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Types of Colorado Roofing Materials: Which One is Right for You?

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Residential Roofing Systems

When it comes to deciding on a roof for your home, there are so many different types of styles, materials, colors, and more that it can start to feel overwhelming. Here we will break down the different types of roofing materials, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to determine which one is right for you.

Types Of Roofing Materials

From asphalt shingles to clay or cement tiles to flat or shingles metal, it’s important to find a roofing material that will meet your home’s needs, give you the curb appeal you desire, and perform well in the location where you live.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles are easily the most widely used roofing material. They’re low-maintenance, built to endure all kinds of weather conditions, and come in hundreds of variations of styles and colors. As one of the most popular roofing materials, they are easily installed, widely available, and one of the most affordable options. There are three common types of asphalt shingles:

Strip Shingles/3 Tab Shingles

Strip shingles, otherwise known as 3 tab shingles for their cut, are your standard, classic asphalt shingle. They have a flat, slate appearance and are common on cost-effective new builds or as replacements on pre-existing roofs with strip shingles. 

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional Shingles, otherwise known as architectural shingles are the most popular form of asphalt shingles. Dimensional shingles have two or more layers of asphalt as opposed to strip shingles which are single-layers. These offer more dimension (hence their name) and more curb appeal as they mimic a natural slate or wooden roofing aesthetic depending on the color selection. Dimensional shingles are typically heavier and more resistant to weather elements like wind than strip shingles and traditionally offer better warranties. 

Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles offer the highest level of protection, dimensionality, color variations, and traditional aesthetics. They can create a stunning curb appeal while doubling down on weather-resistant features, mostly due to their weight and layers.

Three Tab Shingles
Three Tab Shingles
Dimensional Shingles
Luxury Shingles

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have many benefits aside from the ones we’ve already discussed. Some of their most advantageous features are:

  • They fight algae growth in humid climates
  • They are resistant to hail damage
  • Some asphalt roofs have cool roof color technologies that reflect sunlight and reduce energy costs during warm months
  • They are affordable, widely available, easily installed, and come in many style variations to complement almost any home design

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

  • While they vary in layers and weight, those that are lighter are vulnerable to wind uplift which can lead to leaks and other issues
  • When exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations the shingles may expand and contract and crack over time
  • While asphalt shingles are built to last 10 to 20 years depending on the environment you live in, they generally have a shorter lifespan compared to other types of roofing systems
Vertical-Seam-Metal-Roof (1)
Vertical Seam Metal Roof
Metal Shingle Roof

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular each year among homeowners nationwide. There are many reasons for their growing popularity including their stylish appearance and eco-friendly traits. There are two common types of metal roofing systems:

Vertical Seam Metal Roofing

Seamed metal roofing traditionally made of aluminum or steel, are vertical panels with raised, interlocking seams. These roofing systems are well suited for areas that receive heavy snowfall or are prone to wildfires as they are fully fireproof. 

Metal Shingles/Shakes

Metal shingles offer the appearance of a more traditional roofing system like asphalt shingles while still providing many of the benefits of a full metal roofing system. These stamped metal shingles are finished with high-quality baked-on coating or get coated in mineral granules. 

Advantages of Metal Roofs

There’s a reason why metal roofs are becoming preferred by more and more homeowners. Here are the most common reasons why more people are choosing metal roofs over asphalt:

  • As opposed to asphalt roofs that typically last 10 to 20 years, if properly installed and maintained, metal roofs can last anywhere between 40 to 70 years and often have warranties that span 30 to 50 years.
  • Metal roofs are uniquely durable to weather elements. The surfaces are hard and slippery allowing snow and water to simply fall off. Dark toned metal roofing especially encourages snowmelt. Furthermore, most metal roofs have the ability to withstand wind gusts as high as 140 mph.
  • Metal roofs typically have a Class A fire rating because they are made of non-combustible materials as opposed to wood shingles which have a Class C fire rating.
  • Made of at least 25% recycled materials and being 100% recyclable after removal, metal roofs are one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials. Asphalt shingles on the other hand are a petroleum product increasing fossil fuel emissions during the production process. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are sent to U.S. landfills every year.
  • Like Asphalt roofs, there are many different style options and metal roofs are designed to hold paint finishes, allowing you to create any desired exterior style for your home from farmhouse to modern.

