Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular type of roofing and represent more than 80 per cent of the market. But these traditional shingles are petroleum based and not environmentally friendly. They are also not as durable as other options.
As a homeowner today, you have many other choices offering better protection and longevity for your roof. If you are looking for a durable, lightweight material for your new roof, consider some of these materials:
Plastic polymer shingles are lightweight roof tiles moulded to look like a traditional roof. However, they are stronger than traditional materials and can be installed over existing asphalt shingles, allowing you to get the benefits of a new roof without the time and expense of stripping your old one.
Moulded plastic tiles are rated against fire and hail, meaning the roof will be incredibly durable. Synthetic tiles can mimic the look of slate, cedar, or Spanish tile. Plastic polymer can be an eco friendly option if you choose tiles made from recycled materials. They are also easy to recycle when it’s time to replace the roof.
Traditionally, concrete roofs were considered a less expensive option for homeowners who wanted a tile roof. They were very durable but almost as heavy as tile, requiring structural reinforcement to roofing joists. However, modern lightweight concrete tiles can weigh less than six pounds per square foot.
Concrete tiles require a lot of energy to produce, but they can last a long time. They usually have the highest rating - Class A - for fire safety. Concrete roofs are available in many looks, replicating cedar, slate, Mediterranean tile, and Spanish tile.
Metal roofs can be steel, copper, aluminium, or zinc alloys. Most people think of metal roofs as overlapping sheets, but you can also purchase metal shingles in a variety of colours.
Metal roofs are very eco friendly. They can be made from recycled materials, and are easily recyclable when your roof needs replacing. They are more durable than asphalt tiles, lasting at least 30 per cent longer. As an added bonus, metal reflects heat and homes with metal roofs absorb one third less heat than a home with a traditional asphalt roof.
Depending on the material you choose, a metal roof can be moderately to very expensive. Cooper is the priciest option, but steel and aluminium roofs offer more moderate prices.
Rubber composite is also known as synthetic slate because the tiles mimic the look of a slate roof. They are cheaper and lighter than slate, however. Like ceramic tile roofing, slate is heavy enough to require additional reinforcements to roofing joists. Slate is also difficult to install and requires trained experts. In contrast, a rubber composite roof is simple to install and does not require reinforcement.
Rubber tiles are very eco friendly. They are made from post-industrial synthetic materials, often old tires and saw dust. Rubber roofs are incredibly durable, and their flexibility makes them resilient to hail and wind damage.
Next time you need to replace your roof, don’t automatically choose old-fashioned asphalt shingles. Once you realize that you have other options and start to research the benefits, you’ll have a better idea of the best roofing material to meet your needs.