Roofing Material: Why It's An Important Part Of Your Roof |

Roofing Material: Why It’s An Important Part Of Your Roof

Roofing Material: Why It's An Important Part Of Your Roof

What is a roofing material? You look up at your central Ohio home’s roof and perhaps you wonder: What’s it made of? No matter the type of roof you have, most of it came from the earth. Metal, tile, plastic, asphalt: they all have been mined or pumped from the earth. Your home’s roofing material has been shaped from raw resources into a water-resistant, modern product. That roofing material was expertly installed by trained roofers. 


North America’s most popular residential roofing material is the shingle, which comes in two fabrications:

  1. Asphalt — flexible, water resistant, and economical; often very thick due to its relative lack of strength
  2. Fiberglass Asphalt — flexible, water resistant, available in a wide price range, and extremely strong thanks to glass fibers

Shingles are a type of unitized construction. Think of a brick wall; it is assembled by skilled masons one brick at a time. That means bricks can help form walls of any height and length. They can be shaped into serpentine walls or curved towers.

Shingles work much the same way on your roof. Each is about three feet long and about a foot wide. A shingle can be installed in flawlessly aligned rows, or it can be curled around turrets and towers. 

Only about half of each shingle is visible when properly installed. The lower half has three tabs, or sections, that look like separate leaves. They are covered in colored ceramic granules (in your color selection) embedded in a soft matrix of asphalt (refined from crude oil pumped out of the ground) and fiberglass threads.

One shingle cannot do a whole heckuva lot. But combine one shingle with hundreds of identical shingles and your central Ohio home’s roof can be beautifully crowned with a water-resistant, 20-year-tough roof for a very reasonable cost.

Shingles are installed from the bottom of your roof up toward the ridge line. They are put down right after the underlayment, water and ice shield, and drip edge are installed.

The first row, starter shingles, have no colorful tabs. Starter shingles form a defensive line against water, snow, and ice along the eaves. 

Then the decorative, colorful shingles are nailed down atop them, with every row staggered to avoid aligning any seams. Up, up, up your roof, quickly and expertly, shingles go down very fast in the hands of highly trained roofers.

Those experienced roofers can interweave shingles into your roof’s valleys so you never see the metal flashing beneath, or they can allow the bright metal to shine through for a decorative touch.

Roofers wrap shingles around rooftop penetrations like chimneys, sanitary stacks, and vents. They make sure flashing and caulking provide waterproof seams.

Your roofing contractor’s crew finishes the roof with ridge vents capped by more shingles. Shingle installation is one of the last steps in a full roof replacement. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is available in many configurations:

  • Standing seam or vertical panel
  • Natural (native) materials such as copper
  • 5V crimp
  • Metal shingles
  • Metal shakes

Metal roofing is available in a broad range of colors, many of which provide enormous energy efficiencies thanks to metal’s natural reflectivity. You can cool your Ohio home for less money under a metal roof than under most shingle roofs. 

Your choice in a metal roof material plays a big role in your family’s comfort, future maintenance costs, and your energy bills: 

  • Some metal roofing provides greater heat reflectivity in summer than other types, helping to keep your HVAC system operating at a minimum
  • Some metal roofing requires a bit more maintenance than other types, though all metal roofing is far less labor intensive than a properly maintained shingle roof
  • Some metal roofing is more energy efficient than other types (though all outstrip shingle roofing, significantly)

Assessing Your Existing Roofing Material

No conscientious roofer ever suggests that homeowners climb onto their homes’ roofs. Roofs are dangerous places, so stay off! Still, you may want to examine your central Ohio home’s roof from the ground. 

You are unlikely to be able to tell the difference between regular asphalt shingles and fiberglass-asphalt ones, but you can generally differentiate the asphalt-based product from a metal roof. 

Look for signs of deterioration:

  • Cupped, curled, cracked, or missing shingles
  • Loose or corroded flashing

You cannot see the roofing material from inside your attic, but you can get a good idea of what you have up top by looking at what installers drove into your sheathing. If you see hundreds of nail points (be careful!), you have a shingle roof. Metal roofing usually installs on wood battens, so you may not see any screw tips through the sheathing.

From Columbus to Dayton and throughout central Ohio, Allstate Exteriors & Restoration is your go-to roofer for all your roofing needs. Contact us today to learn more about roofing materials suitable for your home.