When it is time to upgrade your roof, you have a choice to make. Do you stick with the ever-popular asphalt shingles, or do you try something different? There are several options to choose from, and learning about how they benefit you will help you come to an informed decision.
Slate Will Stand the Test of Time
Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials, and one of the longest lasting. You would, quite literally, be tiling your roof with stone. How long your roof would last depends on the quarry the slate came out of, and to a lesser extent, the skill of the installers. The color of the stone will also depend on the quarry the stones were mined from, so you may need to give up a bit of longevity (a decade here or there, compared to the century or more these roofs can last) if you have your heart set on a particular color.
There are some downsides to slate. First, it is extremely heavy. Not all homes are designed to hold that much weight. Before you can truly consider having a slate roof installed, you need to have your attic inspected. If your home was only built to handle asphalt shingles, you would have to invest in bracing the roof before you could install the tile. The second problem is expense. Slate roofing is extremely expensive to purchase and install. While this is offset by its longevity, if you do not plan on staying in your home for more than a few years, it simply may not be worth the investment.
Recycled Materials Mean You Are Doing Your Part
Perhaps your motivation isn't just getting a beautiful roof, and you want to ensure that the material you use will be what is best for the environment. If this is the case, then you should shop around for recycled composite or rubber roofing. These tiles are made to look like whatever roofing style you prefer, are reasonably inexpensive, and allow you to ensure that reusable materials are kept out of the landfill.
Going this route will require that you spend some time doing your homework. The longevity of the product you choose could vary wildly based on the manufacturing process used. Be very sure to look into any company you consider working with, lest you end up with a leaking roof not long after the warranty period expires.
Metal Doesn't Deserve It's Bad Reputation
Metal has a bad reputation for being noisy and difficult to maintain. Fortunately for you, this is no longer the case, and it is a viable choice even on a high end home. The new face of metal roofing materials is strong and attractive, if a bit costly. There are a few options that use shingles to give the roof a classic look, but most are seamless. Shop around to get an idea of the many options available if you go this route.
In some ways, metal roofing is a great way to bridge the gap between the cost and weight of slate tiles, and the relatively short lifespan of asphalt shingles. A well-made metal roof will outlast you, and modern roofing methods will ensure that you don't get a headache from the noise caused by the average rainstorm. In addition, since most metal roofing doesn't use a clip system, it is unlikely to need the constant care and attention that comes with slate roofing as it starts to age.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the old standard, and that may the conclusion you come to as well. However, by exploring your options, you can be sure that the choice you make for your home is the right one. For more information, work with an experienced roofing contractor in your area.