Roofing materials have changed a lot over the years. First, there were asphalt shingles. Then, they started making those asphalt singles better and better. Now, modern homes are often roofed with metal panels or even solar shingles. But with all these advancements, some older roofing materials are also making a comeback as homeowners and roofers realize they offer more than meets the eye. The following are three such roofing materials.
1. Slate Roofs
Slate roofs were seen on many, many homes in the early 1900s. But slate is heavy, hard to harvest, and expensive. So when cheaper, lighter asphalt singles came around, many homeowners switched from slate to shingles. Now, though, there is a push towards green, long-lasting materials, which slate certainly is. A slate roof will last up to 100 years, compared to the 20-30 years you can expect to get out of asphalt shingles. Slate also has a "natural" look that is becoming popular. Not every roofing company will install it, and installation is still expensive, but for many homeowners, slate is worth that extra expense and actually saves them money in the long run because it's so durable.
2. Cedar Shakes
Cedar shake roofs were really popular in the 1940s through 1960s, but then they faded into the background as asphalt shingles became more advanced. Indeed, there are areas where cedar shakes are a really poor roofing choice; they don't stand up to wind very well, and they aren't ideal in brutally hot climates because the sun warps the shakes. In a moderate climate outside of the hurricane zone, though, cedar can be a good roofing choice. It's all-natural, decomposes readily, and is a good insulator in the cold. Cedar naturally repels most insects, too, so you don't have to worry about termites or carpenter ants like you might assume.
3. Thatched Roofing
This roofing material is likely the most unique type. It consists of bundles of straw or water reeds. Thatched roofs have been around for thousands of years. They are definitely more complicated to install than shingles, and they have to be installed absolutely correctly, or else the roof may leak. However, if you can manage to find a skilled thatched, the result is a beautiful cottage-like look. Thatching is also very eco-friendly since it's made entirely of plants. And it's a good insulator, too.
Shingles and metal roofing are popular these days, but the older roofing materials described above are making their own comebacks, too. Talk to a residential roofing company to learn more.