Most people would agree that the roof is one of the most important parts of a house and it is therefore imperative that it is well maintained. If you are looking to replace or lay a new roof, there are several types of roofing to consider. The three most common materials used for residential roofing are asphalt, tiles and wood. Other materials that can be used are aluminium, galvanised steel, slate, plastic and sod. Houses that are flat or have low-sloping roofs often have roofs made of tar and gravel.
One of the reasons that asphalt shingles are so popular for residential roofing is because they look good, are easy to install and maintain, widely available and most importantly – economical. They are made from mats made out of wood pulp or paper-fibers (or fibreglass) that are covered with protective layers of asphalt and coated with mineral granules in different colours.
Types of Asphalt
The two different types of asphalt shingles are organic based or fibreglass based. They can both be purchased by the square from most roofing supply companies. Most asphalt shingles are manufactured with a self-sealing that welds one shingle tab to another and they have built-in protection against the wind. You can choose shingles in a variety of colours from modest earth tones to starker colours and tones. You are bound to find something to match any house siding and style.
It is not only different colours to choose between but also the shape of the shingles. Traditional rectangular shingle butts give a roof a very smooth appearance while random-edge butts give a more rustic look. Premium weight shingles have an additional layer of asphalt which provides a three-dimensional look, similar to wood shingles. There are different types of interlocking shingles: the Dutch lap shingles, T-lock shingles or even hexagonal shingles in either strips or rolls. These are however slowly getting phased out as the self-sealing three-tab shingles are getting more and more popular.
If you are opting for asphalt as your roofing material, you have an option to use it in a roll roofing form. Asphalt roll roofing comes with a mineral grain surface and is 36 inches wide and 36 feet long. Roll roofing is more commonly used on outbuildings and so called economy housing with low slopes. A great tip I once got from an experienced roofer is that you can actually use roll roofing of a similar colour to cover the valleys of an asphalt shingle roof.