Guide to Choosing Shingles or Tiles for Your Home Roof

There are several types of shingles that you can use when replacing or having your roof replaced. There are wood, slate, or asphalt shingles, or roof tiles. The following will give you a description of each and pros and cons that go along with them. There are also some helpful tips to help guide your decision making.

One: Wood shingles are a popular choice for shingling a roof, not because of their durability but because of their appearance. One of the most important things to know about these shingles is that they need to be able to breath or they will begin to rot rather quickly, so having the proper materials underneath the shingles to allow air flow is of great importance. Usually a layer of synthetic mesh is the best choice for the job and it comes in rolls for roofing convenience. If using the mesh adjust your materials purchase to get longer nails than originally planned for because the meshing is rather thick. When deciding which type of wood shingles to purchase, choose only from the NO. 1 type because they are the most durable and will not have knotting in them. They come in small, medium or large sizes, depending on your preference. Repair work is moderately easy. Some tips to remember: Be careful not to splinter your wood when working with the nails. Also, know that these types of shingles wear more readily on the side of the house that gets the most sun exposure. They are also prone to retaining dampness and collecting moss.

Two: Slate roofing shingles are expensive, heavy and fairly fragile, but they are also very durable and attractive. If you are doing this job yourself you will first have to have the house professionally evaluated to make sure the structure can handle the weight of these types of tiles. This is an important step not to skip because you may have to bolster support of the roof frame to avoid huge and expensive repair and house compromising issues later. Make sure that you use a very strong and reliable underlie with these tiles because they last for a very long time. Some tips to remember: Never attempt to walk on these tiles because they are extremely slippery. Wet tiles are an even bigger danger because with the moisture on the slate you double the slickness. Repair work on these types of shingles is best done by a professional because they are so brittle and as just mentioned so slippery to work with. The biggest threat to this type of material, as far as damage goes, usually comes from falling tree branches.

Three: Asphalt shingles are probably the most popular and easiest to work with and repair. They are fairly durable, lightweight, attractive and affordable. You can purchase three-tab strips or laminated strip shingles. Either type is easy to cut to size and hence nice to work with. A simple utility knife will get the job done. Repair work for these types of shingles is fairly simple and inexpensive. When excess gravel from the surface of asphalt shingles shows up in your gutters, it is time to replace them. Tip: Do not staple these even though it may seem like a good idea for speeding up installation. Use roofing nails (weather and corrosion resistant) instead to ensure you are working to code and to create added endurance that staples can never give. Because asphalt shingles do not last as long as slate or tiles, replacement will come a lot quicker. Know that if roofing over existing shingles, you can only go two layers high.

Four: Tiles are a good choice if you like the appearance of them, you do not want to have to worry about roof replacement for a very long time, and money is not an issue. Roof tiles have a high durability rate but they are also very heavy so again, as with the slate shingles, have your structure professionally assessed to ensure it can hold the weight of the material without reinforcing or bolstering. The greatest advantage of a roof tile is that it will last for many decades with minimal repair work necessary. Of course when repair work is needed, remember that these tiles are very slippery, especially when wet. Also know that you do not want to walk on top of them because your weight can easily crush them. You can purchase two piece barrel tiles, concrete tiles or tiles that have the appearance of wood.

These four types of roofing shingles or tiles are the most popular. Once you decide on the type you would like to purchase, make sure to speak with a professional for any other pros or cons they may have that they might influence your decision, and to gain any installation tips for your product that they might have and be willing to share.