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12 Major Categories of Roofing Materials

There are 12 major categories of roofing materials that are available that are available at Roofing GR. These roofing materials have been sorted in their major categories to help you with filtering and sorting through different roofing materials with ease and convenience, however if you can't find something that you are interested in you can reach out to us and ask if it is something that is available. We will be more than happy to locate your desired roofing material for you.

Choosing the Right Roofing Material


Choosing a roofing material for your project largely depends on 11 different factors which are:


  1. Pitch of the roof
  2. Roofing material budget
  3. Roof Durability & Lifespan
  4. Warranty on the roofing material product
  5. Curb Appeal & Aesthetics
  6. Maintenance required for roofing material
  7. Geographic climate
  8. Home Owner's Associations rules
  9. Local municipality or building codes
  10. Underlayments
  11. Roofing material weight


There are other factors that may go into choosing the right roofing materials for your home, but this is a pretty good list of things to consider when selecting roofing materials for your project. Next, we will go in depth on each of these elements and discuss some of the nuances that dictate each deciding factor.

Considering the Roof's Pitch


A factor you will want to consider when choosing your roofing materials is the pitch of your roof. The pitch or steepness of your roof is going to dictate which type of roofing materials will work for your architectural needs. Roofing materials are essential split into low slope, "normal" slope, and steep slope. For example, the minimum roof pitch for asphalt shingles is a 2:12 because they can't have sitting water on them, so if your roof is any flatter then you'd have to choose a "flat roofing" option, like membrane roofing or rolled roofing.

Budgeting for Roofing Materials


Regardless of which roofing material you select, getting a roof replacement for your old roof can be costly. If budget is the most important factor, then you're likely going to choose a cost effective solution like asphalt shingles, but the trade off will be that the asphalt shingles won't have the durability and lifespan that other materials, like a metal roof, are going to have. Additionally, asphalt shingles require a bit more maintenance than a metal roof.

Durability and Lifespan of Roofing Materials


The durability and lifespan may play an important role in choosing your next roofing materials. As mentioned previously, not all roofing materials have the same expected durability and lifespan, so if longevity is important to you then you are likely going to have a little bit of increase to your budget. Roofing materials that have a greater durability and lifespan include materials like metal or a composite material. The longest of them all might be a slate roof, which has an estimated lifespan of 75 to 100 years!

Quality Roofing Materials have Better Product Warranties


New roofs tend to come with two types of warranties, one that will cover the materials on your roof and one that covers the workmanship from your roofing contractor. Most all manufactured roofing materials come with a product warranty that guarantees that your new roof will last a specific amount of time, assuming you follow the upkeep and maintenance as they suggest in their product manual. However, it should be noted that roofing materials like cedar shakes or slate do not come with a material warranty because they are naturally occurring and not manufactured, which means if you decide to choose these options as your roofing material, you will only have a workmanship warranty from your roofing contractor.

Increasing Curb Appeal with Roofing Materials


Regardless of what material you choose, a brand new roof always looks better than an old warn out roof. There is just the element of being "new" that looks great. That being said, there are some roofing materials that really do "pop" more than others. The architectural style of your home and it's characteristics lend itself to certain materials over other, so you should consider this when choosing your roofing products. As an example, asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material installed on the majority of homes, so if you are looking to blend in then this would be a good choice for you. However, if you are wanting your roof to stand out then metal, cedar shake, composite, or tile may all be great options for you.

Roofing Materials have Different Maintenance Requirements


Everything under the sun requires a certain degree of maintenance and roofing materials are no different, but the degree of maintenance required is different for all the different roofing materials that are available. Some materials required annual maintenance and upkeep, some require biannual maintenance, and others even require quarterly maintenance. If you don't mind maintaining your roof then none of these options are going to be a problem for you, but if you are the type of homeowner that really doesn't want to have to think about their roof then you are going to want to select a roofing material that requires the least amount of roofing maintenance possible.

Weather Dictates Choice of Roofing Materials


The type of climate that you live in is going to play a big role in what type of roofing materials you choose. Here in Michigan, we have pretty hot summers and very cold winters. This extreme heating and cooling takes it's toll on your roof. You're going to need a roofing material that is going to be able to stand up to a wide range of temperatures and also won't break down when it get's frozen in the wintertime. Choosing a low quality roofing material can shorten the lifespan of your roof and potentially lead to even bigger problems down the road.

HOAs or Residential Communities  May Guidelines on Roofing Materials


Some home owner's associations or residential communities require that all of the homes in that community have a standardized look. If this is the case where you live then you are going to want to check with the HOA or community leadership for the type of roofing materials that have been pre-approved for your community. You don't want to choose a roofing material that isn't going to be accepted in these types of residential communities because it would be very expensive to have to tear the roof off because you didn't choose a roofing material that was pre-approved to use.

Local Municipality or Building Codes May Require the Use of Certain Types of Roofing Materials


State building codes and even local municipalities may have laws that may require the use of certain types of roofing materials. This can happen when gale force winds or other conditions are common in an area. Though we don't have to worry about it too much here, in Michigan, there are plenty of special codes that dictate building materials and roofing materials in areas with extreme weather. Just make sure you work with a roofing contractor that understands requirements for your area before getting started with your roofing project.

Underlayments are a Part of Roofing Materials that Require Consideration Too


Just like there are many different options with varying degrees of price and quality for roofing materials, the same is true of the underlayments that go on first. Underlayments provide a lot of different benefits from increasing r-values to eliminating other issues. Make sure you're asking your roofing contractor about the type of underlayment they plan to use, so you are using one that meets your needs for energy efficiency.

Weight of Roofing Materials Should be Considered


Most structures are fairly sturdy and the weight of roofing materials may not be a huge factor, but it is important to consider the type of materials that are going to be used and the weight of those materials, especially in Michigan where we have the added weight load of snow for a few months out of the year. The last thing you want to do is to pick a very heavy roofing material that is going to impact your home in an adverse way.


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