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What should I know about roofing materials to make an informed choice for re-roofing?

I am buying a home that still has its original 25 year old pitch roof with two layers of shingles that I believe will need to be replaced within the next few years based on a home inspection as well as an independent assessment from a roofer.

The main types of roofing materials I have seen mentioned for use in Arizona are Asphalt Shingles and Metal.  I know that Asphalt is cheaper & less durable than metal.  I am less inclined to consider (clay) tile because of its price and being more fragile than shingles (bad for hail/severe weather), unless someone can provide more pros or discount the cons that I have listed.

What I am looking for are details/resources regarding different types of asphalt, & metal, or any layers (sealant, etc) that go between the roof and the home's structure.  That way, I can know what to ask a roofer about the materials they use.  Also, do metal roofs require a structural assessment before installation just like tile roofs?  Any information you can give or link me to would be greatly appreciated.
  • December 29 2011 - Phoenix
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Answers (3)

Best Answer

I would go with a 30 year Asphalt Architectural Shingle. Must start at bare wood.
  • December 30 2011
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For a long term house I would put on a long term roof. That means metal. If the metal roof has a 50 year warranty it should outlive you. The extra cost now could save you reshingling down the road. That makes it cost effective.

Be sure to check on how thick any metal roofing is. There is some pitifully thin stuff out there. It is worth paying more for a better product.
  • January 20 2012
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Asphalt composition shingles are a good choice. You will need to remove both layers of shingles, inspect the decking (plywood) for any rot and replace that as needed, install underlayment (felt paper), and new shingles. 30 year shingles are fairly common. owenscorning.com has a lot of useful information about specific products.
  • January 20 2012
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