There are many types of roofing products to choose from and it's important to select a product that is ideal for the climate in which you live and one that will protect your home. A brief description of these products is below.
Composition shingles are one of the most used roofing products and are also known as asphalt shingles, fiberglass shingles, laminate shingles, dimensional shingles or architectural shingles. Originally these shingles were made from layers of paper that were saturated with asphalt to make them waterproof, then granules were embedded into the shingle to give it color and protection from the sun. These were called organic shingles and would tear easily, lasting barely twenty years. They are also known as three tab shingles because of the cutouts in the shingle that gave it three separate tabs.
Then fiberglass-reinforced shingles were introduced into the market. This shingle starts with a fiberglass mat that is coated with asphalt and then embedded with ceramic granules. These shingles are stronger, resist tears, and have a longer life span. The 3 tab design is still available but the asphalt shingle has mutated to a laminated type shingle. Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used shingles because of their walkability, looks, cost, and life span. The asphalt shingle has many designs.
Clay tiles give homes a unique and old-world look. They also come in different colors and shapes. Roofs like these are sometimes made from the local clay, molded and baked in a kiln.
A slate roof is one of the most interesting roofs to look at. With a little maintenance and correct installation, it can last 100 -150 years or more. It is such a visual roof, so the steeper the roof, the more visually appealing it is and they also carry the weight better than lessor sloped roofs.
The basic reason these roofs last so long is that slate is a tough, durable stone, quarried from places all over the world. The shale quarries where the slate is harvested were formed many thousands of years ago from layers of fine clay and silt sediment. This sediment is compressed under high pressure for thousands of years, making it a very dense mudstone. This squeezing of the geological crystals causes natural parallel cleavage planes. Having these cleavage planes make the stone split very easily, almost like a cedar shake would split. Slate is perfect for making all kinds of slate roof tiles. Colors are native to the country ground of the quarry, with flashes of different minerals present in the ground, it can give the slates a variety of colors and blends or be the same color. There are many sizes of slates, from thickness to width and length.
Cedar shakes and shingles are and have been one of the most popular types of roofing because of their durability. Not as many people feel as comfortable with them regarding fire and life span. Permanently fire retardant genuine cedar shakes with class A, B or C ratings are available and still are being installed. These high-quality cedar shakes after being milled are placed in pressure treatment cylinders where fire retardants are injected into the inner cells of the wood. The material then goes through a polymerization process that locks in the fire retardants into the wood fibers. The shakes then are tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association.
Standing seam roofs are not only durable, but they also look great. The roof is made up of preformed panels that are locked together from one end of the roof to the other. These panels come in a variety of baked-on enamel colors and in some cases, traditional copper is used. Typically this type of roof is installed in higher elevations and on steep roofs to allow snow to slide off easily.
Most stone coated roofing is made from aluminum-zinc alloy coated steel. It is architecturally designed to look like the heavier concrete tile roofs but weighs only 1.6 pounds per square foot. The coating is a stone chip finish that is acrylic bonded to the steel surface. The stone coating is what protects the product from the sun's UV rays and resists fading. It has durability and beauty for a longer life cycle than cedar. These shakes are virtually maintenance-free and have a sustainable advantage of 50 years.
Concrete roof tile is made of sand, cement and water. Concrete tile is available from many manufacturers in several different styles colors and textures.
Synthetic roofing products are tiles which are made to replicate the exact appearance of natural slate, shake and Spanish tile alternatives, which are generally made from recycled materials.
These roof systems are commonly referred to as "tar and gravel" roofs. BUR systems generally are composed of alternating layers of asphalt and reinforcing fabrics that create a finished membrane. Sometimes a roll with a granulated surface on top is used.
Membranes are hybrids of the built up system, only pre manufactured in the factory. The products come in rolls, and are modified asphalt or coal tar systems with a rubber added for low temperature and elongation characteristics. They can be applied with hot tar, torch, cold adhesives or self adhered with a peel of backing.
Single-ply roofing systems are just that, a single ply of a roofing material made from several types of polymer plastics and rubbers. These three are the most common: TPO, PVC, EPDM.
SPF-based roof systems are constructed by mixing and spraying a two-component liquid that forms the base of a roof system.
Liquid applied coatings are typically made of high-tech polymeric resins such as urethanes, acrylics, silicones, or bitumens which have been modified with polymers. These roofs are applied as a liquid and may or may not rely on reinforcing material, but cure to form a tough, rubber-like membrane. Liquid applied coatings are monolithic (no seams) and are typically considered self-flashing.
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