Modern shingles are composed of a fiberglass base saturated in asphalt with mineral granules pressed into the surface. The manufacturers’ warrantees vary from 15 to 50 years, with 40 years the most popular product in the Bay Area. These shingles are the mainstay of sloped roofs and typically provide a waterproof system for an average of five years longer than the warrantee.
However, as always “the devil is in the details”: The critical areas are in the flashings. Old ones must always be removed and replaced. Typically, this requires the remount and replacement of adjoining siding, reglet flashings on chimneys, etc.
Quality roof tiles are made from clay or cement. Plastic-type products have proven to be problematic. Once again, “the devil is in the details.” Our installers use copper nails and copper, lead and/or stainless steel flashings. Galvanized steel cannot function as long as a tile roof system. We always include the removal and replacement of the flashings. (Some contractors make “startling” discoveries, and demand additional charges for replacement of flashings that they knew about previously, or should have!) When tile roofs are installed properly they provide a very long service life (50 to 80 years). However, they are susceptible to foot traffic damage, and only experienced roofing people should walk on them.
Natural slate roofs are beautiful as well as long lasting. Slate roofs installed with copper or stainless steel nails and copper and lead flashings can provide a service life of over 100 years. The highest skill levels are required to install slate roofs. All slates must be “sounded” (like a tuning fork). Typically up to 10% of all slates are defective and must be discarded, not put on your roof. Slate roofs are susceptible to foot traffic damage and only experienced roofing people should walk on them.
Wood shakes are beautiful, especially to a fire. We have all seen numerous neighborhoods in California where every house that had wood shakes on the roof burnt to the ground while almost all the houses with the tile roofs survived. As a matter of conscience, Standard Roofing Company will not install wood shakes or wood shingle roofing at any price (fire-proof wood is an oxymoron).
We install fireproof/windproof (150+ miles per hour) synthetic shingles and shakes that look like wood shingles and shake roofs.
Gutters are an integral part of all sloped roof systems. We recommend that gutters be replaced with most sloped roof systems Go to the Gutters section of this site.