More and more roofing options are being created for steep-slope roof installations. Alternatives to traditional asphalt roofing shingles are becoming more common for their price, aesthetics and performance. An example of this is synthetic roofing. Synthetic roofing materials are often made from propylene, a type of plastic, and can be made to look like slate, shake, concrete, or clay roof tiles.
Advances in technology mean that synthetic roofing products have the same – or better – performance metrics as traditional roofing products, with respect to wind resistance, fire ratings, etc.
Aesthetics are an obvious motivator for homeowners who wish to go this route. Until the advent of synthetic tiles, the weight of real concrete, clay or slate would make those materials an impossibility for most homes. Synthetic tiles weigh much less, of course, and a virtually unlimited assortment of colors and profiles are available.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of synthetic tiles is cost. Although more expensive than asphalt shingles, these tiles are typically about half the cost of the tiles they are made to look like, which means they can provide the same aesthetic for much less. Synthetic tiles are also often made to be highly reflective and energy efficient.
It is important to know that synthetic tiles are a relatively new product, so their long-term durability is questionable. This does not mean they will not perform well, but it is something to consider.
As with any roof installation, make sure the contractor you’re choosing has solid experience with the product you’re interested in.