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Roof System Components: Coverings


Roof coverings are the shingles, tile, slate, or metal and underlayment that protect the sheathing from the weather. How do you choose your next covering?


Asphalt shingles are the most common roof covering in the steep-slope roofing market. They can be reinforced with natural or fiberglass materials, and there are a variety of styles. When installing asphalt shingles, we recommend the use of shingles that comply with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. If a shingle product complies with these standards, it is noted in the manufacturer’s information and on the package wrapper.


Wood shingles or shakes are made from cedar, redwood, southern pine, and other woods. Their natural look is popular in California, the Northwest, and parts of the Midwest. Wood shingles are machine made while shakes are handmade and rough looking. Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shake due to concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for some wood shingle products that have a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.


Tile, clay or concrete roof covering is a durable roofing material. Southwestern states and Florida use Mission and Spanish-style round-topped tiles. Flat styles also are available to create French and English styles. Tile is available in a variety of colors and finishes but is very heavy. If you are replacing another type of roof system with tile, you will need to make sure that the structure can support the load.


Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have slate. It is available in different colors and grades, depending on its origin. While virtually indestructible, it is more expensive than other roofing materials and its installation requires special skill and experience. Many old homes, especially in the Northeast have this long-lasting roofing material.


Metal roofs, usually a low-slope roofing material, can be a suitable choice for homes with steep-slope roofs. There are two types of metal roofing products: panels and shingles. Numerous metal panel shapes and configurations exist. Metal shingles typically look like traditional roof coverings, such as wood shakes, shingles, and tile. Metal shingles are long lasting, relatively lightweight, have a greater resistance to bad weather, and can look great. Some have Class A fire ratings.


Synthetic products look like various traditional roof coverings, such as slate and wood shingles and shakes. However, they do not necessarily have the same properties.


To learn more about the right roof covering for your home call Highland Residential & Commercial Roofing at 1 (888) 55-ROOFER. We serve all of North Carolina.

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