The go-to roofing material has changed throughout the years with each one having its own strengths and weaknesses. The choice for a roofing material goes beyond the aesthetic. The material you choose will play a large role in how long your roof lasts, how often it will need repair, and how much that repair will cost, just to name a few. Let’s look at some of the popular roofing materials through the years and their advantages and disadvantages.
Years ago, slate roofs were a very popular option. They are extremely durable when it comes to the elements, and could last many years. Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives, literally. Slate roofs are heavy which can cause structural problems for some homes. Also the shingles themselves are unwieldy and difficult to work with. Each shingle has to have holes drilled in it for nails. Because of this they are expensive to install and repair.
Wood shake roofs
From there, the roofing industry moved towards wood shake roofs. Like slate roofs they come in individual shingles. But unlike slate shingles they weighed less and could be easily nailed. They are also self-venting and considered aesthetically pleasing. On the negative side, they were still tedious to install and expensive to repair. Because they lose cosmetic appeal quickly, they require a lot of upkeep.
Today asphalt shingles have become the most common roofing material by far. They are very easy to install, they seal tightly in sunlight, and can last 20-30 years. The major drawback is that they seal together causing a lack of ventilation and a hotter attic space. Vents need to be installed to keep power bills down.
The industry will no doubt continue to evolve as new materials are designed that maintain the advantages of its predecessors while eliminating some of the disadvantages.
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