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When it comes to roofs, one familiar trend that you’ll continue to see is the use of asphalt shingles. The question is, why are they so popular? “It’s because of their numerous advantages over other roofing options,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction. “They’re less expensive to mass-market and purchase, they’re readily available in large quantities and they’re easy to install,” he said.

The continuing popularity of asphalt shingles has its composition to thank. “Asphalt acts as a sealant, waterproofing the ceiling of your home. In addition, as a result of the asphalt’s solidity, it exponentially increases the strength of the shingle,” Scott said. Due to its durable makeup, asphalt shingles have a lifespan ranging from 20 to 40 or more years. “Some of the manufactures that J&B works with offer a non-pro-rated lifetime warranty on shingle products that can be transferred one time to a new owner,” he said.

Asphalt shingles are also versatile. They can be adapted to many different angles, shapes, and forms to provide a custom roofing solution. They also offer design variety, as they can be produced to simulate rich architectural styles and are available in a wide range of colors to compliment the look of a home and enhance curb appeal. Moreover, they are durable enough to withstand winds up to 120 miles per hour, they have a Class A fire rating, and they offer sound protection. Through 2017, demand for asphalt shingles is forecasted to rise 4.1 percent annually, propelled by rebounding housing starts. Strong consumer interest in laminated asphalt shingles, which are perceived as better able to improve the appearance of a home, will also boost gains.

Although asphalt shingles are seen as an ongoing trend, roofing tiles are seeing the most rapid growth out of all roofing products. This is mainly due to their favorable aesthetics and their ability to be used on cool roofs. “Roofing tiles, whether concrete or clay, are manufactured in an array of colors, from light to dark shades or multi-colored, making it easy to coordinate a roof with exterior colors. They also can match any architectural style required for the building structure,” Scott said.

Designed to mirror traditional barrel style or other roofing materials such as wood and slate, roofing tiles also have phenomenal long-term durability, having the lowest life cycle cost of any other roofing material. They are also Class A fire resistant, built to withstand high winds and hail, and are environmentally friendly. Not to mention, they are one of the simplest systems to install. “With all of these positive characteristics, it’s clear how roofing tile has evolved into a growing trend,” he said.

Another trend that is experiencing above average growth in 2017 is thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membranes. “This material, although typically installed on nonresidential low-slope roofs, is seeing increasing use in the residential market because of its lower cost and ease of installation,” Scott said. Furthermore, TPO single-ply roofing membranes have gained broad industry acceptance because as demand increases for heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing systems, it continues to provide exceptional resistance to ultraviolet, ozone, and chemical exposure. Plus, its chemical properties allow it to be durable and remain flexible even in low temperatures.

One final trend that continues to grow in popularity is the use of metal roofing. An appreciated characteristic of metal is that it’s renowned for its toughness. Resistant to extreme weather conditions, fire, mildew, insects and rot, metal roofing is more durable and lasts longer than asphalt or wood. “It’s sleek, lightweight, and recyclable, and something to consider if you’re interested in rainwater harvesting,” Scott said.

Available in panels and shingles, metal roofs come in aluminum, copper, stainless steel and zinc. “Metal looks great on bungalows, cabins, contemporary, and cottage-style homes,” he said. “Typically more expensive than other roof material options, metal roofing can last 40 to 75 years, all while sealing out water, surviving high winds, and shedding snow with ease.”

Another unique characteristic of metal involves heat conduction, as metal reflects radiant heat from the sun, minimizing midday heat gain, which means homeowners save energy during periods air conditioners run..

“It would be wise to stay up-to-date and informed on these current roofing trends as well as other roofing materials. At least, be sure to work with a company that understands the various options available and what works best in different situations. If you are currently in the market for a new roof, this knowledge will aid you in understanding which roofing material is best suited for your home,” Scott said.