Thomaston, Maine 207-990-3331 800-New-Roof

Roofing Types

What to Look for in a Roof

There are many factors to consider when selecting a roof including:

  • How long will the roofing materials last?
  • Will it stand up to the harsh New England climate?
  • Does the roof have enough slope for proper installation of roofing material you select?
  • Will the look complement the style of the building?
  • Are the materials eco-friendly and recyclable?
  • Is the type of roofing allowed by local building codes?
  • And finally, how much does it cost?

Pros and Cons

Some types of roofing may be better suited for your house than others. Factors such as the slope of the roof and strength of the framing could limit your choices. In areas prone to wildfires or heavy winds, look for a product with a high fire rating or good wind resistance. In addition, steps can be taken during the installation of many types of roofing to improve their resistance to fire or wind. Below are the types of roofing material we recommend for our region.

Asphalt Composition Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing for homes, comprising over 80% of residential roofing market.

  • Materials: Made of either an organic paper fiber mat (better for cold weather and wind resistance) or fiberglass (more fire and moisture resistant) impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules.
  • Appearance: Available in traditional 3-tab shingles or thicker laminated "architectural" shingles.
  • Eco-Friendly: Petroleum based product that's not eco-friendly. Can be recycled, though often taken to landfills.
  • Durability: Not very durable. Algae resistant shingles are available in humid climates to prevent staining.
  • Weight: Moderate in weight.
  • Slope: Can be used on fairly low to steeper sloped roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Good fire resistance, fair wind resistance.
  • Cost: Inexpensive to moderate.

Metal Roofing

While more expensive than asphalt, metal roofing lasts longer and is more wind resistant.

  • Materials: May be composed of steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc alloy. Steel roofs come with either a zinc coating or painted finish. Copper roofs are installed unfinished and acquire a protective green patina with age.
  • Appearance: Available in sheets or in shingles that resemble other materials. Can be installed with the fasteners hidden (standing seam) or exposed.
  • Eco-Friendly: May be made from recycled materials and can be recycled when replaced. Absorb a third less heat than asphalt.
  • Durability: Fairly to very durable, depending on the material.
  • Weight: Lightweight.
  • Slope: Available for low or steep sloped roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Good resistance to both fire and wind.
  • Cost: Moderate (steel) to expensive (copper).

EPDM

EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) widely used in low-slope buildings in the United States and worldwide.

  • Materials: Its two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene, are derived from oil and natural gas.
  • Appearance: EPDM is available in both black and white, and is sold a broad variety of widths, ranging from 7.5 feet to fifty feet, and in two thicknesses, 45 and 60 mils. EPDM can be installed either fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted, with the seams of the roofing system sealed with liquid adhesives or specially formulated tape.
  • Eco-Friendly: EPDM is one of the most sustainable and environmental materials used today in the construction industry. Its excellent performance transfers to low life cycle costs and less impact on the environment.
  • Durability: With many EPDM installations exceeding 40 years of exposure in the field under various climatic conditions, none of the material tested has shown alarming signs of degradation. Even though it would be difficult to predict, studies have shown aged EPDM membrane as having a potential life expectancy of 50 years.
  • Weight: Moderate in weight.
  • Slope: Normally used on flat and low-slope roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Good fire resistance, fair wind resistance.
  • Cost: Inexpensive to moderate.