Unless you’ve had recent damage, chances are you haven’t given much thought to shingle choices for a new roof. If you’ve noticed leaks or roof damage on your Madison WI home, it’s obviously time to evaluate your options. Even if you don’t recognize immediate damage, a roof doesn’t last forever. The older your home the closer you are to replacing its roof.
And, if new siding or an addition is in the future, don’t underestimate the value of new roof when it comes to overall curb appeal and energy efficiency.
What is the architectural style of your home? There is a wide variety of sizes and shapes of roofs in Madison area neighborhoods. The type of new roofing you choose depends on several factors, most notably:
- Architectural style
- Personal preference for color, texture, etc.
The Most In-demand Shingle Choices
Asphalt shingles and asphalt composite shingles are estimated to cover more than 75% of all the houses in the U.S. Why are these basic choices so popular? You want roofing that’s more than just common and easy to get, don’t you? Asphalt shingles lead the way because:
- They are affordable.
- They are readily available almost anywhere at any time.
- Installation is fast and easy.
- Shingles are available in many colors, textures and shapes.
- Shingles are durable.
- Extended warranties of 50 years and more are not unusual.
You’ll find two versions of asphalt shingles: organic-based and fiberglass-based. The organic versions are widely available from many manufacturers and are usually less expensive. Fiberglass-reinforced shingles last longer, weigh less and are more fire-resistant.
Within the two options there are two additional categories: 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles.
Traditional 3-tab shingles are basic standards. Each is a single layer with slots cut into the shingle forming the three tabs. When installed the shingles interlock for stability and cohesive appearance.
Architectural shingles come in two strips, one laid on top of the other. They have a solid bottom piece and a top piece that’s notched to interlock one to another. The two layers are laminated together. The final look provides a heavily textured surface with deep shadow lines. When you’re looking for a dramatic impact from your new roof, architectural shingles are a great choice.
Not only do they look good, they last longer and are available in many colors and styles to mimic other roofing types.
Asphalt Shingles – Nothing Is Perfect
Modern asphalt shingles dominate the roofing market because they perform. However, they are not always the right solution for every property. Consider the primary reasons for choosing asphalt:
- Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles provide excellent fire protection.
- There’s a style that fits most architectural designs.
- They are affordable and long-lasting.
- No extra roof support is necessary because these shingles are relatively light weight.
- High wind resistant versions are available.
- High-impact versions stand up to hail and impacts – excellent choices if you live near large trees.
There are a few drawbacks, too. Especially for low-end shingles. Before making your shingle decision, consider:
- Asphalt shingles may need replacing more often than some other options.
- Repeated temperature extremes cause asphalt shingles to crack and wear.
- Poorly vented attic space traps heat and that can cause cupping and cracking to the shingles above.
- Mold and algae grow on roofs in shady areas – there are shingles with engineered-in resistance and there are anti-algae and anti-mold treatments.
Shakes And Wood Shingles
The classic beauty of wood shakes or shingles is undeniable. Neither is the long-term demand for maintenance to keep that beauty from fading.
Wooden shingles and shakes are available in cedar, redwood, cypress and pressure-treated pine. If you want a very special look, they offer exciting shingle choices. Are you ready to commit to the yearly maintenance? That’s the first decision you have to make. Then, consider what beyond good looks wood shingles and shakes represent:
- Cedar and redwood contain oils making them naturally resistant to moisture and insects.
- Treated wood shingles have a Class A fire rating.
- Cedar shakes may last 5 to 10 years longer than asphalt shingles.
- Wood has an excellent insulation value – nearly twice the rating of most standard shingles.
- When the roof does have to be replaced the wood is recyclable.
- Wood shingles and shakes are ideal for styles like Tudor, Victorian, Cape Cod and many bungalow- and cottage-style home designs.
Significant drawbacks to real wood roofs include:
- Non-treated wood has a Class C fire rating.
- Wood roofs need cleaning regularly to keep algae, moss and debris clear. The wood needs to “breathe.”
- Natural wood stains and changes color as it ages.
- Easier to damage than some options and repairs are more difficult and costly.
Another Option – Natural And Synthetic Stone
For certain architectural styles there’s nothing like a natural stone roof. In this country, that means slate. Or, more recently, synthetic slate look alikes. Both are available in several sizes. They’re durable and gaining popularity. Industry-leading GAF has a series of synthetic slate roofing that not only cuts the cost of real stone, but reduces the weight as well.
Slate roofing isn’t a viable option for many homes. It is heavy and the underlayer of roof has to be reinforced to hold the weight. Even so, slate-look roofs are gaining popularity because:
- They represent an unmatched look of luxury – unbeatable curb appeal.
- Real slate can be a “lifetime” roof.
- There’s little maintenance.
- Slate and slate-look shingles increase resale value.
- It is the heaviest roofing material commonly in use today. Extra framing (at extra cost) is necessary.
- Professional installation is critical to making sure moisture issues are not a problem.
- Slate breaks on impact or when people walk on it so repairs around the roof (chimney, etc.) are often difficult.
One of the newest type of shingles are synthetic-composite materials made from engineered plastics. These high-tech shingle choices are rot-proof, weatherproof, fire resistant and sturdy. These creations are often called faux shingles because they look like slate tiles or cedar shakes. Currently, these positive attributes plus the fact that they are relatively easy to install has them stirring interest. The biggest drawbacks are: they are difficult to obtain in many areas; and they are still expensive – 3 to 4 times as much as traditional asphalt shingles.
Great Shingle Choices Deserve Pro Installation
Are you in a hurry to replace or repair a well-worn roof, or planning a major facelift for your property? No matter if the project is time-sensitive or in the distance, relying upon roofing professionals is a wise investment.
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling is the area’s most versatile and reliable contractor. With a roofing division dedicated to providing timely roofing repairs and replacements we have crews ready for every challenge. Do you need a roof inspection? Or immediate roof repairs? Or are you planning a new look for your home? When you need roofing professionals call Sims Exteriors & Remodeling at 608-825-4500. Or email us to begin the process. We provide home remodeling solutions for your entire house, inside and outside, top to bottom. Take advantage of our decades of experience, craftsmanship and reliable service.
Let us share with you all the roofing options available as you make wise shingle choices for your Madison WI area home.