Has the time come for roof replacement or new roof installation? There are going to be a lot of things to consider, such as finding the right roof replacement contractor to assist you and whether you should use one type of roofing material over another. Should you choose between a synthetic shingle or a classic wooden shake? What about something trending? Or what about long-lasting stone?
Today, we’re going to introduce some things to commit to memory while shopping around, as well as some basic information on roofing materials.
Let’s get started.
Criteria for Selecting Roofing Materials
There are multiple factors to think about when selecting the right roofing material for your home.
Here is the main criteria:
- Architecture. Consider roof materials that accent the lines of the roof and the overall aesthetic.
- Community restrictions. Depending on where you live, you may have to consult with the homeowner association or the local building codes. Sometimes, communities have specific standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.
- Colors. The color of the roofing materials should be a compliment without compromising energy efficiency.
- Roof material ratings. Check the longevity of various roofing materials, impact and fire ratings, reflectance, and also if it can be recycled or not.
- Climate. Local weather and environment can influence the kind of roofing material used.
- Budget. Depending on your financial status, some materials may be beyond your budget. Keep in mind that roof replacements come with a high price tag, so if you need to reduce the cost, it may be wiser to use cost-effective materials over cosmetic ones.
Pros and Cons of Popular Roofing Materials
Knowing what kinds of materials are available is just as important as considering the pitch of the roof, the orientation of the sun, and other things. Many materials, like asphalt shingles, are tried-and-true, while others are up-and-coming.
Also known as composite shingles or architectural shingles, asphalt shingles have long been the top seller. The backing is either fiberglass or other organic materials, and the rest is made of asphalt and granules. You can choose between economically priced versions and more luxury products for greater protection and appeal.
- Inexpensive when compared to other materials
- Fiberglass-backed shingles have a Class A fire rating
- Premium grade architectural shingles have a long lifespan
- Easy to install
- Basic 3-tab shingles are prone to impact damage
- Asphalt shingles degrade rapidly from prolonged sun exposure
Choose between aluminum, steel, or copper, as well as sheeting (also called standing seam) or tiles. You can also purchase steel roofing that is coated in stone to give you a less smooth look. Metal adds something unique to your home and is durable, recyclable, and less expensive than some other options.
- Provides fantastic durability
- Easy to repair, replace, and recycle
- Metal roofing is very efficient at cooling
- Excellent for regions that receive ice and snow, since it sheds precipitation easily
- Copper gets a lovely patina
- Requires corrosion protection to prevent rusting (aluminum and steel)
- Not ideal for corrosive environments, such as by the bay or the coast, since the metals will oxidize
- Flat standing seam roofing needs rain gutters to handle water
- Risk of denting on impact
Wood shingles are generally made from redwood, pine, cypress, and western red cedar—all treated with fire retardant and insect-proof. Roofs with steep pitches are ideal for wooden shingles or shakes since the slope shows off the aesthetics and texture of the wood nicely.
- Visually appealing
- A naturally cool shingle that prevents too much heat absorption
- Great for dryer climates
- Subject to wood rot and decay
- Must be repeatedly treated with fungicide and maintained to prevent damage over time
- Weathers poorly – turns a sickly gray
- Requires more upkeep than other roofing materials
- Not fireproof – poor choice for regions with a high risk of fire
Clay or Concrete Tiles
You may see tiles made from composites, but most are made of clay or concrete. Tiles are aesthetically pleasing, heavy-duty, and come in a wide range of styles.
- Long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free
- Accents a range of architectural types
- Can mimic other kinds of shingles, such as slate or wood
- May offer higher reflectance of UV rays, depending on color
- High insulating value
- Requires a professional to install
- Larger price tag compared to wood or asphalt shingles
- Clay tiles are more expensive than concrete
- Heavy – requires supportive structures to hold up
- Tiled roofs are fragile and have low impact resistance
Enduring. Classic. Beautiful. Slate tiles are heavy and natural; their strength allows them to last for over 100 years. If you have a house with a slight pitch and reinforced trusses, then slate could work for you.
- Extremely long-lasting and durable
- Beautiful curb appeal
- Can be reused, unlike other kinds of roofing
- Low maintenance
- Needs to be installed by a professional who is experienced working with stone
- Underlayment with the need to be reinforced
- Expensive to install
What to Consider When Choosing Roofing Materials
While searching for the “best roofers in my area,” you will probably come across many who give you tips on what to keep in mind as you narrow down your choices for roofing materials. These additional steps can help eliminate any roofing materials you are not 100 percent sold on.
Replacement Roof vs. New Roof
Assess your roof and decide which one you need. Adding a new roof means that you have fewer constraints when it comes to choice, since you are changing the whole layout. A replacement roof, on the other hand, is meant to deal with preexisting conditions, be that the pitch of the roof or damage dealt in a storm.
Whether you decide to revamp the roof and make it new or simply replace a weathered roof, a roof replacement contractor can help.
Some roofing materials are not cut out for specific roof pitches. Steeper pitches are great for creating a dramatic look, but it can limit the kinds of roofing you can select. Be sure to do your research on which materials work best for the pitch of your roof.
Length of Time at Address
If you are still having trouble deciding on which roofing material to use, then you should consider how much longer you plan on staying at your current address. A single roof replacement can cost you thousands of dollars—a truly expensive investment. Should your days in the house be limited, then you might find that choosing a more expensive roofing material is not the most economical choice.
Ready for Roof Installation, Repair, or Replacement?
Not every roofing material is going to suit your tastes or your home’s unique design. You have to consider the design of your house, your budget, and your location before determining which roofing material is best for your home. But knowing which is best for what is how you can narrow down your options and make an informed choice.
Now that you know more about roofing materials, get in touch to learn how we can help! We have a wide selection of materials and services to get your roofing project started. Fill out the contact form, and we’ll get back to you.