Roofing Selection Guide

George's Roofing Material Ratings
* * * = Great! * * = Very Good * = Good No star = Not Recommended

Roofing Material Manufacturer's Warranty Life Expectancy Relative Cost (low=1 high=10) Special Maintenance Requirements Fire Rating Comments
20-year composition 3 Tab shingles * 20 years 20+ years 1 None Class A - good Economic fiberglass product, but I would recommend the 25+ yr. versions.
25-year composition* * 25 years 25+ years 2 None Class A - good Upgraded 20-year version, good choice for roofing over existing material.
Architectural grade composition 30-40 Yr.* * * 30-40 years 30-45 years 2-4 None Class A - good The variety of styles and textures makes this product very popular.
Cedar Shake (Medium and Heavy) Generally none 8-25 years 5-6 Repair, clean and treat with wood preservative every 3-5 years None - can be ordered with fire retardant Requires careful selection of materials and workmanship. High maintenance cost.
Treated Cedar Shake (Medium and Heavy)* 30-50 years 30+ 6-7 None None If you must have cedar, this may be the best way to go. Treated with a preservative or a fire retardant.
Standing Seam Metal* * * 20-40 years 20-50 years 5-7 None None - non-combustible Made out of steel and/or aluminum. Factory painted in various colors. Very good for heavy weather locations.
Metal - Exposed fastener* 20 years 20+ years 4 None None - non-combustible Tends to hold debris and deteriorate at fasteners.
Metal "Shake"* "Lifetime" ? 30 years 7 None Class A This is a new product with a limited "track record", installation requires special training
Concrete shakes and Tile* * 50-60 years 50+ years 5-6 None Non-combustible Several styles are available.
Hot tar* Generally none 10-20 years 3 Seal coat every 5 years None Best on low sloped roofs.
Torch down* * 10-12 years 10-20 years 3 Re-coat every 5 years Generally none Best for flat or low sloped roofs.
Natural slate* * * None 50-150 years 10 Leave it alone Non-combustible An excellent roofing product, but not all slate will stand up to wet climates.

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The Sound Roof