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Types of Roofing Materials

What type of roofing material is right for your home? Well… that really depends upon your home… AND what YOU want.

The most important thing to remember is that all roofing materials have to be installed the way the manufacturer designed them to be installed. If not, they will leak AND they won’t last as long.

That’s why most 30-year roofs we see are failing in 20 to 22 years… and typically leaking long before that.

Sadly, most roofs we see were not installed the way the manufacturer designed them to be installed. Instead, they were installed the way the ROOFER wanted to install them.

One of our highly-trained roofing specialists would be glad to help you understand how various roofing materials were designed to be installed by the manufacturer.

So, let’s look at different kinds of roofing…

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

There are many types of roofing these days. Almost everyone knows about fiberglass asphalt shingles.

They are the least expensive quality roofing option.

With improvements made in the last several years, there are some fiberglass asphalt shingles that are rated to last as long as 50 YEARS with special installation. Some even carry a full 50-year warranty against material failure. Not bad for a relatively inexpensive roofing product.

That’s why fiberglass asphalt shingles remain the most popular roofing material.

These shingles are not good for flat or even almost flat roofs. But in almost any other application, they can be a great choice for the money.

The big advantages to fiberglass asphalt shingles are… lower price and wide selection of styles and colors. The biggest DIS-advantage is that almost everyone THINKS they know how to install them, which leads to a lot of early roof failures.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has become much more popular in the past decade. There are three basic types of metal roofing. There is Standing Seam, the highest-cost metal roofing.

There is corrugated metal. And there are metal shingles or tiles.

While metal tiles or shingles are still problematic in the way they have to be installed, both standing seam and corrugated roofs are well-proven and have many advantages.

Standing seam looks great. And it can stand up well to a wide variety of conditions. It has to be installed carefully with proper ventilation and an air gap between the roof and the decking,… but a properly installed standing seam roof can last for many decades.

Although this type of roofing was once made with tin, today’s metal roofing is specially-painted steel. This makes it last much longer and require less maintenance… again, IF it was installed properly.

Corrugated metal roofing is less expensive, but it requires even MORE careful installation. It can be a fantastic-looking roof with the new paints and finishes available. It, too, can potentially last decades, although even a perfectly-installed corrugated roof will typically not last as long as a perfectly-installed standing seam roof.

In many cases, a corrugated roof can cost only a bit more than a fiberglass asphalt shingled roof.

The biggest complaint with all metal roofs (other than poor installation issues) is NOISE. Rain can create far more noise than most people might anticipate. But many people LOVE the sound of rain on a metal roof.

A good idea is to test the sound differences of a “shingled” roof vs. a metal roof before you invest. We also have some tricks that we can use to reduce the sound transmitted with a metal roof.

Our roofing specialists would be glad to discuss those with you.

Synthetic Slate

Synthetic slate is a great-looking alternative to real slate.

Where real slate roofs require special installation techniques AND require special repair techniques, synthetic slate is less expensive AND is easier to maintain.

It is not cheap, but it can give you that natural slate look… without the headaches.

Cedar Shake

Cedar shake is still a VERY popular look for roofs.

Buying the right kind of cedar shake shingles is something that requires a knowledge of the suppliers available, as well as an understanding of what “look” you want for your roof.

We can help you compare the various options to give you exactly the look you are seeking.

Rubber roofs and Rolled Asphalt

Lastly, there are flat roof options. The cheapest option is a product called rolled asphalt. We would not recommend this product under any circumstances. It does not last long and requires regular maintenance to even get a few years of life out of it.

Rubber roofing is typically the best choice for any flat roof. Properly installed… with the right insulation board for your application… and with the right maintenance,… a rubber roof can easily last 30 to 40 years.

The secret to long life for a rubber roof is the same as for any other roofing material: proper installation.

Again, a Zimmerman’s roofing specialist would be happy to show you how to get the most out of any roofing material, so you get the most for your investment.

Your roof is the hardest-working part of your house. So be careful to choose the right material for your needs… and make sure it is installed to last longer.

At Zimmerman’s Roofing, we always install a roof the way the manufacturer designed it to be installed. That’s why we guarantee that it won’t leak;… it will last longer;… it will cost you less;… and it will make you 100% satisfied.

If you are looking for an experienced Roofing Contractor in Lancaster, Berks, or Chester County then please call (717) 354-3737 or complete our online request form.

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