The type of roof you have determines comfort, safety, and energy efficiency. The process of choosing one shouldn’t be taken lightly, so consulting an expert is always advisable. But before you do so, it is very beneficial to know the basics of roofing. To help you out with your decision, here is what we suggest you should have in mind:
List of Preferences
There are 4 basic materials from which roofs are made: asphalt, wood, tile, and metal. Each offers different benefits and is suitable for different environments. That’s why the first thing you should do is make a list of your preferences. To find out what you want, it is best to give an answer to these questions:
- What kind of aesthetic am I going for?
- Do I live in a difficult climate (frequent rain, snow storms or temperature change)?
- How long do I plan to live here?
- Am I ready to do regular maintenance?
- What is my budget?
- Do I want an eco-friendly roof?
First, you must decide the shape of your roof. There are tons of ways you can go, even though some homes may have limited options. You can choose a flat roof, a butterfly one or a Jerkinhead. Put these 3 aside and you’ll have 15 more types, including Mansard, Dutch Gable, Dormer, Box Gable, Hip and so on. To choose what kind of shape you want, always consult with experts since a lot more things are involved than simple aesthetics. The choice which only you can make though is with the material. But, consulting with experts is advisable for this decision as well.
Each of the 4 basic roofs split into their own categories. For example, asphalt roofing has 3 main categories when it comes to style and 2 when it comes to material. The styles can be 3tab, dimensional and luxury, and the material fiberglass or organic and each has its own pros and cons. But first, you’ll need to decide whether you want asphalt, metal, wood or tile. Here is what you should know about them:
- Asphalt – The cheapest roof is made from asphalt. This is why it is the most commonly used. However, it isn’t that eco-friendly since petroleum is used for manufacturing. Additionally, asphalt has a shorter lifespan than other materials.
- Metal – This choice is usually reserved for edgier homeowners. Metal gives a certain aesthetic, not accomplishable by anything else. Different types of metal can be used and the most common ones being copper and steel.
- Tile – Usually installed in large homes, tile roofing is the most eco-friendly of them all. Because its weight, tile shingles cannot be installed on small homes that won’t be able to support it. It has a large lifespan and is great for maintaining temperature balance.
- Wood – Probably the oldest roofing, wood is used even today. This is because wood is an amazing insulator and offers a unique aesthetic. However, it is prone to rot and termites and that’s why it requires the most maintenance.
The Lifespans & Budget
As we mentioned, asphalt is the cheapest roofing out there but has the shortest lifespan of maximum 20 years maximum. Because it is vulnerable to algae and moss, that lifespan can become even shorter. The second place goes to wood. It has an average lifespan of 25 years, but it costs two times more than asphalt. Depending on the type of wood (either cedar, redwood or pine), the cost can vary from $350 to $500 for square.
Next, are metal and tile and both have a lifespan exceeding 50. There have been situations where these types of shingles even reached 100 years. They don’t require much maintenance but are fairly hard to replace. Depending on the type of tile (whether clay or concrete), the price varies from $300 to $1000 per square. Metal can be cheaper than tile, with an average price for copper of $400 per square.
Pros and Cons
As we mentioned, there are tons of pros and cons for every type of roofing material. What you should be mainly interested in though is weather resistance and durability. Longer lifespan doesn’t mean that the roof will last forever since one severe storm can even damage the metal.
For instance, basic chemistry laws teach us how metal tends to bend and contract/expand during temperature variations. This is why metal roofing can sometimes dent after severe conditions. Some homeowners have complained how when it rains metal roof makes an annoying sound, but luckily enough this can be solved with proper attic insulation.
So yes, there are tons of pros and cons out there and you cannot know them all since the functionality of the material also depends on the shape of your roof. That’s why to get the most out of your new roofing material, you should hire a certified and professional roofing company. Every problem can be solved with proper installation and smart decisions.