About roofing materials

A house can be covered with a variety of roofing materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Location is a major concern when choosing materials. For example, a more robust material should be used in areas exposed to hurricanes or heavy snowfall. In the medical world, a popular phrase is "doctor, heal yourself," but in the world of houses, his owner "knows his roof".

Fiberglass asphalt shingles have a fiberglass base covered with ceramic-coated mineral granules. It is an inorganic shingle with a high fire resistance rating and a longer warranty (and life) than other types of shingles. This type of shingle does not absorb water and resists cracking. It also tends to withstand high winds, as tested by Underwriters Laboratories. It looks like a winner!

The architectural shingle is a three-dimensional inorganic shingle. It is composed of several layers which gives it a depth and therefore an appearance close to the wood or the slate roof. These shingles weigh more and are more expensive than most other shingles.

The roll roof is cheaper than the shingle. It is used on shallow roofs or on the steepest roofs in addition to shingles. Most people have seen this type of roof, most often on industrial buildings. It consists of a heavy felt base, saturated with asphalt, covered with a smooth or mineral surface. Easy to install, this type of material will last between 10 and 20 years.

The metal roof consists of steel panels used instead of shingles. The best steel panels are made with zinc. Like roll roofing, this is more common in industrial buildings. It is durable, fire resistant and lasts a long time.

Wood shingles are the oldest type of shingle. They are made with a variety of woods, but cedar is the most common. These are more difficult to install than asphalt shingles. As expected, wood shingles are likely to catch fire. A flame retardant coating reduces the flammability, but does not eliminate it.

In the interest of being complete, a discussion of the other elements of the roof is necessary. These are not shingles or roof tiles or roof covers, but are nevertheless elements of a roof. The flashing consists of strips of sheet metal or roofing material used to cover the joints and make them impermeable. A special type of flashing is a "boot" designed to fit around a vent pipe. The boot is sometimes plastic. A Drip Edge is an L-shaped weather-resistant material placed on the exposed edges of the roof to evacuate water and protect the wooden parts of the roof. Felt paper, or construction paper, is a hard, fibrous, saturated asphalt base sheet installed under shingles. Construction paper helps keep the water away from the wood frame under the shingles.

The Internet is full of information about these roofing materials, installation and contractors, maintenance and much more information about roofs. The more you know, the less likely you are to get wet.

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