Disadvantages of Metal Roofs

  • Although metal roofs have many advantages, they come with a price tag. According to Home Advisor, metal roofs can range anywhere from $120 to $900 per 100 sq ft. Depending on the contractor you go through, installation costs can also be more costly than that of a more common material like asphalt. 
  • Metal roofs can be noisier during rain or thunderstorms, however, this can easily be offset with extra layers of insulation.
  • Metal roofs are built to withstand decades of extreme weather, even the strong metal roof can still be susceptible to denting from large hail or falling branches, especially softer metals like aluminum and copper.

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs are popular for both their beauty and their durability. They come in a variety of styles and colors, making them a perfect choice for homeowners with a keen eye for design. There are three types of roofing tiles:

Slate Tile

Slate tiles are natural stone tiles derived from shale sediments composed of volcanic ash and clay. The compaction over time that forms this natural stone is responsible for its durability. The use of slate tiles in America started to increase when the first quarry opened in 1785 making this material available to public consumers. The specific mineral composition of slate from different quarries determines its unique color and weathering properties. 

Terracotta Tile

Terracotta tiles are a category of ceramic tile made of oven-fired clay. They are made in three grades, according to the American Society for Testing and Materials specifications. Grade one tiles are the most durable and are not porous. They are able to withstand severe freeze-thaw conditions. Grade 2 tiles are less water-resistant and can withstand only moderate freeze-thaw conditions. Grade 3 tiles are the most porous and may break down after undergoing multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Terracotta tiles have been used in ancient Greece since 2500 B.C., making them the oldest roofing material known. 

Concrete Tile

Concrete tiles are derived from a mixture of cement, sand, water, and pigment. They first appeared in the mid 19th century and come in three standard styles, mission S-tiles, villa tiles, and flat tiles, all customizable in a wide array of colors and finishes. Concrete tiles have a higher water absorption percentage than terracotta tiles, making them a bit less durable. They are also nearly double the weight. 

Slate Tile Roof
Terracotta Tile Roof
Concrete Tile Roof

Advantages of Tile Roofs

  • Tile roofs withstand both hot weather and salty air particularly well, which accounts for their popularity in coastal regions.
  • Tile roofs have excellent rainwater shedding capabilities and leaks are virtually unheard of. 
  • Tile roofs can last over 100 years, making them especially attractive to homeowners who don’t want to deal with frequent replacements or repairs. Plus, most manufacturers of tile roofs offer a 50-year warranty.
  • Tile roofs are extremely durable and virtually impenetrable, making them immune to rot, insect damage, and pest damage.
  • Because tile roofs are composed of 100% organic material, they can be crushed and recycled at the end of their lifespan. 
  • Tile roofs are incredibly energy efficient as their thickness provides the added insulation to help regulate indoor air temperatures. 
  • Tile roofs come in a variety of colors and styles, making them an excellent choice for design-savvy homeowners.

Disadvantages of Tile Roofs

  • Installation of tile roofs is complicated and must be done by a trained professional.
  • Tile roofs are not cheap. They come at a cost that is two to three times as much as an asphalt shingle roof. 
  • Tile roofs are heavy and often require a consultation with a structural engineer before initial installation to make sure your roof structure is adequate. 
  • Tiles are brittle and will sometimes chip and break under a heavy impact. 
  • Tiles are not suitable for all roof slopes. 

Decided on a roof style and ready for an installation? Give our team of roofing professionals at Kapella roofing a call today to get started!

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