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Choosing The Best Product For New England Roofs

   With so many roofing choices, it can be confusing when trying to decide which roofing style best suits your home, your lifestyle and personal taste. The following section discusses the pros and cons of today's most common roofing products.  


Asphalt Products

Asphalt is a petroleum byproduct, first discovered about 5,000 years ago. For centuries, man found asphalt to be an excellent natural preservative, as well as an outstanding waterproofing and adhesive agent. But asphalt's unique ability to provide roof protection was not discovered until relatively modern times. 

Since the early 1900's, asphalt roofing products have set the standard for residential and commercial buildings in the United States, making the asphalt shingle roof the most common roofing type today. 

Asphalt roofing products are classified into four broad groups: shingles, residential roll roofing, built-up roofing and modified bitumen membranes. With these products, the roofing industry is able to meet the ever-expanding needs of both residential and commercial roofing customers.

Today's asphalt materials come in a wide variety of styles and colors, allowing you to have the roof of your dreams at an affordable price. Manufacturers such as CertainTeed and GAF, now offer styles which are not only more durable than the shingles of the past, they will also complement the unique style of your home or business.

High quality asphalt roofing products are guaranteed up to 50 years, under normal conditions. Some manufactures will also extend their warrantees for free, if the roofing is installed by a contractor who is certified with their company. 

Although asphalt shingles are a good choice for many home and business owners, they do tend to have a few downsides in extreme climates. They are more apt to curl or crack under extreme winds. Also, snow and ice do not slide easily down the rough surface and therefore may need to be periodically removed in the winter.

For more information on asphalt roofing products, visit the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association's website.






Cedar Shingles

Wood shingles are offered in two styles, shingles and shakes. Shingles are machine-sawn and shakes are hand-split for a "rougher" look. 

Although very attractive, wood shingles need be treated regularly with a preservative. For more information on cedar shingles, visit the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau's website


EcoStar Shingles

Ecostar is an innovative line of shingles that are created using a unique blending of rubber and "high tech" plastics. Ecostar's product line features lightweight and durable designs with the look and feel of real slate. Most shingles also come with an amazing 50 year warrantee. They were created by Carlisle, an 80 year veteran of the roofing industry. 

They do cost a bit more than asphalt shingles to install, but homeowners will experience the long term benefits of: 

  • Reduced costs for future repairs or replacement 
  • Additional equity upon resale of the home


Click here for more samples

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles offer the look of asphalt or granite, but are much lighter and more durable. This is achieved through zinc aluminum steel processing. Although warrantees typically range from 30 to 50 years, manufacturers such as Gerard are able to boast a longevity factor of between 50 and 75 years. 

Although these shingles will outlive most conventional shingles and add dramatically to the resale of your home, they do initially cost more than typical asphalt shingles do.


Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is typically used on low slope roofs such as commercial buildings and porches. There are several options to choose from, with EPDM being the most popular choice for both dependability and durability.


Copper Roofing 

Copper roofing is an old time favorite in the New England area. 

Although the initial installation is more expensive than most other styles, the elegance and resale value is unsurpassed by any other product. 

Those who are looking to stay within a tight roofing budget may also consider blending some copper accents with another roofing style. There are several examples of material blending in our Portfolio Section

For more information on the use of copper in architecture, visit the Copper Development Association's website.


Metal Roofing

Metal roofing in the United States dates back to Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello. In the years since, metal roofing has evolved into an energy efficient and practical choice for New England homes.

The three most popular types of metal roofing are:

  • The Screw-Down Style
  • Hidden Fastener Style
  • Standing Seam Style

Metal roofing offers year-round benefits. In the summer, the roofing deflects much of the sun's heat, which a standard roofing shingle would absorb. By choosing a quality brand, you could experience attic temperatures that are up to 15% cooler than standard roofing, thus saving you on cooling bills. In the winter, snow and ice tends to slide off metal roofing far easier than other materials.

Contrary to common myth, today's metal roofing is designed to actually be quieter than standard roofing. Also, by using interlocking designs, manufacturers such as Ideal Roofing boast a very high tolerance to high velocity winds and extreme elements. For a full list of the pros and cons of metal roofing, view our comparison chart.

If you would like more information on metal roofing benefits, available styles and colors, you may also want to visit Ideal Roofing's website.


Slate Roofing

Slate roofs are not only attractive but also extremely durable. Although slate is a natural product, it can be ordered in a variety of textures and colors. 

When considering a slate roof for your home, keep in mind that  natural slate is the heaviest and also the most expensive of all the roofing materials.