What is a roof made of today?

Some small, flat roofs are made with tar, while rubber is quickly becoming another easy roofing option. There are many types of roofing materials to choose from, including composite asphalt shingles, metal shingles, wooden slats, and clay tiles. And instead of simply going with the option you had earlier, you might want to consider a more modern or durable roofing material. Choosing the right type of roof requires weighing appearance, longevity, roofing material prices and structural issues.

Nowadays there is a wide variety of roof covers, each with its own advantages depending on the use. The most common roofing materials available include asphalt, wood, metal, clay, cement and slate, glass and plastic, and plastic liquid coatings. They don't last as long as other roofing materials and are a poor choice in areas that receive high humidity or where wildfires are a hazard. Asphalt shingles, the most common residential roofing material used in the United States, are popular because they are inexpensive and easy to install.

A roof system consists of several types of materials that are interconnected to provide weatherproof protection in buildings. Rolled roofs are made up of long rolls of mineral-impregnated and asphalt-impregnated material topped with mineral granules. Asphalt shingles also provide reliable waterproofing and are fairly easy to install for a quick upgrade project. Unfortunately, asphalt shingles have a low insulating value and a shorter lifespan than many other roofing materials available today.

From the ground, it can be virtually impossible to distinguish this engineered roof from natural slate. In addition to being waterproof, roofs help protect buildings from the sun, rain, snow and other elements. By absorbing more sunlight and reducing heat gain (heat island effect), rooftop gardens also help reduce the use of traditional cooling systems, such as air conditioning during hot seasons. Available in two types, panels and tiles, metal roofs come in aluminum, copper, stainless steel and zinc.

The most common type of metal roof is the vertical seam roof, so named because the aluminum or steel roof panels are joined together in raised joints that interlock to prevent moisture from entering. EPDM stands for ethylene-propylene-diene monomer, a type of roofing material with a single-sheet membrane that comes in typical thicknesses of 30 to 60 thousandths of an inch.

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