What Are the Various Types of Roof Coverings?

A basic list of roof coverings available today includes asphalt shingles, roll roofing, concrete and ceramic tiles, slate, terne, wood shingles and shakes, aluminum shingles, built-up roofing, and single-ply systems.

Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roof covering for new home construction and remodeling. Used on four out of five U.S. homes, they are economical, durable and attractive.

The "standard" asphalt shingle is the square butt strip shingle, elongated in shape and available with one or three tabs. This product is made of a base mat of organic material (cellulose fibers) or inorganic material (glass fibers). Organic mat is saturated and coated with asphalt and then surfaced with ceramic-coated opaque mineral granules. The saturating process is not necessary for fiber glass-based asphalt shingles, which require only a coating asphalt. The coating asphalt provides for weatherproofing qualities. The mineral granules protect the shingles from the sun's ultra-violet rays, and give the shingles color and added protection against fire.

A new generation of premier products—three-dimensional, multi-layered asphalt shingles—is particularly desirable for creating long-lasting roofs with dramatic bold textures and a distinctive appearance.