Roof Types

A little information first – a square in roofing terminology is a 10 foot by 10 foot section of roof. Roofers determine this by calculation, and always add a certain percentage for cutting and replacement.

Asphalt Shingles
If you can’t afford the high cost of clay tile or slate roofs, the most popular and least expensive is the asphalt roofing shingle. These are the most popular roofing material. They come in two types – organic, and non-organic, which is fiberglass. They follow strict guidelines for manufacture. They come in a variety of colors and durability. They are seen on homes in every part of the country.

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Clay Tile Roofs
Clay is a good roofing material regardless of where it is located, and is resistant to insects, mold and decay, won’t burn, and will often outlast the decking it is built upon. You will see this roof on homes with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish Mission design. This style is more prevalent in California. Keep in mind that a clay roof is very heavy, and expensive to install.

Slate Roofs
Slate is another roofing material that is long lasting and near indestructible. Seeing a roof that is slate and 100 years old is not uncommon. This type of roof is often seen in New England. It is as resistant to outside influences as clay tile, and is also extremely heavy.

Wooden Shingles
Wooden shingles are a good roofing material generally made from Western Red Cedar. Cedar is resistant to rot and decay. It comes in two types depending on manufacturer. There is a hand sawn and tapered shingle, called a shake, and a shingle that is sawn. They come in three categories – one, two and three.

Metal Roofs
In the late 1700s, zinc, copper, and lead were the most popular materials used for roofing. They lasted for decades, but are extremely expensive to build. Today, we see Galvanized or Galvalume Steel roofs. Galvanized is the most popular, and Galvalume is used in the South where hurricanes are common. It is resistant to fire, insects, mildew and rot. These roofs are often seen in climates that get a lot of snow.