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Many types of materials are used for residential roofing, such as metal, wood, asphalt and slate. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. They also vary significantly in price and availability.

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used of all types of shingles. They are durable and cost effective, meaning most roofers will recommend this material. In addition, asphalt shingles are made in many different colors and finishes. They can last for decades if maintained properly. However, it is important to note that this depends on the climate where the homeowner lives. Climates with extreme weather will wear asphalt shingles out more quickly than temperate environments.

While asphalt shingles have significant benefits, they also have several negative aspects. Algae are known to grown on asphalt shingles if the roof is not cleaned regularly, and they get damaged by the sun more easily than other types of roofing.

Wooden shingles, or shakes as they are usually called, are often thought of as only being on old buildings. However, they are making a comeback due to their attractive, rustic appearance. Wood shingles are excellent insulators, perhaps better than the much more commonly used asphalt shingles. However, they are very vulnerable to mold and mildew.

Slate shingles are very attractive but quite expensive. They do have several practical benefits in addition to their beauty. They are very resistant to rain and other types of inclement weather in addition to the solid stone being highly fire resistant. The main downside of slate, beside the price, is the considerable weight. Slate shingles are so heavy that the structure of the house often needs to be strengthened. This can be very expensive and time consuming, so some homeowners will not want to deal with it.

Metal roofs have gained popularity in recent years. They are low maintenance alternatives to other roofing materials. Metal roofs do have several other benefits in addition to being low maintenance. They are relatively light, for example. This is because the strength of the material allows them to be thin.

Metal roofs are excellent insulators in hot weather. They reflect heat more effectively than any other material, even slate. However, they are not suited for cold climates because metal roofs tend to freeze when cold. This could lead to the roof cracking, which necessitates replacement. In optimal climates, they may last for up to 40 years.