A roof is often the first covering of a structure, featuring all structures and materials required to support it on top of the ground or on uprights, offering protection from rain, sunshine, snow, extreme temperatures, and wind. A roof is actually a part of the construction envelope. The roof protects the rest of the structure from damage, such as by rain and snow; it also provides a means for cooling the premises during the summer and can also provide insulation against heat. The roofing materials that are used to manufacture roofs vary greatly. The choice of materials can depend on cost and convenience – some materials are more durable than others, but all have their place in the construction process.

The main types of roofing materials are shingles, tiles, slate, and fiberglass. Each has their own place and use, depending on climactic factors and budget constraints. Shingles and slate offer flexibility and durability, while fiberglass and asphalt are more practical for the installation process. If there is a high point in the property, such as the highest point of a multi-unit structure, roofing materials such as asphalt and clay may be chosen. It should be noted that clay is more prone to algae growth, so it is best not to install clay tiles on high points.

Most people prefer slate as a roofing material because it is inexpensive, easy to install, easy to maintain, resistant to moisture, insect-resistant, and has a natural reflective surface. However, one of its main drawbacks is that slate roofs are susceptible to algae growth. When algae does form, it weakens the structural support of the roof system, causing leaks and water damage. This is why many new slate homes have an artificial water source at the base of the roof to prevent algae from growing.

Asphalt shingles are often the most popular choice for residential roofs. They provide a cost-effective solution for the majority of homeowners, because asphalt shingles do not have to be replaced as often as slate shingles. When asphalt shingles become wet, they expand slightly, which allows water to seep underneath them. Over time, this can create a weak point in the roof system, allowing moisture to penetrate. This can cause severe damage, such as rotting and breakage.

Fiberglass and clay shingles are also popular choices for the roof system, but often do not provide the same degree of protection. Clay tiles are prone to rot, which can occur even with routine maintenance, as the material is quite porous. This means that rain or snow can seep through, which can accelerate rot. Fiberglass is also susceptible to algae growth, so it is best to avoid using this type of roofing materials if you are planning to sell your home.

Water runoff is a key factor in determining whether your roof needs to be replaced or repaired. When water makes it past the fascia of your roof, it then travels to the valleys within your structure. This means that when you live in an area with a great deal of rainfall, you may want to consider using organic rubber tiles instead of standard asphalt tiles. These eco-friendly tiles are made from natural rubber trees grown in Brazil, which grow quickly and produce large quantities of rubber every year. The rubber tiles are highly durable and can last for decades without replacement. Furthermore, since these tiles are made out of rubber, they will not degrade when exposed to a great deal of water runoff, which is why they are a great alternative for repairing damaged and rotting roofs.