Roof and Shingle Types

A new roof is a big investment, but it can be the most crucial decision in the upkeep of your home. Leaky roofs can lead to numerous other home repairs that can add up to more than the cost of investing in quality roof replacement or repair. And in the event you decide to sell your home, a poorly maintained roof can reduce your home’s sale price.

Steep-slope roofs
The most common type of roof today is still the steep-slope roof, defined as a roof with 25 percent of slope or greater. Roofing materials for these types of roof vary, and the homeowner should consider cost and durability as well as aesthetic appeal when deciding on a new roof.

Asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most used roofing materials in the U.S.  Fiberglass asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingles available and are typically preferred over cellulose-based shingles, which are no longer provided by many manufacturers. Fiberglass shingles are available in a variety of colors and with laminations that offer a textured appearance. In addition, fiberglass shingles have a Class A fire resistance rating; cellulose-based shingles have only a Class C rating and have proven to be not as durable as fiberglass asphalt shingles.

Slate. Slate is quarried from a number of states in the northern United States, including Virginia. It is the most costly roofing material; however, it has numerous advantages. It is a natural material, it is nearly indestructible, and it is available in a range of colors, which depend upon the area from which it was mined. However, slate application in roofing requires special skill. Be certain your selected installer has experience with the material.

Wood shakes and shingles. Both machine-sawed wood shingles and handmade shakes offer a natural look to the home that is gaining popularity in the mid-Atlantic region. Shakes give a more rustic appearance to the roof but can cost a little more than the smoother wood shingle. Some wood roofing materials only have Class C fire ratings, but Class A-rated wood shingles are available. These products have fire-resistant treatments infused during the manufacturing process.

Metal roofs. Metal roofs are long-lasting, resistant to weather, and relatively lightweight. Aluminum roofing in particular is often used in residential roofing, as it is rust-proof. However, it does need to be coated or painted to improve its curb appeal. Pre-finished aluminum roofs are common and are installed with up to a 20-year paint warranty. Copper, though very expensive, is another popular roofing metal. Like aluminum, it also will not rust, and it weathers naturally to a gold-green color that many homeowners find very appealing.