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Columbus Roofing: Article About Popular Roofing Materials

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The roof of a home contributes to its overall style and appearance, so choosing the material is important. Although Columbus roofing contractors can help homeowners with this decision, it's beneficial that they know about some of the popular roofing materials and why they are so popular.

In the United States, asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material because they are easy to install and are economical. Manufacturers can reinforce asphalt shingles with cellulose or fiberglass without changing their appearance, or they can make the shingles mimic other materials. This makes asphalt shingles work with several architectural styles. Also, they are the least expensive material, come in a range of colors and are widely available. While asphalt shingles last from 20 to 25 years, this is a shorter life expectancy than other roofing materials. The quality also varies, and they don't provide the level of insulation of other materials.

Wood shakes and shingles have been used for centuries because they are attractive even after weathering. They are typically made from cedar but also from redwood and southern pine. Wood shingles are uniform in size and shape because they are cut by machines, whereas wood shakes are not uniform because they are hand cut, producing a rougher material. Wood roofing is more susceptible to fire, but it can be treated with a fire resistant coating.

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The material is not ideal for wet climates because it is more prone to mold, rot and splitting in humidity. Wood shakes and shingles typically last between 25 and 30 years.

Growing in popularity, metal roofing materials come in the form of panels or shingles. These are made with aluminum, stainless steel, zinc or copper, which increase in price in that order. Metal roofs are durable, are resistant to extreme weather and offer more solar reflectance than other materials. The light weight of metal makes it a great option for recovering a roof or for replacing the roof of an older home that would require additional support with heavier options. They also last longer than asphalt and wood roofs at 40 to 75 years. However, the materials are more expensive than asphalt and most wood materials.

Slate is another popular option although it's more costly than metal. This material offers a distinct beauty to a home and comes in shades of black, gray, red, green and purple. Slate is fire resistant and durable, lasting longer than 50 years and sometimes more than 100 with proper care. However, roofers must install extra framing to support its heavy weight.

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