Asphalt shingles possess an overwhelming share of the U.S. steep-slope roofing market and can be reinforced with organic or fiberglass materials. Although asphalt shingles reinforced with organic felts have been around much longer, fiberglass-reinforced products now dominate the market.
Asphalt shingles' fire resistances, like most other roofing materials, are categorized by Class A, B or C. Class A signifies the most fire-resistant; Classes B and C denote less fire resistance. Generally, most fiberglass shingles have Class A fire ratings, and most organic shingles have Class C ratings.
A shingle's reinforcement has little effect on its appearance. Organic and fiberglass products are available in laminated (architectural) grades that offer a textured appearance. Zinc or copper-coated ceramic granules also can be applied to organic or fiberglass products to protect against algae attack, a common problem in warm, humid parts of the United States. Both types of shingles also are available in a variety of colors.
Regardless of their reinforcing type and appearance, asphalt shingles' physical characteristics vary significantly. When installing asphalt shingles, NRCA recommends use of shingles that comply with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards-ASTM D 225 for organic shingles and ASTM D 3462 for fiberglass shingles. These standards govern the composition and physical properties of asphalt shingles; not all asphalt shingles on the market comply with these standards. If a shingle product complies with one of these standards, it is typically noted in the manufacturer's product literature and on the package wrapper.
Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods; their natural look is popular in California, the Northwest and parts of the Midwest. Wood shingles are machinesawn; shakes are handmade and rougher looking. A point to consider: Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.
Tile—clay or concrete—is a durable roofing material. Mission and Spanish-style round-topped tiles are used widely in the Southwest and Florida, and flat styles also are available to create French and English looks. Tile is available in a variety of colors and finishes. Tile is heavy. If you are replacing another type of roof system with tile, you will need to verify that the structure can support the load.
Slate is quarried in the United States in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is available in different colors and grades, depending on its origin. Considered virtually indestructible, it is, however, more expensive than other roofing materials. In addition, its application requires special skill and experience. Many old homes, especially in the Northeast, still are protected by this long-lasting roofing material.
Metal, primarily thought of as a low-slope roofing material, has been found to be a roofing alternative for home and building owners with steep-slope roofs. There are two types of metal roofing products: panels and shingles. Numerous metal panel shapes and configurations exist. Metal shingles typically are intended to simulate traditional roof coverings, such as wood shakes, shingles and tile. Apart from metal roofing's longevity, metal shingles are relatively lightweight, have a greater resistance to adverse weather and can be aesthetically pleasing. Some have Class A fire ratings.
Aluminum vs. Steel Roofing
▸ Aluminum is a lighter material
▸ Aluminum is naturally resistant to corrosion while steel is not
▸ Aluminum roofing costs more than steel roofing
▸ Types of Aluminum Roofing
Aluminum roof panels:
Aluminum roof shingles:
Corrugated aluminum roofing:
Aluminum Roof Repair
Leaks and major roof damage typically requires replacing the entire aluminum panel or damaged metal shingles. Patching the damaged areas on an aluminum roof isn’t a long-term fix.
Aluminum roofing products have a usable service life of 50 years or longer. A good quality repair is the key to ensuring your aluminum roof lasts as long as advertised. Always use a qualified roofing contractor with metal roof repair experience to ensure the fix is done right.
Aluminum Roof Installation Over Existing Roofing
Aluminum is an architectural roofing product, meaning it’s not utilized for structural purposes. So, when installing over an existing roof wood battens or some other type of solid structural component is attached directly to the roof and the aluminum roofing material attached on top of that.
In cases where the existing roof has significant damage or the sub-structure has damage, the roof may need to be torn off before installing the new aluminum roof.
▸ Up to lifetime warranty
▸ Eco-friendly product – up to 95% recycled aluminum
▸ Does not corrode
▸ Wide variety of styles, colors and finishes available
▸ Fire resistant
▸ 50+ year service life
▸ Easy maintenance
▸ High initial cost (costs more than steel roofing)
▸ Moisture buildup (sweating) below roof surface is possible when poorly installed
Aluminum Roofing Cost
Synthetic roofing products simulate various traditional roof coverings, such as slate and wood shingles and shakes. However, they do not necessarily have the same properties.