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Roofing Material Pros & Cons

At Bauerle Roofing, we understand that replacing your roof can be a daunting, expensive and oftentimes intimidating experience. A roof not only keeps you safe from the elements, but it also furthers the design of your home. Before choosing which roofing material is best for you, it’s important to weigh the options — all while considering your style, budget, and the material’s longevity.

To save time and a potential headache, check out our list of pros and cons for the top three residential roofing materials.

 

Asphalt Shingles

Probably the most common roofing choice for residences across the state of Indiana, asphalt shingles — also known as composition shingles — are the most popular roofing style. Their popularity can likely be explained by the amount of color and style choices available, as well as the fact that they are easy to install, and cost effective. Asphalt shingles go well with many home styles, especially traditional suburban architecture.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive, and the most economical of roofing options (typically between $70 and $120 a square foot)
  • Class A fire rating for fiberglass-backed asphalt shingles, and Class C rating for organic-based shingles
  • With proper care, asphalt shingles can last 15 to 30 years
  • Plenty of product choices for various styles, color selections and budgets
  • Relatively easy to install
  • Premium shingles have a longer warranty than basic shingles
  • Indiana has an asphalt shingle recycling programs

Cons

  • Asphalt shingles degrade over time due to sun exposure and the environment (this includes moss and algae that may grow on shaded roofs)
  • More prone to hail damage than harder roofing materials
  • Don’t provide the insulation other materials offer

 

Wood Shingles and Shake

This was the go-to roofing material choice for hundreds of years. Typically made of wood harvested from conifer trees — such as red cedar, yellow cedar, white cedar or pine — the color of wood shingles weathers over time, turning into a soft grey or silver (which could be a pro or con, depending on your preferred aesthetic). Wood shingles work well with Cape Cod, cottage, Craftsman, rustic and Tudor style homes.

Pros

  • Visually appealing
  • Offers a nice texture that contrasts well with other building materials such as brick
  • Works well on steeper roof slopes where more of the roof is visible
  • Wood roofing is a greener choice, as it is made from sustainable and biodegradable materials
  • Generally cooler than other types of roofs that are generally darker in color (like many asphalt selections)
  • With proper maintenance can last 30 to 50 years

Cons

  • Requires regular maintenance to clean and remove moss or mold
  • Not a fireproof material, so not a good roof choice in fire-prone areas
  • Can split and rot in very wet environments
  • Over time, wood shingles are subject to rot and decay — unless treated periodically with preservative and fungicide and kept clean of debris
  • Depending on the type of wood shingle, the material can range between $100 – $300, and $600 – $800 a square foot

 

Metal roofing

Available in panels and shingles, metal roofing — which can be made of aluminum, copper, stainless steel and zinc — comes in a wide range of colors. It looks great on bungalows, cabins, contemporary and cottage-style homes.

Pros

  • Offers extreme durability — can last between 40 and 75 years
  • Great for extreme weather conditions, and at shedding snow and ice
  • Fireproof
  • Some metal roofing products are made from recycled material, and can be recycled when no longer in use
  • High solar reflectance, and energy efficient
  • Fantastic for homeowners interested in harvesting rain water

Cons

  • The look of the metal roofing panels may not be consistent with your home’s architectural style
  • Steel and aluminum metal roofing need good corrosion protection
  • Flat-standing seam panels shed water at a faster rate than more textured roofs, so rain gutters need to be sized accordingly to handle the runoff
  • Denting is a risk with falling tree limbs, large hail and similar debris
  • Depending on the type of metal and style of roofing, the material can range between $100 – $300, and $600 – $800 a square foot

 

Still not sure which roofing material best suits you? Contact the experts at Bauerle Roofing today to discuss your specific needs and home 317.985.2344