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Popular Types of Roofing: What's the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

Popular Types of Roofing: What's the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

What type of roof should you choose? It might seem like a tough decision. There are many different types of roofing available, so it's important to know your options before making a final decision. Our professional roofing installers are experts in specialty roofing, such as metal roofing, rubber roofing, cedar roofing, flat roofing, clay tile roofing, and slate roofing systems. Here are some popular types of roofs and the pros and cons of each to help you find what roof system will suit your home best.

How to choose the right type of roof for your home

Metal roofs and Asphalt roofing is the traditional roof for the majority of roofs in North America. Metal roofs are composed of iron and steel and can be over or underneath asphalt or shingle roofs. On the other hand, asphalt shingles are not entirely asphalt but have fibreglass or felt paper base coated with a waterproof layer of asphalt topped with granules usually made with ceramic. Both metal and asphalt are easy enough to install and is in part why they are so popular; however, if installed incorrectly can create a variety of home and roof issues. Professional roofing installers can retrofit some buildings with metal roofs to create less impact on the exterior.

Different types of roofs

Metal Roofing Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting. Metal roofs are easy to install and require less frequent maintenance compared to other roofing systems. Metal roofs are easy to clean and maintain since anyone can easily wash down metal shingles with a hose. The only downside to metal roofs is that they do tend to get hot in the summer. The material used to make a metal roof can vary. Most metal roofs are steel or concrete but are made from a variety of materials. These types of roofs are popular for their heavy durability and long life span. Weather Resistant, Single Ply or Dual-Ply Single-ply or dual-ply metal roofs are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They're also easy to clean. The material used to make a single-ply or dual-ply roof is often aluminum or steel.

Metal roofing

Metal roofing is made from steel, copper, tin, iron, aluminum, and zinc. In most instances, you can buy metal roofing material from your local hardware store. Although it is relatively expensive, this type of roof is safer, has a longer lifespan, and it is the roofing type recommended for the highest wind and storm damage level. Some popular styles of metal roofing include flat and pitched.

Pros: Metal roofing offers longevity. It is more resistant to rot than other types of roofing. Metal roofs means will last longer and require less work and maintenance. The cover materials are resistant to scuffs and scratches and won't deteriorate. It also offers some insulation and offers thermal mass, which means it will insulate the building well, keeping the interior cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Metal roofs can withstand heavy rain and hail and makes for a beautiful roof. As long as you have good maintenance, you can expect it to last for a long time, over 50 years.

Cons: Your roof may need repainting every few years depending on maintenance and exposure to elemental wear and tear. Requires insulation, but professional roofing installers can install this right over the top of your old asphalt shingles. If not given adequate maintenance and care, metal roofing has an estimated lifespan of about 20-25 years.

Cedar roofing

Cedar roofing, made of cedar twigs, is extremely popular in the U.S., Canada, and other countries where cedar is preferred. Wood holds heat and keeps the roof cool in the summer and is often used in summertime beach homes and cabins in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. We recommended going with cedar if you live in the northern or southern part of Canada. It holds heat longer than most other types of roofing materials. Cedar also performs well in hot climates with the bonus of blocking harmful UV rays. It is also safe to install as it has a high resistance to insect attacks. Cedar roofing may be a little more expensive than other roofing materials, but it lasts much longer.

Pros: Cedar shingles and roofing systems are known for their exceptional beauty and ability to complement the character of your home. Cedarwood shingles and shakes are incredibly durable and resistant to strong Saskatchewan winds but also heavy rains, hail storms, snowstorms and any other types of severe storms that our harsh Canadian climate can throw at it. Cedar shingles are also energy efficient, providing natural insulation, and it is eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Cons: Cedar requires routine maintenance and care because this roofing system is susceptible to damages caused by moss, mould, and mildew. We suggest having our roofing installations experts inspect your roof regularly. Cedar also costs more than less energy-efficient and less environmentally friendly but not only offers those ethical and functional benefits but looks fantastic.

