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The differences between roofing materials

A roof is the primary defense a home has against the elements. It provides protection against wind, rain and snow, as well as shields the interior from the blazing heat. A compromised roof cannot do its job properly. There are many different roofing materials available these days -- each of which carries with it a certain length of usefulness.
Most roofs can last anywhere from 25 to 40 years, depending on the material composition. Homeowners may know it's time to replace a roof without even venturing out on the roof. Ceiling leaks or discoloration can indicate it's time to replace a roof. Check for sagging ceiling material on the top floors of the home if there is no attic. Wet or darkened wood or rusty nails in the attic could be signs. Rafters may channel leaks away from their original source, so it's best to do a thorough check anytime wetness or discoloration is evident anywhere in the home.
Once the decision to install a new roof is made, homeowners must decide between the different roofing materials. Research is necessary to find a roof that will be the right price and meet the homeowner's needs. Here are common roofing materials.
* Asphalt shingles: This is the type of roof most homeowners first think of when envisioning a roofing project. The three-tab asphalt shingle is the most commonly used roofing material. The economic value it offers is why this roof is one of the most popular. However, even though shingles are available in many different colors, homeowners seeking something unique may want to select a different roofing option.
* Architectural shingle: Similar to an asphalt shingle, the architectural shingle is made to be thicker and the layers are staggered to give the roof a more architectural look. These shingles are only slightly more expensive than asphalt shingles, which still makes them a good value.
* Wood shakes and shingles: