In the world of residential roofing in the Portland area, there are four main types of shingles;

  1. Asphalt, which is also known as a composite, architectural, or dimensional shingles
  2. Tile or Slate Roofing Shingles
  3. Cedar Shake Roof Shingles
  4. Metal Roofs

Architectural Shingles

Architectural or dimensional roof shingles in recent years have become by far the most popular or common in the united states. there are many advantages to choosing a dimensional roof, from their cost efficiency to you, the homeowner Ease of maintenance, their high performance in all weather conditions, and variety of visual styles, colors, as well as their incredible thermal efficiency.

When it comes to choosing the right architectural shingle for your home in the pacific north-west there are many things to consider hiring the right contractor with the knowledge of our specific climate is paramount to getting the most from your new roof. Here is some information to help simplify options for you.

Standard Architectural Shingle

An architectural shingle, also called dimensional, gets its name from its multi-layered laminated or 3-dimensional appearance, the shingle itself lays flat on the roof overlapping the previous shingle like feathers on a bird. but due to the multi-layered manufacturing process, once the shingle is installed it gives the impression of multiple dimensions, showing highs and lows instead of just a flat uniform surface.

Creating a very sharp style to compliment your home. Many manufacturers of composite shingles now offer superior protection from our climate such as a “Scotch guard” coating to inhibit growth of algae and moss on your new roof as well as solar reflective shingles with specially treated granules to reflect solar energy out and away from your home to help combat energy costs, both a benefit to you, the homeowner.

Benefits of an architectural roof:

  • Most popular
  • Very cost effective
  • Most values in terms of dollar spent vs lifespan of the roof
  • Multiple warranty options (30-50 year)
  • Resilient to all weather conditions
  • Many color choices
  • Many different cuts or styles of shingle
  • Can often mimic the look of tile or wood shingles without the high cost
  • Great performance in any climate
  • Optional “Scotch Guard” moss protection
  • Optional Solar reflective shingles

Slate or Tile Shingle

Often in the Portland area, historic homes or buildings were constructed using a natural slate or tile roof shingle to compliment the architectural style of the structure. Although natural slate and tile shingles can be the longest lasting materials one can choose for a roof, they are also incredibly heavy compared to an architectural or wood style roof, they are also prone to chipping or cracking, and are more difficult to install and repair.

Natural slate and tile types of roofs are still available if you want period correct materials in your home, there are also alternatives, like manufactured tile or slate. They give the same period correct appearance but cut down on install and material costs. But in the long run, whichever you choose, both these options are by far the most labor-intensive, the expensive route to go.

With the correct, properly informed contractor a home with an existing aging or failing slate or tile roof can be replaced with era correct material or converted to a more modern composite roof while maintaining a period correct appearance. The choice is yours.

Benefits of tile or slate shingle:

  • Longest lasting material
  • “Period correct” on historic homes

Drawbacks of slate or tile shingle:

  • Most expensive option
  • More prone to chipping or breaking than traditional asphalt shingle
  • Heaviest material available
  • Repair and maintenance costs

Cedar Roof Shingles

Cedar shingles are a beautiful and unique option for homes in Portland and surrounding areas. They give a unique and ever-changing look throughout their lifespan. from a deep golden brown when new to a rustic silver/ grey hue when aged.

Cedarwood shingles are a great option for homes in the n.w. wanting to add a specific look or style to exude country or cottage style to your home. A proper wood shake shingle is much thicker than alternative options, giving greater resistance to the wind in some cases.

Benefits of a shake roof:

  • Natural and renewable material source, eco-friendly
  • Resistant to pacific north-west weather
  • Nothing beats the look of a shake roof on the right home
  • High thermal efficiency

Disadvantages of a wood roof:

  • High material and installation costs
  • High maintenance cost vs composite roof
  • Wood fades over time creating uneven color
  • More prone to insect infestation vs asphalt/composite roof

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are generally more fit for commercial or industrial structures. That’s not to say they don’t exist in residential homes. Metal roofs do an excellent job of shedding rain and snow, but often they can look out of place in a neighborhood setting.

Metal roofs are best suited for homes on or near areas with high wind and snow loads such as towns near the mountain like Brightwood, Welches, sandy or zig zag. A proper “standing seam” metal roof can last a very long time if installed by a contractor that knows the material they are working with. Metal roofs come in a variety of colors to suit your needs.

Benefits of a metal roof:

  • Low maintenance costs
  • Long life
  • High resistance to adverse weather conditions
  • Great for log cabin or cottage style homes

Drawbacks of a metal roof:

  • Can look out of place in the wrong setting
  • High initial installation costs
  • Difficult to repair if damaged
  • Doesn’t give “character” to a home like a dimensional roof could
  • Very low thermal efficiency