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Bergen County Roofing: Article About Exploring Your Roof Shingle Options

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Though often not the first thing a property owner thinks about, the roof is an important part of both the function and appearance of a building. Shingles are the smallest unit of a sloped roofing project, and besides adding to the curb appeal of your building, they are also important for keeping the weather out and improving the building's energy efficiency. With a wide variety of shingles out there, it's important to consider how their different qualities impact the life of your roof. Here, we go over some of the most common shingle options available, including asphalt, wood, fiber cement and tile options.

When it comes to Bergen County roofing, easily the most common shingle material is asphalt. Most asphalt shingles are made from fiber glass mat with an asphalt coating. They're usually one of the cheaper options due to a low cost of manufacturing and simplicity of installation, though they tend not to last as long as other more costly materials. There's also a wide variety tailored for specific purposes, such as shingles that are rated for frequent hailstorms and others meant for fire resistance. If you're looking for more energy-efficient options, some asphalt shingles are designed to reflect solar heat in order to lower air conditioning costs.

Wood shingles are another common option, being the most popular choice for the vast majority of the last several thousand years. Though more expensive than asphalt shingles, wood is arguably more attractive on a home's exterior.

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These shingles are typically used for decorative purposes and are available in a wider variety of shapes than most other types of shingles. Additionally, wood shingles have the potential to last more than 30 years; redwood and cedar tend to be the longest-lasting varieties. It's important to go with treated shingles, though, because wooden shingles can present a significant fire hazard.

Conversely, fiber cement shingles don't present as much of a fire hazard; however, these shingles are often thought of as a lower-quality option. Before the 1980s, many roofs utilized fiber cement shingles made with asbestos. Asbestos has since been banned in many countries from use in construction materials due to its significant public health risk. Now, fiber shingle manufacturers substitute cellulose instead of asbestos. Unfortunately, this also means fiber shingles are now much less durable, cracking and softening in a few years.

Finally, if appearance and quality supersede your concerns about cost, you should consider Spanish tile shingles for your roof. Often made from ceramic materials, these tiles may last up to 80 years. Due to their characteristic red tinge, they're also effective at reflecting heat. However, this quality comes with a higher price, and they're too heavy for certain buildings. Talk with your roofing contractor about these options to determine the best material for your building.

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