3 Uncommon Roofing Materials For You To Consider

Posted on: 21 June 2016


If you're planning to replace your roof this summer, it may be time for you to consider a different kind of roofing material than the ones you've used in the past. There are a variety of different roofing materials available, and each one comes with its own pros and cons. Take a look at some of the less common options that you may not have heard of before. One of them might be the right choice for your roof.

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles are also known as laminated shingles or architectural shingles. They're made by bonding two layers of shingle material together, and then removing random notches in the shingles to expose the bottom layer. This differs from standard asphalt shingles that have regularly spaced tabs that create a repetitive pattern. The aesthetic difference between standard shingles and dimensional shingles is that the random notches in dimensional shingles give the roof depth and definition – you get a three dimensional look instead of just a flat surface.

Dimensional shingles offer other advantages as well. The layered shingles can provide greater wind and hail protection, and they also last about twice as long as standard shingles – 40 years as opposed to 20 years for standard shingles. These advantages may make up for the somewhat higher cost of dimensional shingles. You'll pay more up front, but in the long run, the more durable shingles may be more cost-effective. You will have to watch out for algae and mildew growth, as the notches in the shingles give algae and mildew a place to grow.

Fiber Cement Tiles

If you're looking to save money on your roof, fiber cement tiles might be the right choice for you. Fiber cement tiles are made out of ordinary cement, but reinforced with fibers from fibrous materials like cardboard. Because the materials used to make fiber cement tiles are inexpensive and easily obtained, fiber cement is less expensive than many other roofing options. Also, the tiles are easy to install, which means that a new roof can be installed quickly. This can be a big advantage when installing a roof during the summer season, when summer storms can easily stall work and slow down the installation process. The sooner your new roof is in place, the better.

Fiber cement tiles are also attractive. They can be coated with thin layers of plastic, enamel, or metal, so you can create any type of look you want for your roof. However, cement fiber tiles probably won't last as long as dimensional shingles – though the material is durable and water-tight, the tiles can break under the right circumstances, and they can become weaker after long-term exposure to wind, sun, and rain.

Rubber Shingles

If you're looking for an environmentally responsible choice for your roof, you may want to consider a roofing shingle made from recycled materials, like rubber shingles. Rubber shingles are made from recycled tires that are ground into rubber powder, liquidated, and poured into molds to make shingles. The final product resembles wood or slate shingles.

Rubber shingles are less prone to damage than either wood or slate. Their greater flexibility makes them less likely to chip or break during transport or installation. They're also lighter than typical shingles, which can result in savings for you – you won't need the reinforced roof framing required for heavier roofing materials, which makes installation cheaper. The biggest downside of rubber shingles is their odor. If you've ever been in a used tire store, you know that old tires have a distinctive scent, and some homeowners notice a similar smell in the weeks following rubber shingle installation. However, the scent is only temporary, and it dissipates on its own eventually.

Make sure that you discuss all of your roofing material options with your roofing contractor. An experienced contractor from a company like All American Roofing Incorporated can help you choose the roofing material that best meets your needs.