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Steep Slope Roofing

Steep slope roofing is sometimes referred to as “residential roofing” due to the fact that most single-family homes in the U.S. are constructed with some sort of pitch or slope to the roof. 

Steep slope roofing usually refers roofs that have slopes of 2” in 12” (2:12) or greater. This means for every 12 horizontal inches, the roof rise is two vertical inches or greater

Types of materials used for steep and sloped roofing:


Photo courtesy of IB Roof Systems. Roof Installed by Showalter Roofing

 Asphalt Shingles

In the Chicago area, asphalt shingles applied over an underlayment are the most common roofing material used by steep-slope roofing contractors.

Asphalt shingles are economical, durable, long lasting (15 years to limited lifetime), and can be easily installed, repaired, and maintained. Asphalt shingles are manufactured in a large variety of styles and colors.

Many shingle manufacturers have tested their products to comply with City of Chicago Code requirements for reflectivity.  Check with your CRCA Roofing Contractor for specific information about City, County and National Code compliance for Roofing.

Photo courtesy of Knickerbocker Roofing & Paving

Slate & Tile

Slate roofs have been built worldwide. Slate is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and durable roofing materials available. Many slate roofs in existence today have lasted well over a hundred years. Do note that slate application is very specialized, with few contractors specializing in this type of material installation – and it is more expensive than an asphalt shingle.

Tile roofing materials provide some of the same benefits as slate.  They are used in both residential and commercial roofs. Tile roofs are sought after because of their proven performance and virtually limitless variety of colors and styles.

Tiles are typically created using concrete or clay. Due to modern innovations, tile roofing can be used for many architectural styles such as authentic Spanish, Mediterranean and New England Colonial, historic or contemporary. They can also be created flat, rounded or can even emulate other roofing materials such as wood shakes.  Tile, like slate, is a specialty with very few contractors specializing in the material.  It is more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof.

CRCA Photo

Wood Shingles & Wood Shakes

Wood shakes and wood shingles are used on steep sloped roofs. Wood shakes and shingles are a natural material made from cedar. Wood shakes (and wood shingles) are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, southern yellow pine and redwood trees. The most commonly used wood shake for roofing is western red cedar.

Cedar shakes and shingles are split by hand or sawn into shape. Some are sawn on one side and hand split on the other. Some are sawn on both sides. The result is a natural wood looking roof.

Cedar shakes contain natural oils that make them naturally decay resistant and insect resistant. Cedar shakes are also available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives to increase fire resistance and help prevent premature rot and decay.  Wood shakes and shingles are different from asphalt shingles. Their application is a real specialty and requires contractors that understand the technical requirements – ventilation requirement from under the shake – much different than an asphalt shingle installation.