The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Various Roofing Types

The many roofing types available always make it challenging for people to make the right decisions on which type of roof they should choose for their houses. Each one of them has its pros and cons. Therefore, when selecting the roofing type, you need to consider various factors like the home design, cost, personal preferences, structural strength, and the local building ordinances. Moreover, it is essential to consider the long-term impacts of the roof you choose, which means looking into the future.

This article, written with some help from Crest Roofing (check them out at puts down the various roofing types available with their expected advantages and disadvantages. They include the following:

Composition shingles

Pros: they are available at very low prices that almost everyone can afford, and they are designed to offer a wide range of colors and styles. The composition shingles made from fiber glasses and asphalt are long-lasting due to their high quality. Compared to other roofing types, their installation process is more straightforward, and they need very minimal maintenance with class A flame protection. Therefore, you can be assured of safety with the composition shingles.

Cons: these roofs’ performance on high wind is not desirables, as they can easily blow off in particular conditions. Moreover, the materials are prone to scaring off easily when it is hot, causing damages to its appearance and affecting the durability length.

Wood shakes

Pros: they come in various colors, cuts, width, strengths, and thicknesses of wood, thus enabling flexibility when talking about style. Woods aid in attic insulation, and thus you can be assured of proper air circulation in your home.

Cons: the wood shakes usually are underrated by the fire safety conditions, and therefore to meet these conditions, they need to be sprayed with fire retardant, which sometimes can be less effective to resist fire when compared to all the other roofing types. They require too much maintenance and regular repair because insects, molds, and rot can easily damage them. Moreover, older shakes cannot be recycled, and they have a complex process when installing them than the rest of the roofing types.

Clay tile

Pros: enables a unique look, majorly for the houses with southwestern, Spanish, and Italian looks. They are available in many colors and different styles. Moreover, tiles are durable, and they rarely rot or burn; neither can they be damaged by insects and rodents. Therefore, they require very minimal maintenance.

Cons: the tiles’ weight is heavy and thus requires the roof to have extra support; when color is added to the tiles’ surface, they tend to fade off quickly. Tiles are known for their fragile nature, making it challenging to repair them or even walk on them to repair fireplaces and gutters. This roofing type is among the expensive roofs with a complicated installation process.

Concrete tiles

Pros: it is the most durable roofing type available in different colors and styles; most concrete roofing is durable and needs minimal maintenance. The tiles cannot rot nor get damaged by insects; they can also provide excellent fire protection. Moreover, the concrete tiles can be made by copying other roofing styles or types.

Cons: it is expensive and new in the market, thus making it challenging for roofers to easily change the colors and break them when needed.

Metal roofs

Pros: they have become the most popular type of roofing in standing-seam steel. They are flexible in that they can mimic the various types of roofing materials like wood shakes and clay tiles. Metal roofs are long-lasting, require minimal maintenance, and are fire retardant. These roofs are energy efficient and have features that make recycling most of their materials easy. Lastly, they are light in weight, and thus they can be easily installed on top of other roofs.

Cons: installing metal roofs can be challenging, and its cost is increasingly becoming higher than the other roofing types. To determine whether the initial cost is worth it, you should first determine the long-term cost.

Flat roof

Pros: they are primarily used in commercial buildings and flat homes with the best drainage. And it is durable and less expensive than the other roofing types. Though their performance is not satisfying like the other roofing types, they can achieve a better look when covered with stone layers.

Cons: their installation process can be dangerous to the surroundings and installers. Some regions in the urban do not allow this type of roofing due to the smoke and air pollutants they release.

Identifying Roof Leak Problems

Is there a way to find out if the roof is leaking? What can be done if a leak is found? Is it possible to locate a leak on the roof? Searching for house leaks can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, there is a straightforward process that can guide you through identifying roof leak problems and avoiding worse damage.

Is My Roof Leaking?

Homeowners must remember that signs of water damage on the walls and ceilings do not always indicate a roof leak. Sometimes these are pointing to plumbing leaks. They could also be left by condensation in cold weather. If you see water damage on ceilings that are not located directly under the roof, you should explore other possible causes.

If you see signs of water damage in the attic, try not to jump to conclusions immediately. These may be remnants of an old leak that the previous owner has already fixed. This is particularly common in homes that have been around for decades. It may even have several roofing layers, with the leak occurring when the original roof was still battling the elements. Owners might also be alarmed by the presence of water stains on the rafters. However, this is not always a sure sign of current leakage.

If you wish to know whether your roof is leaking or not, then check for water damage during vulnerable periods. Look for wetness in the middle of a rainstorm. You can also perform inspections in the winter while snow is melting on the roof. Make observations within a 5-hour window to increase your confidence that leaks are due to rain or snow. If the water damage happens outside of this timeframe, it would be wise to seek the help of a plumber.

Leaks can cause substantial water build-up, which puts pressure on the ceiling. The weight can create a bulge around the affected areas. Water will need to be drained to avoid a collapse of the sheetrock and further damage to the home. Just place a bucket under the bulge and poke a hole with a nail to let the water out.

How to Locate a Leak

After you have made diligent observations and concluded that the roof is indeed leaking, your next step should be to contact certified roofing contractors. They have the expertise and experience to repair the leak. If you prefer to trace the source yourself, then read on to learn how you can do this.

Keep in mind that water, like everything else, follows the will of gravity. It flows downwards through the paths of least resistance. If the moisture gets inside the roof, expect it to travel down directly or diagonally until it reaches the next barrier. Then it will find the seam in the sheathing before it drops to the insulation or the rafter. Moisture that reaches the ceiling can get soaked up by insulating materials. After this, it can flow to the sheetrock or plaster. In the vast majority of situations, the leak can be found along sheetrock joints.

To find a leak:

Start by counting the number of roof layers in your home. Hunting for leaks is rather easy for pitched roofs with a singular layer.

Find the area where the signs of a leak are visible in the home.

Explore the segment of the roof directly above these. Check if there are penetrations such as chimneys, pipes, ventilation ducts, skylights, or swamp coolers. Most roof leaks can be traced to these types of penetrations. Sometimes you will have to inspect the area about 5 to 10 feet upwards to find the exact source.

If there is a penetration in the region, check the flashing for signs of damage. Repairs should be straightforward from there.

If you do not find any penetrations within the vicinity, then you can turn your attention to torn or blown-off shingles. You can also look for nails that are coming through. Other things to check are valleys since these are common leak sources.

Leaks due to damaged flashing are easy to fix. If you have roofing experience, you can get the needed materials and perform the repairs yourself.