How Roofing Materials Work

How Roofing Materials Work

A metal roof might be pictured as a rusted old lean-to covered with corrugated Tin. However, today’s metal roofs are far from this image.

Roofs today are often made from an asphalt/fiberglass mixture or wood shingles. While tar is used for small flat roofs, rubber is rapidly becoming a popular roofing material. New trends in roofing are becoming more popular as people strive to be greener and look for materials that require less upkeep and maintenance. Metal roofs are expensive and require professional installation. However, their durability makes them a popular choice for roofing. You might be able to get a copper roof, although aluminum and steel are the most popular metals for roofing. You won’t have to stick with corrugated Tin roofing. Today’s metal roofing materials can be made to look like traditional roofing materials such as slate or Spanish tiles.

Because of their fire resistance, metal roofs are becoming more popular. Metal roofs are also light and reflect the sun, which can reduce summer cooling costs. Metal roofs are more challenging to install than traditional roofs, even though they require professionals Metal roofs can have a downside. While they are meant to last, modifications and repairs may be more difficult with metal roofing than traditional materials.

This article will explain metal roofing materials and roofing underlayment. Take off your hard hat to learn about the five main types used in metal roofing.

Metal Roofing Materials

You now know that your metal roof will not be made of corrugated Tin. You can use five different metals for roofing. They are all of varying price and longevity.

• Steel – Steel is the most prevalent metal roofing material. Experts have spent many hours researching the best ways to protect steel from rust. To protect it from the elements, manufacturers use a zinc coating and a sealant.
• Stainless Steel — This option does not require the additional coatings that are required for steel because it is designed to resist rust. Stainless steel is an expensive option for metal roofing due to its anti-corroding qualities. Many coatings available will make stainless steel roofs look natural without giving them the clinical, cold look of steel.
• Aluminum – If you are looking for lightweight metal roofing that won’t rust, aluminum might be the right choice. You will need to coat aluminum, just like stainless steel, so it looks natural. This option is most common for residential roofing. However, there are some concerns about using such a finite resource when other options exist.
• Copper – This option is growing in popularity, particularly as an accent on buildings and houses, but you won’t be able to see a shiny penny for too long. Copper will eventually turn a greenish color over time. This is what you might see on older buildings. Copper can be stunning in a shiny reddish-gold patina or an oxidized green patina. However, it is also costly.
  – Depending on the type of metal you are interested in; many different metal alloys can be used for metal roofing materials. You might need it to be strong or last a long time. Many other alloys can be made to meet your requirements. Although cost depends on the alloy, they can still be a good option for metal roofing [source: Vandervort].

A Guarantee for Life

Are you ready for your roof’s final days? A metal roof might be the right choice. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years, while regular shingle roofs last for between 12-17 years. Try copper or aluminum roofing? Your roof may reach septuagenarian status. These roofs can last for more than 75 years.

Roof Underlayment Materials

There must be protection between your roof and your home because of all the seams, especially with traditional shingles. This is where roofing underlayment products come in. The asphalt-saturated paper was once used as a weather barrier between roof materials and the roof. [source: tool base]. There are many roofing underlayment materials today, from rubberized asphalt to organic to fiberglass to synthetic. Your roof’s underlayment will protect it from moisture, cold, and summer heat, extending its life span. Anti-slip technology is used to protect roofers and can be left exposed for up six months during construction. You can select from both organic and synthetic underlayment’s to help you go green.

Roof materials offer many options, from organic underlayment to copper roofs. You would never have thought a roof could be so unique. Visit the links at the bottom of the page for more information.

Get the job done

Recently, synthetic roof underlayment’s have been proving their worth in New Orleans post-Katrina. Because many types of synthetic underlayment’s can be left exposed for up to six months, contractors used them as temporary roofing solutions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. These roofing underlayment’s were more durable than FEMA’s tarps. They became part of the house as they were repaired, unlike plastic tarps that must be removed and thrown away.

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