Types of Roofing
Although not as popular as asphalt shingles, thanks to its natural beauty and durability, wood can and is in fact, sometimes used for roofs. Wood shingles are smooth with a fine and finished appearance and sawn from chunks of western red cedar. Wood shingles and shakes are often nailed to the roof one-by-one but there are pre-nailed materials to buy if you want a faster application. These come in 8-foot panels. The thick shakes are cut or ‘split’ by either machine or by hand from the bolt and turned into 18 and 24-inch lengths. They come in medium or heavy weight and there are different styles to choose between: hand-split, hand-split and resawn and taper-split. By splitting them with the hand, the wood fibres have not been sawn through and this means the wood is less inclined to rot. This also means that hand-split shakes should generally last longer than machine-split shakes.
Wood shingles and shakes can be used for both roofing and siding and they come in different grades. If you choose to use wood for roofing, make sure to use wood with a number 1 grade as this means all wood used is straight grained and heartwood. Heartwood means that it comes from the most durable and sap-free part of the tree.
The classic red roofing tile in the shape of a barrel is made to last as long as the buildings it adorn. Originally they were exclusive to Mediterranean and Spanish-style homes but since the introduction of equally durable concrete tiles, roofing tiles are now available for most pockets and styles. Concrete tiles are made from a mixture of cement, sand and water. Because they are extruded, they can be made in different shapes, quite different from the original barrel shape tile. You can purchase tiles that are flat, ribbed, S-shaped or tiles that resembles wood shakes in look and texture.
Manufacturers create tiles that interlock in different ways and in a whole spectrum of colours and thanks to this, concrete tiles have become very popular in both residential and contemporary designs. One thing to bear in mind if you choose to use concrete tiles is that they are three or four times heavier than normal asphalt shingles so make sure your roof is sturdy enough to handle it. Your house might require additional structural bracing so please check with your local building department. Due to its weight it is also more expensive to ship so keep this in mind if you live far from the manufacturer.