Residential Roof Shingles – Weighing Your Options

In a perfect world residential roof shingles would be cheap, affordable, will last a life-time or more and require absolutely no repairs or after-care. Since, we do not live in a perfect world and since, most roofs would not last more than two decades we need to make our choices with care and try to make our investment last as long as possible with minimum fuss in terms of maintenance.

Making the right choice in terms of residential roofing material helps us to reduce our roofing costs in the long-term, use less of the nature's resources, use less than landfill and overall better better citizens of the planet. Choose lighter shades in hot climates and darker shades in colder areas to further reduce your impact on nature. These colors help to keep the home naturally comfortable with less need for cooling and heating.

Today, more than ever we have huge array of choices when it comes to roofing materials. Pick from dried grass, stone or plastic. Fiberglass based products, asphalt based products, concrete, wood and clay are just a few example of this choice. Advances in technology are helping these products to be more eco-friendly, less stressful on homeowners and environment and meet strict building code requirements.

Point to note – cost does not equate to quality nor do all types of roofing materials suit all kinds of requirements. Certain materials work well in certain conditions and it is best to choose the right ones for the local climate and needs. Key to the long life of your roof is proper maintenance, right installation and choosing of right residential roofing shingles.

Here we will take a look at a two popular residential roof shingles. Popularity does not mean that these shingles are best for you. It is just that majority of the population picks it for whatever reason. It can be economic or even aesthetic.

Asphalt or Composition shingles

These are the most widely used residential roof shingles in the United States. They are popular because of their neat and clean looks, their affordable cost and long-life. Also, the better quality roof shingles have higher recycled content making them eco-friendly too. Another advantage of composition shingles is their availability at every price point. A wide array of brands, colors, sizes, types and designs make a roofing material pleasant and easy task. Not only that the installation is also pretty easy and the product is light weight and easy to handle. Maintenance is not a problem and you even walk on it without damaging it. They come with fire and impact protection. They are not the best in high-wind situations.

Wood – Wood shake is natural, offers character to the roof, wide choice in terms of color, thickness, size and type of wood. It is a great insulator, allows the roof to breathe and keeps home comfortable. It needs proper maintenance for long-life. Insects might burrow holes in the roof. Mold and rot are real problems on roofs not cared for properly. Fire retardants are a must for wood. Installation is complex and look, feel and life of the roofs depends a lot on the installation ability of roof contractor.

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