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Bergen County Roofing: Article About Material Options

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Bergen County roofing professionals often present homeowners with a series of options to consider when selecting a roofing material. They will present the pros and cons of each material, but at the end of the day, the homeowner must determine which material they will use.

Homeowners should consider how long the material they are going to use will last, how the material holds up to local weather conditions, whether or not the roof can support the weight of the roofing material and if the roof's slope is right for a particular roofing material.

Homeowners will also want to consider aesthetic factors and personal preferences. For example, a roofing material may functionally work well on the home, but is its style compatible with the house? Environmentally conscious homeowners will question if the material is recyclable or environmentally friendly. Finally, practical factors, such as how much the roofing material costs and whether or not it is allowed by local building codes, must be considered.

Asphalt shingles are likely the first roofing material homeowners will examine. They are very popular and account for about 80 percent of all residential roofs in North America. Asphalt shingles come in two options. Organic shingles are made from paper, wood or other organic materials that are dipped in asphalt. Fiberglass shingles have a fiberglass mat that is covered with asphalt.

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Some of the benefits of asphalt shingles are that they can be used on relatively low or steep roofs. Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles provide good fire resistance and can stand up to moderate winds. Asphalt shingles are not the lightest material, but they are not so heavy that they would require reinforcing the structure of the roof.

On the downside, they are not environmentally friendly. Although the option exists to recycle asphalt shingles, most of them find their way into landfills. Additionally, they do not stand up well to mold and algae growth, and they can be negatively affected by the sun.

Metal roofs can be composed of aluminum, zinc or steel. Depending on the material that is used, the roof can be coated or can be left unfinished. Copper is particularly known for the green patina that it develops as it ages. A metal roof is lightweight, it can be used on steep slopes as well as low slopes and it's resistant to both wind and fire.

On the downside, metal roofs are expensive and can be damaged by heavy hail. Unlike asphalt, they can be complicated to install and will require an installer who has special training with metal.

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