When it comes to home improvement, replacing or repairing a roof might not be as exciting as say a kitchen remodel, but what good is a nice kitchen when the roof is falling in, right? Your home is a big investment. Just like a car, proper care is necessary to keep it well maintained and beautiful.
The following describes the many different types of roofs and the pros & cons of each.
The term, “putting a roof over one’s head,” is usually used as a figure of speech, but the saying should be taken literally when thinking about the best type of roof for your home. Whether you are looking to hire a roofing contractor for roof repairs and maintenance or roof replacement, we can help!
The Pacific Northwest has an array of weather patterns that might leave you confused as to which type of roof replacement is the optimum choice for your home improvement project. Just like roofing contractors, not all roofing material is created equal so it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each and the role each plays as your home’s first line of defense against the elements.
Asphalt composition shingles are the most popular roof replacement, because of their versatility in look, color and low-cost in maintenance and installation. Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass and organic products that are mixed with asphalt and coated in colored mineral granules.
While the cost to install asphalt shingles is low, many have limited warranties of 15-30 years, and can be easily damaged in rough weather. High winds, heavy rain, and excessive heat can cause the shingles to blow off, crack, curl, or streak, which decreases the roofs’ effectiveness and appearance.
To ensure your asphalt shingle roof stays in optimum condition, it’s important to regularly check for issues. Look for debris buildup near drains or areas behind structures, such as a chimney. In damper climates, like the Pacific Northwest, it is also common for moss or algae to build up and deteriorate your shingles. Zinc strips or various treatments will minimize this issue.
Pros: Easy to install, low-cost, versatile color and texture, deflect UV-rays
Cons: Easily damaged in weather, doesn’t last as long as other roof varieties
Cedar roofing is a beautiful and long-lasting way to upgrade your home. In addition to “aging well,” it can last 30 to 40 years. Cedar is a natural insulator and is an energy efficient way to be eco-friendly and save on heating and cooling bills.
Regular maintenance is required to keep the moss, debris, and rogue tree branches at bay. To help control moss, zinc or copper strips are often installed. Overhanging branches should be trimmed away from the roof to prevent debris from building up and minimizing damage by a falling limb.
Pros: Long-lasting, natural insulator, visually appealing
Cons: Hard to install, expensive, frequent maintenance required
Metal roofing is an easy and quick way to update your home. Its durability and simple installation is eco-friendly and lasts 40 to 70 years. It is primarily made of aluminum or steel, but copper, zinc, and titanium are also used. Metal roofing is perfect for keeping out water leaks, resistant to high winds, sheds snow, and does not burn.
Upkeep of this roof style is minimal because of its resistance to mildew, insects, and rot. It can resemble other roof varieties, and it can often be installed over an existing roof.
Pros: Lightweight, recyclable, deflects UV rays, long-lasting, weather resistant, low-maintenance
Cons: Noisy during heavy rainfall and hail, temperature fluctuations might cause panels to loosen
If roofing materials had a “best in class” contest, tile roofs would take the cake. It lasts more than 100 years, is visually appealing, durable, and can withstand high winds, hail, rain, and fire. Tile is usually made of terracotta, slate, concrete or plastic and is available in a variety of styles and colors to match any home design. Like aluminum, it is impervious to rot, mold, insect damage, and decay; because of these reasons it requires little maintenance and when properly installed, will never leak.
Pros: Recyclable, eco-friendly, helps regulate indoor temperatures, long-lasting, weather resistant, invulnerable to decay
Cons: Expensive, difficult to install, heavy, tiles are brittle
If you have a flat or low pitch roof we can also connect you with the right roofing contractor for the job. Flat roofs can double as a roof-top deck or allow for the easy installation of new technology, such as solar panels. They also require less material and therefore can be less expensive than steep-slope roofs. Below are common materials and coatings used for flat or low pitch roofs.
Torch down is a type of flat roof which got its name from the administration used to install it in your home. The material that makes contact with the covering underneath is torched to seal the material, which secures the hold and creates a waterproof seal. Torch down roofing can last 15 to 20 years, and provides resistance to leaks and protection from the heat.
TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin):
TPO, short for thermoplastic polyolefin, is a newer roofing material that is energy efficient, UV-resistant, and heat-resistant. TPO is a single ply roofing membrane consisting of three layers. Polymer base, polyester-reinforced fabric center, and thermoplastic polyolefin compound top ply. Usually filled with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and talc. This roof home improvement is economical and affordable, fits different home styles, is durable against mold, dirt, and its lightweight material is easy to install.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride):
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a formula when ethylene and chlorine are combined to produce a vinyl glass that’s converted into a powder and compounded. The PVC membrane comes in rolls of various sizes and thickness and are bound together through heat welding. The material is resistant to chemicals, grease, acid, oil and UV-rays. It’s a lightweight and cost-efficient option.
Whatever type roof you have, proper maintenance, including cleaning and moss treatment, will prolong the life of the roof and keep it protecting your home for many years to come. Regular maintenance and annual inspections are as important as changing the oil in your car. Ignoring a leak or not replacing the roof before it begins to fail is like throwing money to the wind.
If it’s time to replace your roof, we suggest you get several bids and carefully review the fine print, including warranties. Hiring the best roofing contractors for your home improvement is important to ensure your roof is installed correctly and will last as long as possible. We can connect you with a roofing contractor that aligns your wants and needs into a roof best fit for your home.
Contact us for free roofing contractor referrals, roof assessments, and free proposals.
Our expertise is matching customers with the most appropriate service professional for their project. We take the initial steps to ensure they are professional and dependable. Each contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, successfully passed a thorough screening process including reference checks and regular credential audits, and continue to meet high standards of workmanship. We are committed to helping our customers achieve their home improvement dreams and goals, safely and efficiently.