Rubber roofing

Rubber roofing or EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roofs are a popular option we offer. When installing the rubber roofing system, it gives the impression of a "cotton candy" surface type. The rubber has a high permeability rate and allows warm air to escape, so it's more energy-efficient than traditional shingles. As it's not asphalt, rubber roofs are a good option if you don't want to deal with heavy truck traffic, and they're relatively easy to install

Pros: Rubber roofs are incredibly cost-effective. Rubber roofing systems are also quicker to install than many other roofing types, and the rubber or EPDM materials are lightweight, fire-resistant and energy-efficient, making good insulators.

Cons: The biggest drawback is appearance as rubber generally comes in black and needs to be painted to offer different colour options. Manufacturers are working on developing rubber strips that resemble traditional shingles. These rubber shingles require roofing professionals with intimate knowledge of rubber roofing installations.

Flat roofing

Some homeowners are turning to flat roofing because they feel it offers less protection against flooding. A flat roof only carries weight horizontally, so water goes over it rather than over a pitched roof. This composition can make flat roofs less suitable for heavier roofing material such as metal. However, flat metal roofing is a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings. It allows for airflow underneath and is, therefore, more durable and longer-lasting than other roofing options.

Pros: Flat roofs save on construction and maintenance repair costs because they require fewer materials than sloped roofs. Flat roofs can also make excellent rooftop gardens or decks. They are also more energy-efficient than sloped roofs because they do not trap unwanted warm or cool air.

Cons: When there is heavy rain, the flat roof will collect water and cause a flood. Another problem with flat roofs is that water can get caught underneath them, often causing water leaks.

Clay tile roofing

This roof type consists of tiles (typically made from natural clay), and the tiles can be a combination of textured and smooth surfaces. Clay tile roofing is one of the oldest forms of roofing. It is extensively used in the Mediterranean countries where it is very popular, because of its cool and natural appearance. Clay tiles come in a variety of colours and are available through most suppliers. They also have many benefits that make them worth considering for your next project. They also look fantastic on any style of home. In addition to being a great option for your roof, you can also use natural clay tiles on your porch or patio.

Pros: Clay tile roofs are known for their visual impact; these roofing systems offer various styles and add to the curb appeal to both residential and commercial owners. Tile roofing is extremely popular for its low maintenance, low weight, and thermal insulation properties. A significant advantage of ceramic tiles is that they don't have nails or fasteners, meaning no annual inspections are required.

Cons: Clay tile roofs can cost double to triply the price of traditional asphalt shingles. Two disadvantages influence clay roof prices: they are heavy and difficult to install. They are also known to be heavy, requiring reinforcement on the structure, making shipping them more costly. Their installation also required measured precision; these are not the kind of tiles that you can DIY.

Slate roofing

As you might have guessed from the name, slate is a roofing material made from pieces of slate that are mined and set with lead. When cut, slate chips are smooth, long, and about three to six inches wide. This material provides a lighter look than other roofing material options, so it's perfect for newer homes. When used, slate can be removed and re-added as needed. Slate also doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Slate roofing lasts over the long term and requires a roof cleaning every two years.

Pros: The most significant advantage is the aesthetic appeal of slate. It can drastically add to your market value. Slate roofs are sustainable as this roofing solution uses rocks as a roofing material to cover commercial buildings. Being made of natural stone makes slate roofing systems 100% renewable and sustainably sourced.

Cons: If you don't know how to handle slates, they can be fragile. Also, replacing broken tiles is complicated, requiring experienced roofing professionals like the team at URE. Matching slate is also nearly impossible as it is a natural stone, and it can be heavy and requires reinforcing the home's structure to withstand the weight.

There are clear advantages and disadvantages of each type of roofing system. If you're planning to do roof work, our professional roofing installers can help you determine the best for your lifestyle, home's character, climate, etc. Our roofing installations specialists will work with you and get the job done right. Email or call us today to discuss your roofing needs and schedule a free estimate.