The roof is the most important structure in the home. This is why when people talk about the home, they refer to it as a roof over their head. The roof not only provides protection for the individuals living inside the home, but it also provides protection to the possessions in the home as well as the materials that the home is made of. If a roof is not adequately constructed, it can put the home occupants at risk, the valuables of the homeowner at risk, and eventually lead to structural damage of the home.
One of the first things homeowners need to decide when talking to Pittsburgh roofing contractors about getting a new roof is the type of materials they are going to use. Gone are the days where the only option available for roofing material was asphalt shingles. Now, there are a number of options including cement, metal, slate, and wood shingles. Each of these options has their positive sides and their negative sides.
Heavier materials like slate or cement will last for decades. There are some slate roofs that were constructed more than a century ago that are still functioning very well today. Slate and cement are waterproof materials. The downside of these materials is their weight. Not every single home is going to have the structure needed to support the weight. This is especially true in areas where there is heavy snowfall. When you couple the weight of the snow with the weight of the roofing material, it can overload the home structure and lead to a roofing collapse.
Lighter materials such as asphalt shingles or architectural shingles may last for around 15 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. This does not mean that they are a bad option. In fact, there is a reason why the vast majority of homes in the United States use these as roofing materials. They hold up to wind, they are relatively easy to install, and they are a relatively inexpensive option that produces solid results.