If you’re not someone who works on roofs day in and day out, then they can be pretty easy to ignore. Take a closer look at all the roofs you see next time you go for a drive. You might notice no two are quite alike.
The size, shape, configuration, pitch and materials vary greatly even when you’re only looking at houses on a single street. How do you know what the best roofing material is for your house?
Asphalt shingles are a ‘classic’ roofing material, more widely used across the United States than any other roofing option. Part of their popularity stems from their affordability, but also their durability and fire-resistance. Asphalt shingles typically last around 25 years, which is less than some other types of roofing, but not bad considering the lower price tag. They also come in a wide range of styles and colors to go along with just about any home design.
Quality asphalt shingles also withstand storm damage quite well, but loose and improperly-installed shingles can blow off in extreme winds, or lose their granular coating in hailstorms. This is one of the reasons why routine maintenance is so important with shingles (maintenance also reduces their potential to accumulate moss and mildew).
Incredibly durable and long-lasting, a metal roof can last outlast the rest of the home if it’s well-cared for. It does require some maintenance, especially in hot climates, to make sure it isn’t weakened by expanding and contracting due to heat. Metal roofing is also resistant to wind and water damage, and is fire-resistant. The upfront cost is higher compared to shingles, but the roof can pay for itself with its longevity.
Metal roofing is energy-efficient, reflecting a significant amount of the sun’s rays, and is often made from recycled materials, making it a smart environmental choice. However, there is a limited color selection for your roof. The noise of a metal roof during rain is an issue for some, but it can be alleviated through proper attic insulation.
Few roofing materials can hold a candle to concrete tile when it comes to longevity. This makes it a popular roofing material in climates where roofs must withstand scorching sun, high wind, heavy rains, blowing sand, and other challenges. In a nutshell, it’s just right for Florida homes. However, it’s not ideal for every home. Concrete tile is very heavy, and some roofs may need reinforcement to be able to hold its weight.
Concrete tile has a higher upfront cost than most other roofing materials, but when you consider its longevity, it’s a good long-term investment. Although concrete is highly durable, it’s not unbreakable. Concrete tiles are somewhat brittle, and can break if they sustain a heavy impact. One of their great benefits is it’s fairly easy to replace just one or a few tiles without replacing the whole roof.
Flat Roof (TPO)
Although a relative newcomer onto the roofing scene, TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) or self-adhered single-ply roofing is quickly becoming the material of choice for residential flat roofs. One of its great advantages is its energy efficiency. TPO roofing reflects approximately 78% of the sun’s rays, which makes it a great fit for flat roofs in hot, sunny climates. Sound like any place you know?
TPO is lightweight and flexible as well as durable, and is resistant to everything from fire and moisture to UV rays and industrial pollutants. Installation is relatively straightforward, but it’s strongly recommended you have it done by a professional so the seams are perfectly aligned and will hold up over time. If you have a structure which requires flat TPO roofing, only work with roofing professionals who are experienced in its installation.
At the end of the day, the best material for your roof is largely a matter of personal taste, and what best fits your budget. Other factors like durability, lifespan, energy efficiency, fire- and weather-resistance are also crucial considerations. Contact Alan’s Roofing today to learn more about your roof replacement options. We’re certified contractors with more than 30 years experience, and we’re proud to offer the best craftsmanship and customer service in Central Florida.