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Five Oddball Roofing Materials that Actually Work

A new roof is one of the best investments a homeowner can make. It increases the value and curb appeal of any business. Asphalt shingles are among the cheapest and most common of roofing choices. Selecting another roofing material will go a long way toward making a building unique.

Welcoming Clay Tile

The perfect look for a building with the soul of a Mediterranean villa, clay tiles evoke warm sea breezes and tropical beaches. Clay tiles are available in many glaze colors to suit personal tastes and any home decor. Clay tiles can cost up to $500 per square foot, making them one of the more expensive options, but they are extremely energy efficient. They are incombustible. This makes them a great choice in areas prone to wildfires. Unfortunately, a building must be able to support their heavy weight. They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds per square foot.

The tiles are made of hard fired clay mixed with water. Individual tiles can occasionally crack or chip under intense stress and should be checked every two years. Overall, they offer a very durable roof surface that can last a century.

Traditional Slate Tile

The hallmark of an English estate, a slate tile roof is class embodied. Slate tiles are an all natural product, being made of quarried stone. They come in a range of pleasant earth tones. Because they are heavy, the roof  will often need reinforced framing.

A slate stone roof is very long-lasting. A stone roof can easily last well over a century with only the replacement of the occasional stone. They are fire-proof, moisture-proof and unfriendly to insects. The long life comes with a high cost. They can cost upwards of $600 per square foot.

Classy Rubber Roofing

Durable and personable, rubber roofing looks like slate without the weight. Rubber roofing is made from carefully blended rubber and plastic that tightly bonds to form a long-lasting substance. Fire resistant tiles are available.

Rubber roofing tile has other traits in common with stone. While it will not last for a century, it will last at least fifty years. It is also insect resistant. It is lightweight, which means that it can be installed on nearly any building and is also more affordable than slate stone. Cost per square foot runs from $295 to $400.

Avant Garde Metal Sheeting

Metal roofing has a refreshing modern appeal. It comes in a number of metals, nearly any color and many styles. Generally it uses flat sections of metal that are joined together to form a very durable roof. Metal roofing can be quite warm. It must be insulated underneath. Reflective coatings are often added to the top of the roof to control heat.

Metal roofs can also be quite light. Some weigh as little as forty-five pounds per square. It can be installed on flat-topped buildings. It can also be installed over existing composition shingles. It is fire and insect resistant. It is also recyclable.

Metal roofing can last up to fifty years. Color coating may last for twenty-five years. Aluminum will not rust, but lower grades may dent in a hard storm. Aluminum and steel cost up to $260 per square foot. Copper can run up to $500 per square foot.

The Greenest Option

The green roof is one of the most environmentally friendly options available today. They use a waterproof membrane, soil and carefully cultivated living plants. These living roofs offer many benefits to those who choose to use them.

Using soil and living plants on the roof helps to regulate the temperature of a building. The soil keeps the heat of the day out while slowing the nightly cooling. The soil extends the lifetime of the building membrane up to three times its typical life time. Costs can vary widely, but start at $15 per square foot.

A simple green roof can be just a thin layer of soil with hardy mosses and lichens. More complex roofs can grow small bushes, grass or even host a vegetable garden. No matter the plant types, a living green roof is long lasting and ecologically friendly.

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