Your choice of roofing materials will determine your roof system’s performance, longevity, aesthetics, and cost. To ensure you select the right type of shingle for your roof, it’s important to understand what materials different shingle varieties include and how shingle composition impacts roof quality.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What are roofing shingles made of?” this post is for you.
Popular Roof Types and How They're Made
Asphalt shingles, metal, clay tiles, and cedar shakes are some of the most widely used residential roofing materials. Let’s summarize their specs and take a close look at how they are made.
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the U.S. The manufacturing process of an asphalt roofing shingle involves covering a fiberglass sheet with an asphalt coating to make it water resistant.
Before the asphalt coating sets, the manufacturer will apply a layer of crushed stone granules to the shingle surface to improve looks and durability. The granules usually consist of rock, often with an addition of copper to prevent blue-green algae growth.
Many homeowners choose asphalt shingles for their versatility, affordability, and convenient installation. However, this type of shingle also has its cons, namely:
- Short lifespan. While most asphalt shingle manufacturers place their product’s lifespan at 15 to 30 years, many homeowners will experience problems with their asphalt shingle roofs much earlier.
- Poor performance in tough conditions. Asphalt shingles may detach in strong winds and crack, warp, and lose their granule coating under stress.
- Low energy efficiency. Although there are some reflective shingles on the market, most asphalt shingles are not very energy efficient.
Metal roofs may consist of aluminum, zinc, copper, or steel. This type of roofing comes as standing seam panels or metal shingles in various sizes and shades. During manufacturing, the metal undergoes a heating, shaping, and (sometimes) coating process.
The properties of a metal roof depend on the specific material. For example, aluminum is lightweight and corrosion resistant but may be less durable in areas prone to high winds.
While visually pleasing and long lasting with proper maintenance, metal roofs have the following disadvantages:
- Price. High price compared to other roofing materials
- Noisy. Often, a higher level of noise during heavy rain or hail
- Color Match. Difficulty to match colors if a section of the roof needs replacement
- Easily Damaged. A tendency to expand and contract, which may eventually damage roof fastenings
Spanish tiles, a.k.a. terracotta clay roof tiles, are a popular roofing choice in warm states like Florida and California. Terracotta tiles start with quarrying clay, after which the raw materials undergo mixing, molding, and firing.
Terracotta tiles keep their vibrant orange hues for many years, even under constant blazing sun. Clay is also fire resistant and, barring impact damage, may last over 100 years.
The cons of Spanish roofing include the following:
- Weight. Terracotta tiles are heavy and may be unsuitable for weaker roof structures.
- Breakage. Spanish tiles may crack or break with improper handling during installation or when contractors walk on the roof.
- Complexity of installation. Not all contractors know how to install Spanish tile roofs properly.
Cedar shake roofs hark back to colonial times, when early American settlers covered their roofs with insect- and rot-resistant, locally available cedar. Since stains and sealants were unavailable, the shakes would assume weathered grayish tones.
Wood shake roofing creates a highly appealing rustic look that suits many architectural styles. Despite their charm, cedar roofs come with drawbacks, such as:
- Maintenance. Significant maintenance needs and a tendency toward moisture absorbance, mold growth, and warping
- Install & Repair. Difficulty of installation and repairs
- Aging. Unpredictable color results after roof aging
How Brava Composite Roofing Compares to Other Types of Shingles
Many homeowners dream of clay, slate, or cedar shake roofs but balk at the cost, installation complexity, or high maintenance of these roof types. Brava Roof Tile's products are the perfect solution for those seeking a natural look without the attendant drawbacks.
Brava roof tiles offer the following benefits:
- A stunning appearance. Brava roofs are practically indistinguishable from natural terracotta, cedar shake, or slate roofing. Brava tiles come in any color and fit any home style.
- Ease of installation. Lightweight Brava roof tiles are compatible with any roof structure.
- High safety. Brava roof tiles are resistant to fire, winds up to 110 mph, UV rays, and impact damage.
- Guaranteed longevity. Our tiles come with a 50-year manufacturer warranty.
- Sustainability. Brava roof tiles consist mostly of landfill-sourced plastic. The tiles themselves are fully recyclable.
Brava Roof Tiles vs. Conventional Plastic Shingles
Plastic shingles carry a bad rap with many homeowners because of flimsy, cheap-looking, low-quality products. Do not confuse Brava Roof Tile with conventional plastic shingles. Brava is not your average plastic roof tile!
Brava roof tiles take the composite tile to a higher level of appearance and durability. We offer 3 roofing composite profiles: slate, cedar shake and Spanish barrel tile. Our composite roof tile is made of compressed recycled plastics & other sustainable/recyclable materials. This creates a composite tile that is much lighter in weight and more durable than traditional roofing systems. Brava tiles are also fade resistant and will do an excellent job protecting your home from the elements.
Brava Roof Tiles: Exquisite, High-Performing Composite Roofing
With Brava roof tiles, there’s no need to choose between beauty and utility. Our authentic-looking, lightweight tiles combine the aesthetics of natural roofing materials with top performance, outstanding durability, and a 50-year manufacturer warranty.
To get a Brava Roof Tile quote, call (844) 290-4196 or request a sample online now!