Not long ago, asphalt shingles, slate, clay or concrete tiles were about the only roofing options. Not long ago, asphalt shingles, slate, clay or concrete tiles were about the only roofing options. Check our list of top 10 roofing types. Today with advanced roofing materials provide an unprecedented range of alternatives, as well as new looks for existing materials.
Here is a list of 10 different roofing types to consider for your next re-roofing job:
1. Solar Tiles
Advanced solar collectors integrate seamlessly into existing shingles, generating up to 1 kilowatt of energy per 100 square feet. They’re particularly good for sunny roofs in homeowners’ associations that forbid typical solar panels. While they may help offset energy costs with solar power, they also cost more than traditional solar options.
2. Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing materials in America because they’re effective in all environmental conditions. Quality varies widely, so ask whether they pass the ASTM D3161, Class F (110 mph) or ASTM D7158, Class H (150 mph) wind tests, and the AC438 durability test. Upfront costs are low, but you should expect to replace the shingles after about 20 years. If you live in a hail prone area, consider impact-resistant shingles that have a UL 2218 Class 4 rating. Impact-resistant shingles may qualify for a discount on your homeowner’s premium.
3. Metal Roofing
Metal roofing comes in vertical panels or shingles resembling slate, tile, and shake – and lasts about 60 years. Metal excels at sloughing off heavy snow and rain, won’t burn, and resists high winds. It is lightweight and can be installed over existing roofs. However, metal can be noisy during rainstorms and may dent from hail. Average costs range between $5 and $12 per square foot, depending on type and style of metal – which is more than asphalt but less than concrete tiles. Corrosion also varies by material.
4. Stone-Coated Steel
Interlocking panels mimic slate, clay, or shingles and resist damage caused by heavy rains (up to 8.8 inches per hour), winds of 120 miles per hour, uplifting, hail, and freeze-thaw cycles. Consequently, they’re an economical, effective choice for wet, windy regions or areas prone to wildfires. Some stone-coated steel roofs are warranted for the lifetime of the house.
Slate roofing lasts more than 100 years. It won’t burn, is waterproof and resists mold and fungus. Slate is effective in wet climates but is expensive, heavy, and may be easily broken when stepped on. Keep this in mind if you live in an area that experiences hail.
6. Rubber Slate
Rubber slate looks natural and can be cut with a knife to fit intricate roofs like those found in Victorian homes. Rubber slate roofs can last 100 years but can be damaged by satellite dishes and walking – so may also be susceptible to damage by hail, similar to slate. Roofing professionals that are trained to install rubber slate may be hard to find.
7. Clay and Concrete Tiles
Clay and concrete roof tiles can withstand damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, or winds up to 125 miles per hour and even earthquakes, according to “A Summary of Experimental Studies on Seismic Performance of Concrete and Clay Roofing Tiles” by the University of Southern California for the Tile Roofing Institute. They are good in warm, dry climates. They may require extra support to bear their weight, and they are likely to break when walked on.
8. Green Roofs
Green roofs are covered with plants and can improve air quality, reduce water runoff and insulate homes to reduce urban heat islands. However, they need extra structural support, a vapor barrier, thermal insulation, waterproofing, drainage, water filtration, soil, compost, and plants. Their estimated lifespan is 40 years.
9. Built-up Roofing
This heavy roofing consists of layers of asphalt, tar, or adhesive topped with an aggregate and is only for flat roofs. Tar and gravel roofs, also for flat roofs, are best for roof-top decks with heavy foot traffic. These roofs may become sticky in summer, and it is harder to shovel snow off of these roofs when compared to smooth surfaces. They can last 20 to 25 years.
The best type of roof for you really depends on your climate, budget, and house. To see what’s best in your area, talk with licensed roofing contractors, and look at some of the newer developments nearby to get ideas on what type of roofing material to use.
10. TPO Roofing – Commercial
Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a single-ply roofing membrane that is one of the fastest-growing commercial roofing type on the market. TPO roofing systems are made up of a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim that can be used to cover flat roofs.
Hip RoofsHip roofs are not much different than pyramid roofs. Rather than creating a point at the top, each side connects at a flat section or ridge. From an architect’s point of view, the hip roof is much more pragmatic than the pyramid roof. This is the most common style of roof and tends to perform better in high wind areas.
Mansard RoofsMansard roofs are constructed with four slopes. Each side of the home features two slopes. The lowest slope is steeper than the upper one. In some instances, the upper slope cannot be seen from ground level. The roof’s unique French aesthetic permits extra living/storage space at the top portion of the house!
Gambrel RoofsGambrel roofs aren’t too much different from mansard roofs. The main differences are that the Gambrel style roofs feature upright gable ends and have Dutch roots as compared to the mansard’s French roots.
Pyramid RoofsA pyramid roof is just as it sounds. It’s shaped in the mold of a pyramid! Pyramid roofs are typically installed on diminutive portions of a home. They are also commonly installed on garages, pool houses, and other small structures.
Cross Gabled RoofsThis style of roof resembles a triangle when viewed from the home’s front yard. Though there are several different varieties of gabled roofs, they are especially beautiful (and functional) on homes that feature extra wings. This way, each section of the house can have its own cross-gabled roof for the ultimate aesthetic appeal.
Flat RoofsFlat roofs are fairly easy to construct compared to other, more nuanced types of roofs. Flat roofs are favored for their simplicity and accessibility. A flat roof can withstand your weight if you decide to walk on it. The only downside to this style of roof is that dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris can collect on its surface more easily than other roof varieties.
Bonnet RoofsBonnet roofs aren’t much different from hip roofs and pyramid roofs. However, this roof features two sides that slope outward at angles as a means of providing shelter for an outdoor seating space. With the eaves extending beyond the house, it is easier to avoid water seeping around the flashing and down the interior walls.
Skillion RoofsA Skillion roof is constructed with a single slope. It is best thought of as a hybrid between a triangular roof and a flat roof. In many instances, skillion roofs are used on a single section of a house. Rainwater tends to run easily off of skillion roofs.
SawtoothSawtooth roofs have two or more parallel pitched roofs in which the slope and vertical surfaces alternate. The exterior resembles the side view of a saw blade. The high peaks allow for vaulted ceilings or loft living spaces.
Butterfly RoofsA Butterfly roof is constructed of two tandem pieces that meet in the middle and are angled up in a V-shape. The way the two pieces meet in the midsection gives an effect of a butterfly’s wings in flight from the exterior. The midsection of the butterfly roof allows for rainwater to be collected so more drainage is required down the center.
Curved RoofsCurved roofs are not much different than skillion roofs, except the planes are curved. The curve can be designed slightly or with more of an arch shape. Curved roofs create a unique curb appeal. A lower slope is great for high wind areas and a higher slope is great for allowing water run-off.
Domed RoofsThe Domed roof is polygonal with an inverted bowl shape. Domed roofs are not only beautiful in design but also very durable. The construction of domed roofs varies on the complexity of a project and can add more curb appeal to a home. They are often added to cupolas and gazebos.