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Shingle vs. Shake vs. Tile vs. Metal- Types of Roofing Explained

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While some property upgrades are elective, roof replacement and repairs are not a choice. They are essential to maintain the comfort and structural integrity of your home. It is worth mentioning that when it is about increasing the resale value of the property, roofing is one of the most expensive and the largest projects. 

However, deciding on the best roofing materials for your dig can be overwhelming. Should I go for shingle, tile, or metal roof- This is a common question many homeowners ask when looking to make roof upgrades. 

In comparing shingle vs. shake vs. metal vs. tile, each type has its own place. Apart from the issues of choosing a color, the variety of roofing materials often makes selecting the option difficult.   

The best way to deal with this is to seek assistance from the best Fresno roofer. We say this because only a qualified roofer has the right set of skills you need to pick the right roof for your dwelling. Consider hiring a roofing contractor who offers valuable insights that fit your home’s style.

But before you look for the best roofing contractor in Fresno, CA, learning basic features of the common roof types available can help you compare the best options. Don’t fret if you don’t know how to go about it. We have you covered here with a comparative analysis to help you choose the roof type that provides more value to your house.

What Roof Options You Have

Nearly all homeowners are familiar with common types like composite shingles. But more people are opting for metal (steel) roofs and tiles to top off the structural design. Interestingly, in the shingles vs. shake vs. metal vs. tile equation, you can have multiple choices to decide on a roofing material.

To choose the best material, you need to overview the common options, considering their pros and cons. As we mentioned above, installing a roof is not a small expenditure, and material costs have gone up over the years. Depending on the period you will be staying in the house, a higher up-front price can be a long-term saving.

Let’s plunge into the details to determine the distinguishing features of different types of roofs.

Asphalt Shingle

As mentioned earlier, asphalt or composite shingles are a common residential material for roofing used in the USA. And there are several good reasons for this. Asphalt shingles are not only fire-resistant, affordable to buy and install but also come in various and colors. In fact, when you compare shingle roofs to metal, asphalt costs less. 

Commonly referred to as architectural or 3-tab, the type of roof is long-lasting.  For instance, if you choose 3 –tab shingles, it is the most basic and go-to variety that typically carries a 20 to 25-year warranty.  

However, installing them is relatively difficult compared to architectural shingles. The shingles need firm adherence to a strict pattern to set on the roof. If not installed correctly, the shingles may drift one side or the other. Experts recommend not to go the DIY route if you’re an amateur.

Architectural Shingles 

Architectural shingles are easier to install and more flexible. Also, they offer a random pattern to the roof, providing it additional depth. They are thicker and come with a larger surface to provide a higher wind or gale tolerance compared to the 3-tab shingles.  

Moreover, the shingle type has a longer warranty, typically 30 years or sometimes more. 

When it comes to cost, architectural shingles are usually 25 percent more expensive than their counterparts. The shingles give you an incredibly high-end and finished look that looks similar to a cedar shake roof.

Pros of Asphalt Shingle 

  • Less expensive roof to install
  • Potentially needs less labor work to install
  • A large pool of installers

Cons Asphalt Shingle 

  • last 15 to 20 years (regardless of given warranty)
  • energy inefficient
  • Generate a significant amount of heat
  • Not recycled

Metal Roofing (Galvanized Steel, Galvalume, Aluminum)

Galvalume metal or galvanized steel roofing simply refers to an exposed fastener or standing seam design. If you’re looking for roofing materials for a commercial building or modern home, a metal roof may replace shingles. Although metal roofing is of steel, copper, or aluminum, it may look like modern shingles, with endless designs to choose from.

Many people or homeowners use aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper for different types of roofing applications. Keep in mind that each type has its own pros and cons. For instance, choosing galvanized steel means your roofing manufacturers need to use a zinc-based finish sealer coat to give it a durable finish and protect it from climate effects and corroding.

This roof type is quite common and rather suitable for commercial buildings. As galvanized metal comes with 50 years of durability, it has completely infiltrated the housing market. You can also coat this metal roof material with attractive acrylic to give it any color. Generally, galvanized steel has the lowest cost in the market.

Aluminum and Galvalume cost a little more, while exotic metals, such as copper, fall into the category of premium roof materials. You must expect a rule of thumb when factoring in metal products that mimic slate or shake roofs.

Is Galvalume Good Choice for Roofing Material?

It is worth noting that standard galvanized metal roofs and Galvalume both have a coating on the steel core. Introduced in the 1970s by Bethlehem Steel, the Galvalume coating combines zinc, steel, and aluminum.  

The process involves hot-dipping carbon steel with zinc and aluminum alloy until it turns into a coating with 1.6 percent silicone, 55 percent aluminum, and 43.4 percent zinc. This combination is the most popular material used in roofs.

How Metal Roof Materials Differ

Steel that includes Galvalume (the heaviest product), aluminum, and copper (significantly light weighted) makes a strong roof profile. Aluminum in this combination offers foam backing and delivers additional support that roof needs.  

Manufacturers implement metallic finishes, coating, and other aggregates to shield steel roof materials from humidity or moisture. It prevents metal roofing from rust in the long run. It doesn’t mean that the roof material will not change color on exposed areas over the years. However, it will not develop any structural damages due to corrosion. 

This is why most builders prefer using aluminum for the coastal environment. It is more corrosion-resistant. One downside to asphalt shingles vs. metal roofing you must consider is the initial cost. 

