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Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Types Of Roofs

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The different types of roofs have unique properties that make them more or less desirable for homeowners. The standard roofing materials available are tiles, shingles and galvanized metal, and each type varies in cost, durability and visual appeal. Perhaps the most beautiful roofing materials are slate, wood or ceramic tiles, and these materials have been used for hundreds of years in Islamic and European architecture. Tiles generally last much longer than shingles because they're made from materials that don't decompose as quickly, but their high cost makes them much less popular than asphalt shingles in the United States.

It might make homeowners the envy of the neighborhood to have an intricate mosaic tile pattern on their roof, but most people choose shingles because they're economical and quite appealing in their own way. Chesapeake roofers are usually experts in shingle and metal roof installations because so few tile roofs are built in North America. The tile roofs that are built in U.S. neighborhoods usually don't need to be replaced, but specialists are needed to perform regular maintenance and cleaning.

Shingles were invented as a way to make an affordable roofing alternative that rivaled tiles in their visual beauty.

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Shingles are much lighter than tiles because they're made from asphalt, a naturally waterproof substance that can be compressed over a thin sheet of felt fabric. They were developed from an earlier product called roll roofing, which had the same composition as shingles but was cut into much larger strips. Shingles improved the attractiveness of roll roofing and were easier to sell through mail order catalogs. Many improvements over the last 100 years have made asphalt shingles safer and more attractive than they were originally. They now come in tabbed and interlocking styles that allow them to be arranged in natural looking, non repeating patterns.

Advances in felt substrate manufacturing make today's shingles safer than any roofing material other than galvanized metal. The most common felt substrate used is fiberglass matting, and fiberglass asphalt shingles are given the highest fire safety rating in the roofing industry. The low cost, beauty, safety and durability of asphalt shingles make them the roofing material of choice for more than 80 percent of U.S. homeowners. Another low cost option that's becoming popular is galvanized metal, and this type of roof offers excellent protection from the elements as well as great energy efficiency. In general, the type of roofing cover available for a home is determined when architects begin planning the neighborhood, but the many choices of asphalt shingles offer a wide range of styles and performance characteristics.

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