Over the years Exteriors Plus Construction has been involved with almost every aspect of construction, both commercial and residential. There are as many different types of roofs as there are materials to cover them. The important thing is that no matter what type of roof you have, the proper steps and materials are used to build your roofing system.
Every year manufacturers are making improvements in these products and today even the entry level products perform better than the premium products in years past. Today almost all asphalt shingles are referred to as a fiberglass composition shingle because they are made of more than just asphalt and have a reinforced fiberglass core.
Within this style of shingle there are three (3) main categories to choose from: 3-Tab, Architectural, and Heavy-Weight Designer.
This shingle is extremely common and is the least expensive choice. For years this was the standard in all roofing, but with an array of choices, today there isn’t one standard. The name comes from its design; a solid piece of material that has two cuts in it to produce “three tabs.” This shingle is still a good option and will waterproof your home for many years, but it does not have some of the cosmetic advantages of other designs and it is more susceptible to high wind damage.
Within this category there are many different designs depending on the “look” you want to create for your home. Talk to your Tuttle Representative and they can bring books and samples out to help you decide which one will be best for your home. Other than design, the most noticeable difference in this product is the thickness and the weight. It is not uncommon for these products to weigh two and even three times as much as an Architectural Shingle. If you are considering this upgrade, allow extra time for the project to be completed and expect some delays. We will need to order an engineer’s report to verify the roof structure was constructed strong enough to hold the additional weight. In addition, these products are not usually stock items and will require more time for special order and delivery.
Many homeowners are upgrading their roofs to this product as it is superior to the design and functionality of a 3-Tab Shingle, but does not have a large upgrade cost. Architectural Shingles are designed to simulate the 3-dimensional appearance of wood shakes and offer many more color choices than a 3-Tab Shingle. In design they are superior as well as they are constructed of one solid piece of material that is two layers thick, allowing the shingle to pass wind tests of over 130 mph.
With the increase of composition shingle options natural wood is less common than it once was, but it still makes for a very sound and beautiful roof. The shakes and shingles are made commonly made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods. Originally these were all handmade, but today machine-sawn is much more common. A point to consider: Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.
Unlike tile roofing, which is manufactured, slate is 100% natural, dug right out of the ground and cut to size. Within the United States it is commonly quarried in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Because it is 100% natural, the color and quality is dependent on the geographic location and the depth of the ground which it was dug from. Considered a 100 year product and virtually indestructible, it is, however, more expensive than other roofing materials. In addition, its application requires special skill and experience. Like other heavy weight products the roof must be properly engineered to hold the weight of the roof; tests must be performed before installation if this is considered as an upgrade.
As with so many things, technology has resulted in a variety of other products being used to produce roof coverings. Materials such as: plastic, fiberglass, PVC, and rubber are some of the synthetic options available. Most of these are designed to simulate various traditional roof coverings, such as slate, wood shingles, and shakes. However, they do not necessarily have the same properties and many of them have not been available long enough to know how they will perform long-term.
Metal roofing has probably seen the greatest increase in the variety of product availability. Originally it was thought of as a low-slope roofing material and more common in commercial and industrial construction. But today, standing seam, simulated aluminum shakes, stone coated steel and the like have been found to be a popular roofing alternative for steep-slope roofs. Metal roofing has many advantages and weighs much less than other premium products, but carries a significant cost premium.