Not only is Wisconsin weather harsh, it covers the full spectrum. Pelting rain, raging wind, hail, snowstorms, zero-degree winters and hundred-degree summers, dry to humid and back again—our state has it all. The best Wisconsin roof shingle options will need durability to survive the elements.
In Waukesha County alone, there are many different styles of homes, and not all shingles are suited to every home. The ideal shingle choice for you will depend on your home’s age and style, your aesthetic preference, and your budget.
Asphalt is Wisconsin’s top roof shingle for a reason. Asphalt offers great performance, affordability, low maintenance, and a variety of styles and colors.
Asphalt shingles come in different levels of quality and cost. Simple, lightweight options for smaller budgets are called classic, three-tab, or strip shingles. Usually, a single layer of asphalt that lies flat against the roof, these options are available from GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning.
For a richer, multidimensional look that can resemble wood or slate, choose shingles that are manufactured in multiple layers, most often called architectural, laminate, designer, or dimensional shingles. GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning offer dimensional shingle lines that balance beauty, durability, and value.
Also called SBS-modified or polymer-modified, these are the best asphalt shingles for hail and avoiding cracks from Wisconsin’s freeze-thaw cycles. The rubberized compounds make them flexible yet durable. They have a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating, which is the industry’s highest rating and may qualify you for a homeowner insurance discount.
Our favorite rubberized asphalt manufacturers include CertainTeed NorthGate shingles and Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration FLEX shingles.
Other Wisconsin Shingle Options
If asphalt isn’t for you, there are several other shingle options available for southeastern Wisconsin homes.
Do you love the country cottage or log cabin look? Wood shingles and cedar shakes are desired for their natural appearance and versatility, but with the beauty comes higher maintenance. They are expected to last longer than asphalt shingles, and their Class 4 Impact Resistance rating makes wood shakes a good choice for strong winds and storms. However, you will have to take steps to protect a cedar shake roof from fire, insects, and rotting.
Although they cost more upfront than asphalt or wood, metal roofs are energy efficient and great for enduring windy environments and freeze-thaw cycles. They are lightweight, low maintenance, and very long-lasting. CertainTeed offers metal shingles in two styles, tile and shake.
Tiles have a unique appearance, fire-resistance, wind-resistance, and long life. They are typically the most expensive option, and their weight may require structural reinforcement. A slate roof is made of beautiful natural stone, which is stronger than wood or asphalt. A slate roof can last for the lifetime of the home, though individual pieces will need to be replaced when damaged. Tiles can also be made of clay or concrete. Clay tiles have the terracotta look, while concrete can simulate the look of wood shake, slate, or stone.
Many roofing manufacturers offer energy-efficient “cool roofs.” Before investing in these shingles, check the climate zones that are recommended. Southeastern Wisconsin is generally considered zone 5, which is right on the edge for the benefits of a cool roof (cooling savings may be offset by the winter heating penalty).
Which shingle is right for your style and budget? Are you more concerned about the up-front cost or the life cycle of your new roof? If you’re struggling to decide, we can look at your home and help break down the Wisconsin roof shingle options available for you.
The right choice will depend on what you think will look right with your exterior and stand up to the elements for years to come. Contact Dimension Inc. to discuss options, prices, and the vast array of colors and styles available to suit your home.