If you're thinking about fixing your roof, then you need to familiarize yourself with the different roofing materials. You don't need to stick with the current material. If you want, you can pick a complete new type of shingle or tile. Here is an overview of the main types of roofing materials.
These are very common roofing shingles. They are inexpensive, durable, and easy to install. It may be that your roof already has asphalt shingles on it. So, if you like the way the asphalt shingles have performed, then you could always use them again.
A major benefit to using asphalt shingles is that you can lay them right over the old shingles. This is not an ideal situation. However, if you are looking for a very cheap solution, then this is the best choice. You cannot lay other tile or shingles over asphalt, only asphalt-on-asphalt works.
A downside to asphalt is that it can deteriorate due to mold. If your home is situated in the shade, and there is a lot of rain, then this will be a problem. It will require you to periodically hire someone to go up onto the roof and clean the tiles.
Red Cedar Shingles
If you like the look of wood shingles, then you will love red cedar shingles. This type of wood species is very resistant to moisture. The shingles are further treated with oils to help prevent moisture damage.
A benefit to cedar shingles is that they are exceptionally beautiful. They are also thicker than asphalt shingles. This thickness provides extra insulation.
A downside to cedar shingles is that they require more maintenance then asphalt shingles. They need to be kept clean of mold, moss, and dead leaves. All of those things can lead to wood rot.
If you want a roof that you won't ever have to worry about, then go for slate. They are resistant to mold and rain. The sun doesn't damage them like it does wood and asphalt. They will outlast all other roofing materials. They are very expensive, but they are an addition to your home that will last a very long time.
There are a few caveats. First, if you live in an area with extreme cold, then slate is not a great choice. Freezing temperatures can crack the slate. Also, if you happen to want to be able to walk around on your roof (to hang Christmas lights, perhaps), then slate is not a good choice. These tiles are not designed to be walked on. If you do want the ability to get up and walk on your roof you need to choose asphalt tiles.
For more information, contact a roofing contractor like All American Roofing Incorporated.