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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Roofing Material Rundown

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Whether building a new home or repairing an existing one, there is no more important component than a high quality roof. A good roof not only protects against the elements and improves the integrity of the home, but also plays a large role in its aesthetic appeal. The material type, design and installation all work together to create the desired effect, and the right roof can completely transform the look of a home.

Since a roof represents one of the biggest investments a homeowner will make, it is crucial to make the right choices. Unfortunately, with so many roofing materials and options to pick from, it can be difficult to find the right fit. A qualified Grand Rapids roofing expert can assist in explaining the available options and finding the best materials for each specific application, but here's a rundown of the pros and cons of today's most popular choices.

By far the most common choice across the United States is asphalt composition shingles. Asphalt shingles are constructed from a base of fiberglass, which is then infused with asphalt and coated with protective mineral granules. More than 80 percent of all residential homes are topped with asphalt roofing, and for good reason. It's an affordable, durable material that is simple to install and requires little maintenance. The main drawback of asphalt roofing is its sheer ubiquity, which makes it difficult to create a truly unique aesthetic.

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Before asphalt shingles became the default choice, many roofs were made from wood shingles or shakes. Often made from cedar, redwood or other rot resistant woods, this roofing material offers a unique look and a life expectancy comparable to asphalt. Unfortunately, wood requires more maintenance than asphalt and can be two to three times as expensive per square. Further, some municipalities have banned wood roofing as a potential fire hazard.

One roofing option that is becoming more popular in recent years is metal. Most commonly steel, zinc alloy, aluminum or copper, metal roofs offer a number of benefits. Depending on the material used, metal roofs can be exceptionally durable and resistant to the elements, with a lifespan far exceeding that of asphalt or wood. Many metal roofs can increase the energy efficiency of a home, and some roofs are sourced from recycled material. The primary downside is its price tag, as metal roofing can be several times more expensive than asphalt.

Of course, these are just a few of the materials available. Homeowners in need of a new roof should contact a qualified roofing expert for a summary of these and other materials, such as clay, slate, concrete and plastic polymer, as well as assistance in making the best possible choice for their home.

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