One of the first things a person building a new home needs to decide on is the roofing material because there are many variables that can lead your decision towards a certain type of roofing material. There is a surprising variety of roofing material and each one has its pros and cons. Here are a few of them when considering roofing material for your new home.
Asphalt is probably the most common roofing material. It is actually a product of the petrochemical industry and is used for pavements as well as roofs. While they’re inexpensive in comparison to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles will probably need to be replaced after about 20 years, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of unpleasant weather. In some places, installing impact-resistant asphalt shingles may lower your home insurance premium.
Metal roofs are beautiful, long-lasting and fireproof. They shed rain and snow easily, won’t fail in high winds, and the installer won’t have to take off your old roof to install it. The drawback is that metal roofs are noisy when rain and hail hit them, and they can’t have fasteners that are made of a different metal than the roof. This leads to a chemical reaction that can cause corrosion. Also, some metal roofing requires special knowledge to install, so make sure your installer has the right training to complete the project correctly. Types of metal used for roofing include copper, steel and aluminum.
Wood is one of the oldest materials used for roofing, and homeowners prize wood shakes or shingles for their beauty. A wood roof lasts between 20 and 40 years depending on the climate, the pitch of the roof, how well the shingles or shakes were installed and how well they’re maintained. Adding preservatives to a wood roof every five years or so extends its life. The most common wood used for roofing is cedar, which is strong but is light and rot-resistant because of the type of resin it contains.
People are surprised that concrete is now used as a roofing material. Concrete tiles can be stained or dyed and made into tiles that can be quite beautiful. They are not even that new, having been introduced in Germany in the 1840s. Concrete can also be poured over a flat roof and left to cure as it would over a floor. Roofs made of concrete tile bear up well under hail and winds as fast as 125 miles per hour. They’re also fireproof. They do cost more than asphalt, but they can last as long as a century if they’re given the right care.
Slate has been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years. It is a type of stone and is prized by roof installers because it splits easily into thin slabs. Slate comes in colors of gray, blue, green and sometimes red. It is fireproof, resists mold and mildew and is just the material for rainy weather, though it doesn’t do well in a hailstorm. One drawback is that installing a slate roof requires a special skill set and a reinforced roof. Though slate was used on humble abodes in the past, it’s also come to be quite pricey.
Like slate and metal, ceramic tiles require special skills to install, but when they’re on the roof they can be breathtaking. These roofs are often seen on Mediterranean style houses and are made of fired clay much like the terracotta pots you grow plants in but thicker and tougher. A tile roof can last a century or more, and the tiles can be fluted, curved or flat. Ceramic tiles protect the house against the wind, sea air, and heat. They don’t need a lot of maintenance and are energy efficient. The only maintenance you might perform is the occasional roof cleaning. Like slate and concrete tiles, they’re heavy and your roof will need reinforcement to support them. They’re also very expensive.
These are a few of the types of roofing materials you can choose from if you’re building a new home. All of them are attractive, don’t need special care and some may last longer than your house.
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