A Comparison Of Asphalt And Plastic Polymer Roofs

Posted on: 26 April 2016

Picking out a roofing material can be pretty difficult, especially if you don't know where to start. To help you out, here are two popular roofing materials: asphalt and plastic polymer.

What is asphalt roofing?

When shopping for roofing materials, you might have noticed that asphalt shingles are incredibly common. Many houses use them, since they offer decent durability at a very low price. If you are looking to get a roof that looks nice and won't break the bank, then asphalt is definitely one of the most popular options.

Asphalt is relatively lightweight, meaning that it won't be difficult to install and won't unreasonably burden your home's structure. Some heavier materials can be difficult to actually get up to your roof, but that is not the case with asphalt, especially since you are dealing with small, portable shingles.

What is plastic polymer roofing?

On the other hand, you might be more interested in a roof that looks very high-end. However, you might not have the money to actually buy a slate or clay roof. This is where plastic polymer roofing comes in.

Plastic polymer roofs can easily mimic other roofs, which means that you can get a plastic roof that looks almost exactly like a slate roof. The big draw of plastic is that it costs a fraction of slate, meaning that you can achieve the same look without investing too much money. Of course, there is a downside, and that is that your plastic likely won't last nearly as long as real slate.

What does each option cost?

Asphalt shingles will cost you about $50 per square, whereas plastic will likely run you $300 per square at the low end. This does mean that plastic will cost you over 6 times as much as asphalt, but it can end up being much less than slate, which can actually rise to $600 per square.

It can also be helpful to know that squares are actually 100 square feet. Some vendors advertise price per square foot, while others advertise price per square. If you see a number that looks ridiculously low, then you are probably looking at price per square foot, rather than price per square.

Which option is best?

The best choice will ultimately come down to if you value appearance or cost more. Asphalt is going to be much less expensive, but plastic polymer will have a much classier appearance.   

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