Different Types of Roofing

The days are gone when the roof over a dwelling was simply there to keep out the elements. Now, roofs are an indispensable part of a home’s curb appeal as well as that which protects a family from the weather.

As there are many types of roofs, there are many types of roofing. Here are a few of them:


Asphalt is made from bitumen, which is a petroleum product. It’s the same material that’s used to pave roads and driveways.

Asphalt shingles are popular with homeowners because they are attractive and not as expensive as other types of roofing, though re-roofing an entire house with asphalt shingles isn’t cheap.Related image

When properly installed in an area not subject to extremes of weather, an asphalt roof should last about 20 years. However, there are asphalt shingles that are made to last as long as 50 years.

Some drawbacks with asphalt roofing include its relatively short lifespan and the fact that dark asphalt tends to discolor over time. Some homeowners notice mysterious dark streaks on their asphalt roofs.

These were left by algae, which grew on the shingles but were killed when exposed to direct sunlight. The shingles can be cleaned with bleach or replaced with shingles that resist algae.


Slate is a natural stone that is prized because of the clean way it splits into plates. Though many people think of a bluish-gray stone when they think of slate, the stone comes in many colors.

It is easy to care for, doesn’t rot, resists fire and is esthetically pleasing. A slate roof can easily last a century or more.

The drawbacks of a slate roof are that the slate tiles are expensive and heavy. In some cases, the framework of the roof needs to be reinforced to hold them securely.

A person who installs roofs in Naperville needs special training. These professionals may be hard to come by, which adds to the cost of installing a slate roof. Though the roof has a long life, the individual tiles are brittle and crack easily if they are walked on incorrectly.

The broken bits can slide down into the gutters and clog them.

More and more homeowners are turning to metal roofs. They are generally eco-friendly, do not need much maintenance and are lighter than either asphalt or slate. But as with slate, a roofer needs special training to install them.

As an example, using a fastener made of a different metal than the roof shingle starts a chemical reaction that causes the metal to corrode.

Wooden Shakes and Shingles

The difference between wooden shakes and shingles is that shingles have been cut from a piece of wood, and shakes have been split from a piece of wood.

They give character to a house and can be environmentally friendly, especially if they’ve been repurposed from wood that comes from an old structure that’s no longer in use.

Some drawbacks of shingles and shakes is that they are not naturally fireproof, and they tend to be expensive.

Shingles last about 20 years or more, while shakes can last for 50 years if they are well cared for. Many shakes and shingles fade over time to a lovely, silvery hue.


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