Roof problems can lead to serious structural damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Since damage frequently goes unnoticed, leaks have plenty of time to promote mold growth and rotting. New shingles can prolong the life of a house by several decades; however, some shingles are not appropriate in certain situations. Before contacting a roofing company, learn which types of shingles are best suited for you.

Different types of roofing

  • Asphalt - These shingles are perfect for people who cannot afford to spend a lot on their roofs. Made from organic materials or fiberglass, this type of roofing is usually treated against mold and mildew infestation. It's also relatively long-lasting and calls for very little maintenance. 
  • Tile - These shingles are ideal for people who live in warm, sunny climates, because they are resistant to ultraviolet rays. Tile is also a good choice for homeowners interested in southwestern or Spanish themes. More durable than asphalt roofing, tile shingles are available as ceramic, slate, concrete and clay. 
  • Wood shakes - Homeowners looking for a more natural, rustic or organic look tend to prefer wood shake roofs. Although they do cost more than cheaper asphalt shingles, wood shakes are biodegradable; longer-lasting; and offer better insulation. They also discourage mildew and mold outbreaks by allowing for good air flow. 
  • Sheet metal - Nowadays, sheet metal roofing is becoming trendy, because it is energy-efficient and incredibly durable. It's far more expensive than ordinary roofing; however, many homeowners end up saving in the long run, thanks to lower utility costs. 
  • Thermo Polyolefin roofing - TPO membranes are composed of ethylene propylene rubber, an environmentally-friendly material which has the ability to move with a structure as it contracts and expands during the hot and cold seasons. Great for flat roofs, TPO is usually used for apartment buildings; however, it can also be used on certain types of homes. 

Things to consider

Some loan programs and homeowner associations require specific materials and building standards for roofs. Before you sign a contract with a roofer, be sure he or she understands your needs. Even if your new roof looks attractive, it could prove problematic if it fails to bring your house up to code.