Are Roof Shingles Just Cosmetic?

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Your roof can be as beautiful as it is practical.
Your roof can be as beautiful as it is practical. (Image: roofing tiles image by Hana Krizova from Fotolia.com)

While roofing shingles come in a variety of materials and designs, they certainly serve a practical purpose. Roofing shingles provide a protective layer over the plywood sheath that is the base of your roof.

Purpose of Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles create a watertight, wind-resistant seal that protects your roof from environmental damage. Shingles are available in asphalt, metal, wood, clay or slate. All types protect your home equally well, though some perform better in certain climates.

Climate Choices

Asphalt is cheap and durable, ideal for moderate climates. Homeowners in snowy climates prefer metal roofs because they allow snow and ice to slide off better and provide greater structural integrity to the roof.

Cosmetic Choices

Just because roofing shingles are practical doesn’t mean they can’t be decorative as well. Asphalt shingles can be made into a variety of colors and designs to fit any homeowner’s tastes. Clay shingles add a Mediterranean flair. Cedar wood shingles are durable and give your home a rustic look.

Solar Shingles--Putting Your Roof to Work

The most practical shingles are solar shingles, which gather the power of the sun and put it to use in your home. These panels are designed to blend seamlessly with your existing roofing, creating a watertight seal. Solar shingles are rated to withstand winds of up to 80 miles per hour.

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