Metal roofing costs more than premium asphalt shingles between choosing materials and installing them. Plus, as copper and aluminum roofs are softer, they are susceptible to dents in hail storms. 

Metal roofing is also hard to walk on if you don’t install it correctly. 

Exposed Fasteners Vs. Standing Seam

If you want to go with metal roofing, your next choice is likely to be exposed fasteners vs. standing seams. As standing seam has a slightly more complicated installation process, exposed fasteners are often the first choice of many people. Standing seam is also more expensive. However, the benefit is that it doesn’t use any washers or fasteners, allowing water to pass through over time.

Pros of Metal Roof

  • Typically may last 50 years if installed and maintained properly
  • Copper provides a distinctive look
  • Can purchase metal roofs that resemble shingles or shake
  • Galvalume can resist corrosion
  • More energy efficient with UV reflectivity
  • Economical and durable over the long-term

Cons of Metal Roof

  • The expensive up-front cost for both installation and material
  • Requires specialized installation (not DIY-friendly)
  • May demonstrate “oil-canning” due to poor handling or inherent characteristics

Tile Roofs

Sometimes there is no need to compare shingles vs. metal vs. tile. Your community may decide this for you. Tile roofs typically use clay tile. Roofers can replicate the look with different products made from metal, synthetic material, and concrete. 

There are many advantages of using clay tiles. They not only look gorgeous but also last a long time (sometimes forever) if installed properly. In addition to that, tiles are rot-proof, non-combustible, and come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

The best advantage of shingle vs. tile you get is that the one tile is easy to repair or replace at a time. If matching the right color or size of the tile is challenging, you can seek help from the best roofing contractor near you in Fresno, CA.

Remember that clay tiles are generally more expensive compared to concrete knock-off tiles. But they also offer better retention of colors and durability over the long haul. The clay material may start weathering over time if you don’t maintain it. We say this because tiles are impervious to salt ( sourced from the sea) and require little maintenance for normal usage. 

Concrete Tile Roofing 

Concrete tile roofs, on the other hand, are durable but not long-lasting compared to clay. Ideally, they may last for thirty to fifty years, which is much lesser than clay tiles that theoretically last over a century. 

Some products in this category can be a mix and match of different tile materials. They use pressure-formed aluminum-zinc coating with an acrylic-bonded stone finish. This stone coating can resist fading and discoloration and make the tile product more impact-resistant, durable, and lightweight.  

Pros Tile Roof

  • High wind tolerance 
  • Excellent UV protection and resistance
  • Long-lasting (50 years or more)
  • Environmentally-friendly 

Cons Tile Roof Cons

  • Extremely heavy (needs extra roof support)
  • Expensive labor and material 
  • Hard to install (not DIY-friendly)
  • Susceptible to mold growth
  • Brittle

What Else?

Shake Roofs

Wood shake roof typically uses cedar. The cedar trees are 100 to 200 years old. Manufacturers split the logs of cedar trees into sections that refer to as shakes. This provides shingles unique characteristic look. If you know how to install and maintain shake roofs, they may last longer than regular asphalt shingles. E they also look more elegant and classier.  

However, when comparing shake vs. asphalt shingles, it is essential to keep in mind that shake is not environmentally sustainable and also pricier than shingles.

Differences between Shakes and Shingles

As mentioned above, the primary difference between shingles and cedar shakes is their installation and manufacturing process.  

Cedar Shakes- Manufacturing Process

The shake is shaped into small blocks after splitting by hand. The crafter then further splits shakes blocks using a hydraulic press or special tool into one-inch tiny slats 

In terms of shape and appearance, the wood shake is relatively thicker than a regular shingle. It has uneven surfaces and layers while the shingle is smooth.

When you install cedar shakes, you need to place the overlapping roofing layers between the small shake layers. With shingles, you have to install the lower ends on wood strips on felt’s top layers to promote drying after rain or wet weather.

Whether you choose shingles, metals, shakes, or tiles for your roof material, choosing the best roofing contractor can make a huge difference. 

Only a reliable contractor such as Magallon’s Roofing can help you make the most of your investment.

Here are some tips you can use to choose the best roofing contractor regardless of the roof type you select.  

Tips to Choose the Best Roofing Contractor

Select an Experienced Contractor

Although new roofing contractors can offer reliable services, a professional roofer has years of experience working in the field. Experience makes roofing contractors more proficient when it comes to handling a wide variety of roofing types like shakes and metals.

Check Accreditations

 Checking the certifications and accreditations of your prospective roofer is an excellent idea. A certified roofer in California such as Magallon often carries higher quality material and gives you robust warranties.  

Look for a Local Roofing Contractor

A local roofing contractor not only has a reputation in your town but also has a thorough knowledge of the problems specific to the climate and its effects on your roof. He can help you find out the roof type that is a long-term solution. Also, he is more equipped to deal with the roofing concerns unique to your property.

Evaluate Written Quotes

A good roofer always provides a written quote for the roofing project. Some contractors only give price quotes on a scrape of the papers or verbally; it does not guarantee that there will be no change in price and other terms. Reputable contractors, on the other hand, provide you a written quote after consultation.

Summing Up

Overall, installing a new roof is a big investment. Before you make this investment, you must spend some time learning how to evaluate and pick the roof types. Thus, the given details will help you compare different types of roof materials you can choose for your home.


Written by Magallon's Roofing

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