Choosing a roof material for your home can be a complex job. Although most people tend to stick to the same type of material as their old roof, many benefits could be missed by using this strategy. With so many new roof materials available in an array of colors and styles, why choose the same one as before?
In many cases, people are afraid to try new things when it comes to the products used around the home. With the costs of repairs, trying something new seems like risky business. In fact, it could be that the opposite is true. New recycled roof materials, green roofs and solar panels have many cost cutting and energy saving benefits. In general, choosing a roof material should be based on the climate you live in, but you should also look for upgraded materials that could save you money down the line.
Many coastal regions face unique challenges. In addition to the added moisture in the air, there may also be risks of hurricanes or floods. The problem homeowners face in coastal or wet climates is that increased moisture can easily damage some roof materials, leading to further problems with the roof. Mold, mildew, wood rot and water leaks are all very common problems among roofs in wet climates.
So which roof material is best? Traditional asphalt shingles are an inexpensive option for high moisture areas as they are durable and resistant to mold and mildew. However, they can be easily broken by high winds, leaving the base materials susceptible to water damage. Metal roofing is a good choice for wet climates as they contain natural waterproofing abilities and are rust-resistant. A metal roof can also stand up to high winds better than an asphalt roof.
Hot climates also tend to dry climates, which can be a problematic combination. High temperature also tends to mean increased exposure to the sun’s damaging rays. The heat and the UV rays together can cause bending and cracking among some roof materials.
Although asphalt shingles are found in hot and dry climates, they are not always the best choice. Typically chosen for their lower cost, these shingles can have a reduced life span in some areas where the heat and sun can last the majority of the year. One of the best roof materials for a hot or dry climate is clay or slate tile. These products are made from earth derived elements, which means they are inherently resistant to heat and dry weather. Clay and slate tiles are highly resistant to the heat and can even reflect the sun’s UV rays, resulting in less heat absorption into the home.
Homes in cold climates are generally free from extreme weather conditions other than snow. Although snow itself isn’t that damaging to a roof, there are some roof materials that cause more buildup during heavy snow storms. For example, metal roofing tends to contain grooves, which can store excess snow and promote buildup.
The best roof material for cold climates is asphalt shingles as they are made from rubber and can tolerate snow buildup. Asphalt shingles are flat and will not interfere with natural snow removal by way of gravity. However, it is important that homes in cold climates choose a dark colored shingle to increase the absorption of the sun’s rays to ensure better heating of the home.