Choosing the Best Roofing Material
In a perfect world we would have inexpensive roofs that require no maintenance and last forever. The reality is that there are many types of roof. Some are low maintenance, others require more attention over their life span. The life span in itself varies depending on the materials chosen.
What are some of the considerations when purchasing a new roof? Cost is always the first on everyoneís list. We will all agree that there will be a cost, the question is when. Do we pay more now for greater quality and durability, or do we choose the more basic materials, only to pay for more upkeep and a shorter life span?
There are some environmental considerations when choosing your roof. Each time your roof is replaced there are materials removed that will end up in the landfill. Some of the materials are toxic, as well. Your roof choice will also affect your heating and cooling costs. Lighter roofs reflect heat, reducing cooling costs. A cooler attic means a cooler home or office.
The type of roof on your home or building will help decide which material to choose. For example, there is the hot mop roof. We typically see this style of roof coating on commercial buildings, but may find it on low slope or flat residential as well. This type of roof is less expensive than other roofing materials and does hold up fairly well. The downside: itís not attractive. Some try to improve the looks by adding a layer of decorative stone, but lets face it, that doesnít help much. The tar used in this roof type is also hazardous, a pollutant, and a health hazard to installers.
Composition shingles is another option. The price is affordable. Materials vary, with fiberglass or asphalt as an option, and some shingles may contain recycled materials. There is also a variety of colors, and composition shingles are easy to install. There is minimal maintenance and these shingles hold up well in the event you need to walk on your roof. The downside is that these shingles are more easily damaged by high winds, and donít have the depth and dimension of shake roofs.
Shake roofs have always been a popular choice. Wood offers a natural look, with a variety of color, width, and thickness. The end result will be a wood shake roof with its own unique look. Shake roofs also offer better insulation, and allow the house to breath, circulating the air far better than other roofing materials. Wood shake roofs do require maintenance and repair. With any wood products there is always the risk of insect damage or rot. This is not the most economical choice in roofing materials. Fire safety is also an issue, and your roof may need fire retardant treatment to meet fire codes.
There are other options available. Some of these choices may be better suited to your climate. One choice is the clay tile roof, giving a clean, modern look. Clay tiles have an incredible life span, and are not subject to damage by fire, rot or insects. There is little maintenance, and these tiles can be damaged by walking on them. This style of roofing is usually paired with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish mission designed home.
These are only a few of the options for roofing materials. These materials are more expensive and may be more difficult to install. Slate is a material used on some more high-scale projects. Concrete tiles are manufactured tiles with high durability and a variety of materials. Metal roofing is coming back into style, with durability and energy efficiency. Overall, cost, efficiency, maintenance and life span should all be factored in to your roof replacement choice.