Does the roof on your home or business look a little worse for wear? It might be time to consider roof replacement. As far as residential and commercial roofing is concerned, it’s easy to fall into the pattern of simply replacing existing roof material with the same type of material. While there is certainly no problem with this, you’re missing out on the opportunity to reinforce the defenses of your structure.
Do a little research and you’ll be amazed to find out there are plenty of roofing materials that can meet the specific needs of your home or business. Whether you prefer asphalt shingles, sheet metal, slate, tiles or any other material, it pays to know and understand the unique advantages they can offer your home or business.
ROOFING MATERIAL SELECTION: Today, there are plenty of roofing material options available on the market. Whatever your needs may be, you’re sure to find one to fit your requirements.
What to Consider When Choosing Roof Materials
Replacing the roof of your home or business can be a major investment, so it’s understandable if you have many questions, especially when it comes to choosing a roofing material. While you might be aware of more popular options, knowing as much as you can about different material types before you begin can help you save time and money during and after the installation.
CAREFUL SELECTION: Choosing a roofing material for your system isn’t easy. You’ll need to consider several important factors, like the material’s longevity, your roof’s slope and your home’s architectural design.
One way to pick out the best roofing material for your structure is to consider how long options are rated to last. Different materials wear at different speeds because they tolerate rain, snow and other elements at different rates. Before picking a roofing material, it’s essential then to know the prevailing weather patterns in your area to make an informed decision.
It’s also a good idea to consider the slope of your roof. Also called the pitch, it can affect the efficiency and overall performance of your roof. For example, if you have an older structure with a low-pitch roof, conventional shingles may not be a smart option because they might not drain rainwater as effectively. This will keep your roof from drying completely, giving moisture the opportunity to seep through and cause damage.
Finally and probably the most important, be sure to pick out a material that works well with your property’s architectural design, especially when it comes to residential properties. Traditional homes like Victorian and Colonial homes, for instance, are complemented well by asphalt shingles and slate because these materials exude a classic, old-world charm. Modern homes, on the other hand, are great with sleek-looking materials, like metal.
Ideal Materials for Residential Roofing
Most people don’t think much about their roof—until it starts to leak. Only then do they realize how critical that surface of their exterior really is. A sound roofing system doesn’t only keep the house dry and comfortable; it also contributes significantly to its looks, efficiency and value. So when replacing your roof, it pays to gather key information about the features of the materials you intend to use.
RESIDENTIAL ROOFS: Homeowners have numerous options when it comes to the material, color and style of their structure’s roof.
Some of the most popular residential roofing options include:
- Asphalt Shingles – The most commonly used material for residential roofing in the U.S., asphalt shingles are popular because they are beautiful, cost-effective and easy to install. They come in a wide array of colors and designs, allowing them to complement virtually any home style.
Asphalt shingles come in three general types: basic, architectural and designer. Basic shingles are your standard option, holding up well to the elements with little to no maintenance. Also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, architectural shingles are heavier and sturdier in design, composed of layers imparting a dimensional look to make a roof more attractive. Designer shingles, on the other hand, are top-of-the-line, available in an impressive selection of colors and textures to give your roof unmatched appeal.
- Metal – Metal roofs are gaining popularity for their innate energy efficiency. Metal is a conductor, yes, but metal roofing is an energy-efficient option because not only does it reflect the sun’s heat but it also easily emits whatever warmth it does absorb. For maximum energy efficiency, you can apply cool roof coating (typically white in color) on your metal sheets. Residential metal roofs vary in color, style and texture—some of them can even be made to look like asphalt shingles, wood shakes and tiles, but without the extra weight.
- Slate – Slate roofs are gorgeous, extremely resilient to ice and snow and can last for generations. However, they are also very expensive as they are made of natural stone. When installed, they can exude a beautiful appearance with shadow lines that give them depth and character. Because slate roofs are also heavier in weight than most materials, they require a beefier roofing structure for support. Regular maintenance can keep them functioning and looking great for up to 75 years or more.
- Tiles – Just like slate, tile roofing lasts for a very long time—usually upwards of 40 to 50 years. Although they are heavy, making them a bit challenging to install, they won’t rot or burn. They come in a wide selection of colors, types and styles, making them versatile enough to match your structure.
Ideal Materials for Commercial Roofing
Commercial roofing comes in many forms, with each one engineered to specifically suit the needs of building owners, managers and tenants. However, they are usually flat or low-sloped and this narrows down ideal options, which include:
- Modified Bitumen – Composed of asphalt reinforced with fiberglass or polyester, modified bitumen roofs resist foot traffic and punctures or tears very well. They are also easier to maintain than most commercially available materials but need annual inspections to stay effective.
- Single-Ply Membrane – These are sheets made of rubber or any other synthetic material that are either ballasted or chemically adhered to insulation, resulting in an extra layer of protection for your building. There are two common types of single-ply membranes: TPO and EPDM. These two differ in many ways—their chemical composition, the manner they are installed and how energy-efficient they are. Talk to your trusted roofer to know which type will better suit your needs.
- Metal or Standing Seam – Although used in residential structures as well, metal roofs were originally constructed for commercial buildings. There are different metal roofing types but the most popular is called a standing-seam system, which is characterized by interlocking metal panels with raised edges. As with most roofing types used for commercial buildings, standing seam metal roofing is highly durable and can protect your building for decades.
COMMERCIAL ROOFS: Today, commercial roofs aren’t just focused on providing top-notch strength and weather resistance—they are also designed for beauty and energy efficiency.
It can be confusing facing numerous options for your new residential or commercial roofing but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Keep in mind that you can always turn to a roofing expert in your area. With a professional by your side, you’re sure to make the right choice, ensuring you make the most of your investment.
Colin Clark co-owns and is the president of Dynamic Roofing Concepts, Inc. Built on the foundation of honesty, integrity, professionalism and dedication, the family-owned and -operated company has been offering affordable, high-quality roofing products in Brandon, Tampa and nearby cities in Florida for more than 40 years. For updates from Colin, check out the company blog!