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Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Home

Your roof is one of your home’s hardest-working parts. It protects against rain, snow, extreme temperatures and wind.

Rafters or pre-fabricated trusses frame the roof, which is sheathed with plywood or OSB. Leaks most often occur at valleys, eaves and where the roof meets walls or chimneys. Contact Cambridge Roofing now!

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, protecting it from moisture, heat, cold and other environmental factors. Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a major decision that should take into account your budget, climate and aesthetic preferences. A good roofing material should also be durable and add to the resale value of your home.

Several different materials are used in roofing, with some proving more durable and attractive than others. Typical roofing materials include shingles, shakes, tile and metal. Wood is a popular roofing option, but it’s not as long-lasting as other materials and isn’t a good choice in areas that experience a lot of rainfall or where wildfires are a risk.

Clay tiles are another aesthetically pleasing roofing option, dating back 5,000 years to glazed earthenware rooftops in China. They’re a great choice for warm climates and offer a unique layered look to a home. However, they’re expensive and require significant structural support to keep them stable.

Shakes and shingles are made from natural wood, typically cedar or redwood. They’re a good choice for a rustic or cottage-style home, but they’re not as long-lasting as other roofing materials and aren’t suitable for areas prone to fires or high moisture levels.

Metal is a good choice for harsh climates, providing durability and energy efficiency. It’s a popular option for flat or low-pitch roofs, and it can last for 50 years or more. Metal roofs are also lightweight, making them easier to install than some other types of roofing materials.

A rubber roof is an eco-friendly and affordable option that can be made to look like shingle or slate roofing. It’s also durable, able to withstand extreme weather conditions and provides an attractive and distinctive look for a home. However, it’s not as insulative as other roofing materials and may leak over time.

Roofing membrane, also known as built-up roof systems, is used in flat or low-pitch roofs. It’s constructed of a layer of felts impregnated with asphalt or coal tar and held together with hot tar or cold-applied adhesive. This type of roof is not recommended for living spaces, but it’s a good option for sheds or garages.


Any part of a home’s exterior takes a beating from the elements, but roofs are especially susceptible. They have to be able to withstand rain, hail, wind, snow, bitter cold and intense heat, and they must endure constant exposure to sunlight. The roofing materials you choose will have a significant impact on the appearance of your house and its resale value. Wood shingles and shakes, made from redwood or cedar, are durable options that last about 60 years under the right conditions. Clay or concrete tiles, found on many Spanish- and Mexican-style homes, are also durable. They withstand extreme heat and reflect sunlight, but they are heavy, so homeowners must consult a structural engineer before installing them. Slate tiles are even more durable and can last up to 100 years.


A roof takes a beating from the elements — rain, hail, bitter cold, intense heat, and strong sunlight. It’s no wonder that it’s a significant investment for homeowners. But with the right roofing material, you can ensure your home will continue to stand tall and look great for years to come.

As the roofing industry continues to recover from what one executive described as a “perfect storm,” it is important for contractors to juggle customers’ expectations with product availability and lead times. When possible, offer only the options you have in stock to avoid wasting valuable time with customers that may not be able to complete their project on schedule. Additionally, consider offering only color and style options rather than brands to reduce the number of options you have to share.

Sustainability continues to slowly make its way into the roofing industry. Increasingly, specifiers are asking for more information about where materials are made and what they contain as well as correlating those facts to carbon footprints and the environment. This, coupled with the ongoing supply chain crisis, has led to slower reroofing demand growth.

However, the market continues to trend toward higher-value products that are perceived to deliver better performance and a superior curb appeal, despite lower market demand. This, combined with an increase in solar energy incentives – including sales and property tax exemptions in many states – should help support continued growth in the market for roofing products.

Education and Training Requirements

Roofers are responsible for installing, repairing, and replacing the roofs of buildings. This is a demanding job that requires attention to detail, physical strength, and endurance. The majority of roofers have no formal education beyond high school, but training and apprenticeships are common. Applicants should be comfortable working at heights and have excellent hand-eye coordination. They must also be able to follow technical plans and possess a good sense of balance.

Most roofers learn their trade informally by working as helpers for experienced roofers. They start by learning basic skills, such as how to carry equipment and erect scaffolding. Once they have mastered these basics, they are taught how to use different roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles or polymer-modified bitumen roof systems. It takes a few years of on-the-job training to gain the necessary experience. Some roofers also complete an apprenticeship program, which combines paid work experience with classroom instruction.

Many states require roofers to obtain a license in order to perform construction work, especially on commercial projects. Getting certified by an organization such as the National Roofing Contractors Association can improve a roofer’s reputation and provide them with more job opportunities. Roofers should also receive safety training that complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Roofers need to wear clothing that is specific to their trade, such as a hard hat and protective eyewear. They also need to have a valid driver’s license in order to travel between job sites. In addition to these necessities, roofers need a good understanding of engineering and math in order to read blueprints and properly estimate the amount of materials needed for a project.

As a result of the housing boom, there is a high demand for roofers. This career is ideal for those who are comfortable with working outdoors in all weather conditions and enjoy the challenge of climbing to high places. This type of work can be dangerous, so it is important to have a strong sense of balance and good hand-eye coordination, as well as physical strength and endurance. It is also important for roofers to have good communication and problem-solving skills.

Working Conditions

As with any construction job, roofers face a variety of risks. For example, a fall from the roof can be fatal. Other common hazards include electrical wires, tree branches and other obstructions that may extend across the roof. These dangers can cause workers to trip and sustain serious injuries. In addition, some roofers use ladders to access the roof and may be at risk of falling from these.

The nature of the work also exposes roofers to extreme heat, which can lead to dehydration or even heatstroke. To avoid this, roofers must ensure they drink plenty of water and take breaks during the hottest part of the day.

Roofers must wear protective clothing including a hard hat and eye protection when working with materials and mechanical equipment. They should also wear gloves that protect the hands from harsh chemicals, the effects of weather and cuts and scrapes from handling tiles and hot bitumen. Long sleeved shirts and thick pants help protect the skin from sunburn. Shoes should be slip resistant with rubber soles.

Roofing work is very strenuous and requires climbing, bending and kneeling. This can lead to back and leg problems. Additionally, roofers are exposed to fumes from solvents and paints and to dust from silica containing material such as concrete, mortar and sandstone (also known as respirable crystalline silica or RCS). It is important for roofers to be trained on how to use the various tools in the correct way. This not only makes them safer but also more efficient.

Another potential issue is repetitive strain injury (RSI), which can be caused by forceful or repetitive activities that cause pain in parts of the body, such as the wrists, elbows and neck. This is why it’s important for roofers to rest their muscles during breaks and to change body positions frequently.

Many roofers are peripatetic and travel between jobs or to the site of each project. This can be difficult to plan and can increase the risk of accidents. It is therefore important for them to follow the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This includes ensuring that all equipment is fit for purpose, maintained in good condition and stored securely when not in use.