Of all roofing materials, shingles are the most commonly replaced. These are the parts of the roof that take the brunt of the damage from the elements. There are several different types of shingles from which to choose.
Asphalt shingles are arguably the most common. The commonality of this material is due to its durability and lower cost. The most basic is the three-tab shingle, which has two rain grooves on each shingle strip. However, in today’s market, it is more common to see a strip shingle with no grooves. Instead, the layered design creates a dimensional product that has the same effectiveness as the three-tab version. Newer products also have a “class A” fire rating to help reduce your homeowner’s insurance. The asphalt design comes in several colors.
Clay tiles are also a popular choice. There is a belief among owners that this is the most durable option available. It works best in hot climates because the clay tiles are able to withstand the extreme temperatures. In fact, they have a high reflective rating, allowing them to qualify for the energy star rating.
Cedar shakes are arguably some of the oldest roofing material still in use. This option has been used on homes for more than a century. The tiles are popular due to their rich appearance and their natural resistance to decay and rot. The downside to using this material is that the install is labor intensive and slow to complete.
When you replace the tiles on your roof, you will also need to put down new tar paper. This heavy-duty paper is actually a paper or fiberglass mat soaked with tar. This creates a waterproof material used underneath the shingles. Some construction sites also use roofing felt, which is saturated with asphalt. While the two are different mediums, contractors often use the terms interchangeably, as both mediums serve as the waterproofing layer. True tar paper is used less often than asphalt paper, as it is not as resistant to wind or sun.
No matter if your contractor uses true tar paper or asphalt paper, there is always some form of waterproofing underlay between the tiles and wood of the roof.
The final common roofing material is the wooden sheathing. This is often plywood, but it could be other wood material that supports the tiles and the underlay. These are the solid wood pieces that attach to the frame of the home. While they are protected from the rain, wind, and direct sun by the other layers, occasionally replacement is required. This occurs when there is damage from hail or tree limbs, for example, or when the shingles are in disrepair and no longer protect the area. If you see leaks in your home, you will need to replace one or more of these boards.