Incredibly popular in America, asphalt shingles are inexpensive and easy to install. They are created from a mat covered with asphalt, with granules that protect the shingle from weather damage. Over time, these granules soften and fall off, exposing the mat and nail heads to damage. Asphalt shingles work best in areas with consistent weather, and they are both waterproof and resistant to fire. Although their durability varies based on the quality of the shingle and your climate, these shingles will stay in good shape for about 15-20 years.
Wood Shake Shingles
Wood shake shingles are usually made from either cedar, spruce, or pine. Beautiful and insulate, their reddish brown color will fade to a more grayish brown over time. These shingles are textured on the front and smooth on the back, and because they expand as they age, they should never be installed directly next to each other. Although individual shingles may need to be replaced over time due to warping, shrinking, or splintering, wood shake shingles can last about 25-30 years. However, they do require a fair amount of maintenance: they need to stay dry, so you must brush off any leaves, debris, or dirt that could trap moisture. To extend the life of wood shake shingles, you can treat the shingles before installation.
Slate is beautiful and very durable (it can last over 100 years!), but it is also heavy, difficult to install and repair, and usually quite expensive. These shingles require a special cutter for sizing and can easily be damaged if walked upon (so always call a professional for repairs). However, slate needs little maintenance and will last a long, long time. If you have the money and weren’t hoping to perform installation and repairs yourself, slate is a tough and long-lasting type of shingle.
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When choosing a shingle, decide which factors are most important to you. Are you looking for something inexpensive, maintenance-free, or long-lasting? Once you have that figured out, it will be easy to choose the perfect type of shingle for your home.