw to make a rustic look or have a more environmentally conscious home. Slate is another natural material and many roofs around the world are still used. Slate is a type of stone that can be broken into tiles easily because of its fine grain. Slate is mostly used in Europe and England but can be found in several places in America as well. Slate roofs are very durable but can also be very expensive. Also, 90% of slate roofs in Europe come from slate found in Spain.

The type of roofing material that most Americans are familiar with is shingles. While shingles includes a variety of ingredients, it is generally used to describe overlapping rectangular materials. Shingles can be made from wood (shakes), slate, asphalt (bitumen), ceramics, or composites. With the development of new materials throughout history, wood shingles and paper-based asphalt are used far less because of the risk of flammability. The most common type of roofing in America is fiberglass-based asphalt shingles.

Another common type of roofing material is tiles. Tiles are made of ceramic and are very fragile and break easily, therefore it should not be used in areas where large debris can fall and damage it. Tile is a material that is very popular in Mediterranean countries and also in South Germany. Tiles can be found throughout America as well and are common in tropical climates such as Florida. Tiles are excellent protectors against rain and fire and this is one of the reasons why they spread so quickly to certain areas.

Metal is also a popular material that is still used throughout the world. Metal roofing can range from inexpensive for developing countries to very expensive for affluent homeowners. Metal has many advantages compared to other types of roofing material. Metal is resistant to almost all types of natural elements and is very energy efficient. There are various metals used in roofs including (but not limited to):

  • Aluminum
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • Iron
  • Stainless steel

When you choose what type of material to use for your new roof, be sure to look at each of the available options. There are many types of roofing materials and all of them have advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes getting off track and getting really unique materials can make your home stand out from the rest.