The array of options for residential roofing products has grown enormously in the last few decade, as manufacturers, builders and homeowners realized that advances in technology, when applied to roofing materials, can greatly improve their quality, utility, appearance and longevity.
Metal roofing products come in panels or shingles, and are usually made of aluminum, copper, stainless steel and zinc. Copper roofs are often a preferred choice for elegant mansions and significant pubic structures.
Shingle-style metal products successfully imitates slate shingles, Spanish tile, as well as wood shakes. During their manufacture, metal roofing products are coated with finishes, such as granulated stone, that give them a completely realistic look.
Advantages of Metal Roofs
The metal roofing products available today are light years away from the corrugated tin roofs we may have seen on buildings as kids while driving through the countryside with our families. Modern metal roofs are, for the most part, high-tech marvels designed to meet every homeowner's need for a lightweight, long-lasting, fire-resistant, attractive roofing product – and they look great on contemporary, mid-century modern, and craftsman-style homes, among others.
Unlike shingles and shakes that are usually expensive to install and sometimes require special framing to support them, metal roof products are surprisingly light in weight and can be quickly installed by a professional installer. They do an excellent job of reflecting the sun's heat, helping to save energy and reduce utility costs over time.
Metal roofs last longer than asphalt or wood, and are recyclable (in 50 years or more). They are also a good choice for homeowners wanting to harvest rainwater.
Synthetic Roofing Products
Synthetic roofing materials (also called composites), using plastics, rubber and polymers, have been developed to have the appearance, color and texture of natural roofing materials. They are usually lighter in weight, less fragile, and less expensive than their natural counterparts.
Synthetic or composite roofing materials are stronger and more durable than their natural counterparts because they have been engineered to outlast them.
Sun-fading is a common problem for many natural roofing materials. Synthetic or composite materials are resistant to the sun’s effects, providing decades of a fade-free finish to a roof. They are also resistant to damage from weather-related impacts, such as hail, and can withstand wind speeds of up to 110 mph.
Synthetic roofing shingles and shakes work very well with a variety of architectural styles. For example, contractors and remodelers of Craftsman-style homes are increasingly replacing the traditional wood shingles and shakes of this style with synthetic shakes, in order to take advantage of their cost-saving benefits of longevity (most synthetic roofing products are warrantied for up to 50 years) and being maintenance-free.