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The Top Roofing Material Options for 2021

When the time comes to replace your roof, doing some research and learning about each roofing material ensures you’ll make the right choice for your home.

Choosing a new roof can be overwhelming. After all, there are all kinds of materials choose from, with each roofing type coming in multiple colors, as well. 

The good news is that there are some differences between each type of roof, and by doing a bit of research, you can make an educated decision on what will work best for your home. 

Remember, it isn’t always best to replace your roof with the same material currently on your home. New technology could provide your house with an updated appearance, last longer, and offer superior protection. 

Here’s a look at some of the top roofing options to consider in 2021.

Best residential roofing options

Before we get into the top roofing materials on the market today, it’s a good idea to look at what will go into your final decision. There’s a lot to unpack here, as the appearance of your home is only one issue to consider. 

First, there’s the climate. Morris County, NJ, gets a fair amount of cold weather and snow. Therefore, you really should go with a material that can withstand those elements. We also have hot summers, making a material that won’t break down quickly under direct sunlight essential. 

Think about how long you plan to live in your home. Are you looking to sell within the next five or ten years, or do you want to live there forever? Making a long-term investment in a premium roof becomes more palatable if you think you’ll be there for the foreseeable future. 

The design of your home is a factor, too, since buildings with significant slopes have different needs than those with flat roofs. 

Since the right decisions here will come down to your personal situation, it’s a good idea to talk with your contractor to determine your best options. You’ll have to make the final decision, but a contractor’s advice will make the process more manageable and ensure you don’t run into roofing problems before they’re expected.

GAF shingles

There’s a lot to like about GAF, as it’s North America’s largest roofing manufacturer and a local company with headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey. They have a wide variety of shingle options to meet nearly any homeowner’s budget.

First, there’s the company’s Timberline HDZ line. This product offers an appearance similar to wood shakes, except it comes with a fiberglass-asphalt construction that’s incredibly durable. The product also features StainGuard algae protection, the industry’s highest fire rating, and a limited lifetime warranty. For a budget roofing option from GAF, it’s tough to beat Timberline HDZ shingles.

Another budget option from GAF is their Timberline American Harvest line of shingles. This product is similar in many ways to Timberline HDZ shingles, with one significant difference being appearance. While American Harvest also has a wood-shake look to it, the product features a professionally designed color palette with subtle blends of contrasting colors. The result is a home that really pops and the added curb appeal that goes with it.

One of the premium offerings from GAF, Timberline Ultra, is an architectural shingle that features enhanced durability. These shingles give off a wood-shake appearance but are thicker and ultra-dimensional. Their dimensional qualities mean your contractor will layer them during the installation process, much as you’d see with a traditional cedar roof. The result is a great looking home with added resale value.

GAF’s Camelot II is a designer shingle that costs a bit more than the Timberline products but will create an artisan-crafted look for your home. This product has all of the durability of Timberline shingles, thanks to its fiberglass-asphalt construction, with a luxurious look that’s sure to make any home stand out from the crowd.

Finally, there’s the Glenwood line from GAF, which is the closest in appearance to a wood-shake shingle you’ll find anywhere on the market. This premium designer product looks great on classic architecture but doesn’t provide the same drawbacks as a traditional wooden shingle, such as frequent maintenance.

Overall, GAF can cover most homeowners’ needs when the time comes to replace your roof, so it’s well worth going over their extensive list of roofing options.

Composite slate and cedar shingles

GAF isn’t the only manufacturer on the market, which is good news if you’re searching for a composite slate or genuine cedar-shake roof. DaVinci Roofscapes manufactures both of these materials, and each features a unique appearance and all kinds of benefits. 

First, there’s DaVinci’s Composite Slate, which has the striking beauty of a slate roof without the corresponding upkeep or upfront expense. This material comes in many different colors and can be installed in layered and straight patterns, giving you full control over your home’s final appearance. 

In fact, there are four different slate installations: single-width, multi-width, multi-width staggered, and Bellaforte. The right installation will depend on your preferences and budget, but for a classic look with modern durability, composite slate is a great choice. 

Cedar shakes are a classic material that never goes out of style, and DaVinci Roofscapes’ products mean you won’t have to look far to find them. Historically, cedar was a common roofing material before asphalt rose to prominence in the early 1900s. Even then, many homeowners preferred the look and durability of a wood roof to the convenience and affordability of asphalt.

DaVinci’s cedar shakes recreate this classic appearance and come in numerous colors, allowing you to customize your home’s appearance. You can also choose between single-width, multi-width, and Bellaforte versions of this product, with each having a different look.

Traditional slate and cedar

If you already have a slate or cedar-shake roof, or are looking to install one, there are some things you should know about each material. 

A traditional slate roof is incredibly durable and built to last. Slate tile can withstand high wind and other environmental concerns, and it will generally last at least 50 years. In some cases, under ideal circumstances, these roofs can last up to 200 years. In large part, this durability is because the material is mold-, mildew-, and rot-resistant. Many of the problems that apply to cedar shakes are addressed by going with a slate roof.

At the same time, you’ll need to perform the necessary maintenance if you want to get full value from your slate roof, so make sure you take care of your investment once it’s installed on your home.

The same goes for cedar shakes, as they require a fair amount of maintenance. Once you install a wood roof, there’s a good chance it’ll last at least 25 years, with many having far greater longevity when properly maintained. In fact, you’ll generally get about ten additional years out of a cedar roof than an asphalt one, assuming you take proper care of it. 

Other benefits associated with cedar roofs include their ability to withstand high winds and precipitation and the natural insulation they provide for your home.

Other roofing material options

You’ll probably come across other roofing materials as you search to find the perfect option for your home, including roll-on, metal, clay, membrane, and concrete. You might even see a green roof made from moss and other natural materials. 

Generally, most of these materials are only applicable in certain situations. A roll-on roof, for example, is for buildings with flat roofs. This product is relatively inexpensive, but you’ll only get about ten years from it before you need a new one. 

A metal roof can come in a couple of different forms: standing seam and shingles. Seam roofs are the most common and usually found in areas with heavy snowfall or high wildfire risks. These products are more functional than beautiful, which is one reason why you’ll rarely see them on a residential property. 

Metal shingles are a little more common on homes because they’re made to mimic a traditional shake’s appearance. These roofs have an aluminum or steel construction and provide all the benefits of a seam roof while offering a more formal appearance for a home.

Clay tile is expensive but performs well in hot climates or oceanfront areas with salt in the air. For that reason, you’ll usually find this material in the desert or near the beach. A concrete roof is a less-expensive alternative to clay, as it offers many of the same benefits but costs far less. 

None of these materials are prevalent in New Jersey, but they are worth mentioning because you’re sure to come across them during your search.

Your NJ residential roofing contractor

As you begin your dig into roofing materials, speaking with an experienced contractor can help guide you in the right direction. Having expert insight is always helpful because many different components go into selecting the right roofing material for your home. 
Blue Nail Roofing has a professional team with years of experience in the Montville, NJ, area. We offer more than roof installations, as we’re a full-service exterior construction and renovations contractor that will ensure your home matches your vision. Contact us to learn more or to set-up a free roofing consultation.

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