A roof can be as simple and basic as a means to keep the rain out. A roof can also be a dramatic addition to a home's architecture. With the roofing products available today, you can accomplish both. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Before you think about which material to use, decide if you really need a new roof. Do a roof inspection. Look for:
Roof leaks are not always the sign of a failed roofing system. You may not actually need a new roof. Loose or missing shingles and many flashing problems can be easily repaired.
The most widely used roofing material is the composition shingle. Commonly known as asphalt shingles, they come in two types, differentiated by the base material. They consist of either an organic fibre mat or fibreglass core. Each type is impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules to add colour and texture. An adhesive back combined with nails, tacks or staples is the fastening method used. You will most likely find a "good/better/best" selection. Compare warranties (number of years the roof should last) when shopping. Shingles are available in the common 3-tab style or newer architectural designs that replicate other roofing materials such as wood or slate.
Composition shingles are available in 3-tab and architectural designs.
There are two main types:
Metal roofs have returned from the olden days to become a popular roofing option. Once limited to low-slope structures, standing seam steel roofs can now be used on steeper roofs as well. Metal is durable, practically maintenance-free, heat reflective and nonflammable. Installed in sheets, a metal roof will actually dissipate a lightning strike rather than conduct it (a concern left over from the olden days). For real visual impact, a copper roof ages to an attractive patina.
There are two types. Shingles are cut to a specific size and smooth finished. Shakes are irregular and rough-textured. Wood gives a natural look to a home. It also requires more maintenance to protect it from the elements. Wood roofing is commonly made from cedar. Fire-resistance is definitely a consideration in some areas due to local ordinances.
Corrugated sheet roofing is a cost-effective choice.
Built-up roofs are installed on flat or very low-sloping structures. They consist of alternating layers of felt or fibreglass treated with asphalt. These layers are topped with asphalt (tar) or aggregate. Built-up roofs are more common in commercial buildings.
These are two of the oldest roofing materials around. They are long-lasting and durable. Their weight requires a reinforced roof structure that can support them. Both can be quite expensive and neither are easy to install.
If your home is surrounded by trees, be sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year.
A complex roof such as this may require the services of a professional.