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For most people who have grown up in America, the question, “What kind of roof would you like?” is a strange question. It’s almost certain they grew up in a house with asphalt shingles, and most of the houses they’ve lived in have had asphalt shingles as well. Even manufactured homes, which once only had hard metal roofs, increasingly have asphalt shingles. Considering asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material used in this country (and have been for some time,) people are sometimes surprised to realize that they can change things up if they want to during their next roof installation.

At Roofing Resources of Georgia, we offer four distinct types of roofs for your home: asphalt shingles, metal roofs, tile roofs, and wood shakes roofs. If that seems like a lot of choices, it is, especially for someone who thought the only choice they’d have to make was whether or not to change their shingle color. But you may have the opportunity to upgrade to something much more durable or beautiful when you’re looking for a new roof…or maybe not, depending on how you answer the following questions.

What Can You Afford?

No doubt about it, traditional asphalt shingles are the least expensive option when it comes to roof installation in America. Not only are they made from the least expensive materials — petroleum and stone granules — but they’re also the easiest to install. When you’re in need of roof repair, it’s very easy to find someone who can get up on your roof and replace a few shingles. 

If you’re looking for an upgrade, tile roofs and metal roofs are more expensive options. Not only are they more expensive to install, but repair on tile roofs takes a specialist. Each type of roof adds a distinctive look and requires very little upkeep, and they’re also going to last longer than an asphalt roof. Which brings us to our next point…

How Long Will You Be In The House?

Metal roofing panels and tiles last a long time. How long? The average metal roof will hold up for 50 years or more, while tiles can last 100. It’s very unlikely that you’ll still be in the house when either would need replacement, which means it might be the last roof you ever buy!

While that sounds great, people are on the move more than ever. As people change jobs, move across the country, or simply upgrade from one house to the next, they’re living in each individual house for shorter periods of time. If you install a relatively expensive tile roof on your house and then sell it soon after, you’re essentially upgrading for the buyer and not yourself. 

But if you’re building your retirement home, a tile or metal roof might be exactly what you’re looking for. And if you choose a tile roof, there’s something you should know about preparation…

Are You Prepared For the Prep Work?

Both metal roofs and tile roofs are attractive to our clients due to how long they last. But when it comes to preparing a roof for each style, they couldn’t be much different. 

While metal roofs are far from easy to install, they do have one distinct advantage when it comes to installation: They can be installed directly over the old shingles. Leaving the old shingles on simply creates one more insulative and protective barrier between your house and outdoor elements.

Tile roofs, on the other hand, require a house frame that can support them. Since tiles are so heavy, the attic of a house may require additional interior support to prevent sagging and collapse of the roof. This can, of course, factor into the final cost of a tile roof here in Georgia.

Are You Environmental?

If you’re concerned about the environment — and we all should be — metal roofs and tile roofs are certainly more environmentally friendly, with metal roofs coming out on top. Metal roofs are made from steel or aluminum, two very recyclable metals. Tile roofs are made mostly from clay, so while they might stick around for a while, they’re also mostly natural.

Asphalt shingles are probably the worst from an environmental standpoint. Asphalt shingles have a great deal of petroleum in them, and there’s almost nothing you can do with them when they reach the end of their lives. Most asphalt shingles just end up going to the dump. Similarly, there’s not much you can do with wood shake shingles because the wood has been treated with chemicals in order to keep it from rotting. 

How Much Maintenance Do You Mind?

In general, asphalt shingle, tile, and metal roofs don’t really need much upkeep. While a metal roof can be painted and an asphalt roof might need a few new shingles after a storm, upkeep is minimal.

The exception is with wood shake roofs. While wood shake roofs can last 30 years — a bit longer than asphalt shingles but shorter than a metal roof — they need to have regular upkeep performed to ensure they stay in the best shape possible. It’s also important for them to be installed by a professional so that airflow is optimized and mold doesn’t have a way to take hold.

What Looks Best On Your House?

While practicality is important, it’s also a good idea to consider new kinds of roofs to see how they can improve the look of your house. Tile roofs give a Mediterranean look to a house. Metal roofs, once restricted to commercial buildings, are becoming more common on houses because of their unique look. Wood shake shingles don’t complement the look of most modern homes, but they can be an excellent choice on an older house. 

Do you want to stand out in your neighborhood? Or is your house the oddball because it still has asphalt shingles? Maybe it’s time to switch to a new type of roof. Well, that’s if you’re allowed to, because you have to ask…

What Does Your HOA Allow?

HOAs can be great, making residents keep their trash cans behind fences and preventing them from parking boats on the street. But they also reduce the options you have when changing your house, whether it’s the color, siding, or roof option. Many HOAs restrict the kind of roofing material that can be used to just two, either tile or asphalt shingles. If you want wood shake or metal roof, you might be out of luck. Be sure to check with your HOA to make sure you won’t get into trouble. 

Where Do You Live?

Where you live might change the way you feel about certain types of shingles. For instance, if you live by the ocean, you won’t want a steel metal roof because the saltier air could cause it to rust. Aluminum might be a good alternative for you, but they’re not nearly as heavy and could be more prone to flying off during a hurricane.

Do you live deep in the woods? A metal or clay tile roof might be an excellent option in case a fire comes along. These two types of roofs are fireproof thanks to the materials they’re made from. Still, if you want an asphalt shingle roof, Roofing Resources of Georgia can provide you with shingles that have additional fire retardant applied. 

Which Roof Do You Want?

Even more important, which roof do you need? When you come to us at RROG, we’ll help you pick the perfect roof for your house, whether you’re paying for it out of your own pocket or are using insurance. 

If you need a new roof, we’d love to answer any questions you have about the various kinds that we’ve detailed in today’s blog. We’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years, and we’re ready to get you the best roof possible. Click here to contact us today!