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Common Roofing Materials used for Construction

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/26/2009

There are several roofing materials, and the roof to be used can be determined after a careful analysis of the roof cost, age of building, and the maintenance expenditures. Metal roof is one of the common used roofing materials with a life extending to over fifty years.

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    Roofing Materials Selection

    There are numerous varieties of roofing materials that can be used, or even the existing materials can also be utilized. The owner has to make a choice considering numerous factors, including cost, useful life, maintenance costs, and environmentally friendly. Before making the selection, the roofing material life cycle cost should also be taken into consideration. Some materials may be expensive, but need lesser maintenance, and are designed for a long life. An asphalt roof may last 20 years, and a metal roof may have a life exceeding 50 years. The age of the house also needs to be considered while deciding the roofing material. However, the majority of homeowner desires a roof that is economical, involves less maintenance, and has a long life. Careful selection of colors that do not absorb much heat can reduce the energy expenditures. There are several options for the selection of roofing materials, including asphalt shingles, concrete tile, and metal roofs.

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    Metal Roofing Materials

    Structural and non-structural are the main metal roofing materials that are being used for residential purposes. Structural metalmetal roof  roofing materials are directly attached to the lathe boards, and do not need solid covering beneath. The roofing material provides firmness and reliability to the roof structure. The non-structural metal roofing requires a solid layer below for support. Metal roofing has been developed considerably during the last two decades, and modern technologies have been introduced. The strength and look of these roofing materials have been enhanced significantly. The foremost forms of metal roofing techniques being used are the standing seam and the shingles. The installation process of the metal roofing may be complex, and need to be performed by a professional only.

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    Advantages Metal Roofing Materials

    Metal roofs are robust, a hindrance to fire, and the maintenance cost is extremely less. The energy efficiency of metal roofs is highMetal Roofing Material  since metal is a good reflector of heat. Studies have revealed that the metals absorb approximately 35 percent lesser heat than the asphalt shingles. Steel roofs are environmental friendly, since these are also made from recyclable material. Since the weight of the metal roofing materials is not much, these roofs can be mounted on the existing roofs. Thus, the excess material will neither be required to be removed nor will be required to be disposed in landfills. The saving on the labor cost can be enormous when the existing roofing material is not removed.

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    Concrete Tile

    Concrete tile is one of the popular roofing materials. Shingle, concrete panels and light weight tiles are produced from several fiberconcrete tiles  reinforced cement materials. Some of these are covered with enamels, plastics, or thin metals, while some include recycled materials. The characteristics of concrete tiles differ from each category, but are normally durable, efficient, need less maintenance, and unaffected by insects. Some concrete tiles look like wood shakes, or the clay tiles. Concrete is costly compared to some of the other roofing materials. The earlier categories of concrete tiles developed numerous problems related to the change of color and breaking of tiles. However, the concrete technology has been improved significantly by the addition of new additives. These tiles are now light weight and available in numerous colors and styles.