How to Choose Shingles for your Roof

How to Choose Shingles for your Roof
A shingle is a shingle, right?  Actually, that’s not right.  Shingle roofs come in many different varieties that are constructed from different materials, in different colours, and with different styles.  In fact, choosing the right shingles for your roof also requires careful consideration about your roofing structure.  So, when it comes to how to choose shingles for your roof, you must not only think about your personal preferences but also what is best for your roof.  Working with a qualified roofer is always recommended, but let’s have a closer look at how to choose shingles for your roof.

Shingle Materials

You are probably most familiar with asphalt shingles as these are the most common roofing shingles used today.  But, there are many different materials used to make shingles.  Some of the most common shingles other than asphalt  include:

  • Metal roof shingles
  • Wood shake shingles
  • Solar shingles
  • Slate shingles
  • Clay shingles

Additionally, even asphalt shingles come in more than one variety.  Regular asphalt shingles are lightweight, durable, and affordable.  They are sometimes known as 3-tab shingles and compared to architectural or laminate shingles, they tend to be somewhat less durable though cost around the same amount.

Roofing Structure and Climate

Next, you must know a little about your roofing structure and your local climate before choosing shingles for your roof.  Depending on the slope of your roof and also its weight limits, some roofing shingles may or may not be an appropriate choice.  For example, slate and clay tiles tend to be heavier and may not be supported by all roofing structures.  Knowing the dead load tolerance of your roof is crucial, particularly if you are choosing shingles that are heavier.  That being said, in climates where there is a lot of wind, heavier shingles may be a better choice – providing your roof can support them.  High winds can damage or tear lighter shingles off your roof.

Metal shingles are often a great choice for homes in hot climates as they reflect sun to help keep your home cooler.  Likewise, slate and clay are durable in hot climates, and they also stand up very well to high winds.  As you can see, choosing the right shingles clearly depends on factors such as roofing structure and climate.

Style and Features

Finally, your style preferences and shingle features should also be considered.  Not only can you choose shingles with a variety of appearances based on colour and dimensions, but there are various features of roofing shingles that make them more or less appealing.  When choosing the colour of your shingles, consider what matches with your home, but also match the aesthetics of your roof with the fashion of your home.  For example, you’re not likely to choose the same shingles for a Tudor-fashioned home as a rancher.  Also make sure you consider factors like algae and mold prevention as well as fire protection when choosing your shingles.

Choosing the right shingles for your home can be more complex than you realize, so always consider working with a professional roofer to  make sure you get the right materials, features, and style for a lasting and attractive roof.