Q. I have a 20-year-old, low-pitched-roof, California-style brick home with asphalt shingles. When I reroof, what other materials besides the traditional asphalt are available for our house? I want to get another 20 years' service out of the new roofing. I have heard about plastic simulated tile. What about it? Kenneth A. Kirsten Lancaster, Pa.
A. Twenty years of service on asphalt shingles is reasonable longevity on a low-pitched roof. The steeper the pitch, the greater the life expectancy on unit- type roofing shingles.
Other available roofing units are: cedar or redwood shakes or sawn shingles, cement or clay flat tile, Spanish or mission tile, and asbestos cement, to name the main ones.
The prices of the shingles or tile are priced variously higher or lower.
Each has its own set of advantages and perhaps disadvantages in your area and for your specific roof pitch and architectural decor.
When using heavier roof units, such as clay or concrete tile, consider the structural capacity of the rafters to handle the additional load.
We are familiar with solid vinyl siding, such as that made by Bird & Son, East Walpole, Mass., as well as others, but are unfamiliar with plastic roofing shingles.