WHAT TYPE OF ROOF IS BEST FOR YOU?
You may be asking yourself, “What is the best roofing material for me?” That could all depend on your homes location, age, design, and the weather patterns in your community. The best roofing material for a new home could differ from that of an older property. Likewise, the best roofing material for a modular home will likely differ from that of a cottage or mansion. In any case, you must consider the internal and surrounding factors of the house itself before you settle on a particular roofing material.
You should take the weather patterns in your area and the general climate trends across your region into account as you choose the material for the next roof on your house. After all, this investment could last anywhere from 20 to 50 years, and possibly longer. Therefore, roofing materials that can withstand the full range of weather for decades on end are generally among the best roofing choices, especially in the Northeast U.S., where inclement weather is a fact of life.
THE AGE OF A HOME
The era in which your home was built could render the structure and design style better suited to certain types of roofing materials. Wood is the best roofing material for a stick-built home or just about any property that dates from the Colonial era. Slate or metal, on the other hand, are bound to be better suited to modern properties.
If you live in a classic home, it might be best to keep your choice as close to the original roof as possible, as any deviation could devalue the historical appeal of the property.
THE AVAILABILITY OF HOME EQUITY IN PA
The value of your home can increase once you have a new roof installed on your property, especially if you choose a fancier roofing material. Many homeowners consider slate and clay roofs among the classiest of roofing options, as these materials may be associated with affluent European homes. As such, a roof made of either of these materials is liable to attract more interest among deep-pocketed prospective buyers.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s divergent weather patterns have generated a high demand for roofs that withstand all types of weather and the elements.
THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE FROM RECENT STORMS
Homeowners should replace certain types of roofing in the aftermath of a major storm or natural disaster. The high winds of hurricanes and tornadoes, for example, can easily damage wood and asphalt roofs. Even if the damage only appears minor to the naked eye, inclement weather can structurally compromise a house in ways that are not readily apparent, and that partially damaged roof might crumble more rapidly as time passes.
Roofs made of stronger materials like slate, clay, or metal are more likely to withstand the impacts of major storms and natural events.
On residential households throughout the United States and abroad, asphalt shingles are the most widespread type of roofing. Commonly seen on homes of America’s middle-class suburbs, asphalt is a relatively inexpensive roofing option that provides ideal warmth and protection from the elements. Due to its ability to blend in with virtually any type of housing design, asphalt is a popular choice among homeowners when it comes to roof replacement.
Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install on rooftops, which — combined with the relatively low cost of asphalt shingles —allows for quick installations. Within days of you deciding on a new roof, an installation crew can complete a shingling job, giving you a transformed house.
There are two basic types of asphalt shingles — architectural and three-tab. The former consist of layers and are therefore the stronger of the two. Three-tab shingles consist of single layers and are consequently not as strong. That said, there has been little difference between the two regarding pricing. In fact, architectural asphalt shingles have gradually become more affordable and thus have overtaken three-tab as the roof-replacement material of choice among middle-class homeowners.
For ultimate protection against wind, rain, hail and anything else Mother Nature comes up with, asphalt shingles are coated with reinforcement materials such as cellulose or fiberglass. Asphalt shingles will remain a consistent look throughout many years. The asphalt will not change in color, like cedar or other types of wood.
Asphalt also comes in a vast range of colors and is, therefore, a versatile option that can match virtually any housing design. In a state like Pennsylvania, where climate trends run the gamut, asphalt is an ideal fit for houses in both the wintry north and summery southern part of the state.
On the downside, asphalt shingles may not last as long as other roofing types. The average life of asphalt shingles will range from 15 to 25 years, though well-preserved shingles — especially on houses in calm climates — can last for at least 30 years.
Granted, the average span of a residential occupancy is shorter than the minimum life of an asphalt roof. Therefore, you are only likely to find yourself purchasing new asphalt shingles once for a given property. Regarding pricing, asphalt shingles start at $70 per square.
Metal is one of the sturdiest and most long-lasting roofing options for residential and commercial properties alike. As everyone knows, metals are the strongest materials on Earth. As such, metal can give your house protection from the elements for many decades. Regardless of the weather in your area, a metal roof will keep you insulated from temperatures and protected from a downpour.
In the mixed and often divergent weather patterns that characterize the state of Pennsylvania, metal roofing can enhance the appeal and boost the value of suburban and urban properties. In times of inclement weather, a metal roof will withstand virtually everything, including falling trees, power lines and the brunt of hurricanes.
Metal roofing is available in numerous alloys, from stainless steel and aluminum to copper and zinc. Depending on the type of metal used in a roofing project, a metal roof could complement or totally transform the look of a house.
With its luster and resistance to dirt, stains and the aging process, metal can give your roof a visual appeal that will make your house the envy of onlookers. Should you ever decide to move, a metal roof could be one of the most fetching selling points of your property.
Due to the strength of metal alloys, a metal roof will outlast a set of asphalt shingles by many decades. The average span of a metal roof is at least half a century. Some metal roofs last 75 years or more. As such, metal roofing has grown in popularity among homeowners in climates that see lots of wind, rain, and hail throughout a typical winter.
Metal roofing is admittedly more expensive than asphalt, but you can expect to earn the cost difference back through years of invincibility. If you remain in the same house throughout your life, you will probably never have to replace — let alone repair — a metal roof.
If there is one downside to metal roofs, it would be the chemical vulnerability of certain metal alloys. Copper, for instance, can corrode if not treated. As it corrodes, the surface of copper develops a light green patina. If untreated, certain other metals may rust when exposed to water buildup. However, some alloys have natural oxides that regenerate and therefore resist the processes that lead to corrosion and rust. Aluminum is one such metal alloy.
CLAY AND CONCRETE
Ceramic and concrete roofs have grown in popularity among homeowners in recent years. As solid, weatherproof materials that can last for many decades, concrete and clay roofs can keep homes insulated and protected for several generations of occupants.
As a roofing material, clay has been used in certain parts of the world for centuries. Some of the earliest known examples are still in existence today. Because of this, the longevity of clay roofing has been proven across hundreds of years. The same holds true for concrete, which has lined sidewalks and playgrounds for decades on end. When you consider how long the walkways in your community have lasted, you can imagine just how long a clay or concrete roof will stay solid atop a home.
Traditionally, clay and concrete roofs are used on homes in the Mediterranean and the Southern hemisphere, where the style has blended well with other aspects of Spanish-style architecture. As some of these influences have spread across North America, an increasing number of homeowners have come to recognize and appreciate the strength and aesthetic appeal of clay and concrete roofing.
As two of the strongest roofing options, concrete and clay are also among the safest. Both materials are fireproof, and can, therefore, help suppress the spread of infernos. Clay and concrete are also impervious to snow, falling tree limbs and the impacts of windstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. As such, roofs made of these materials are practically invincible in the face of inclement weather and natural disasters.
For homes across Pennsylvania, concrete and clay can provide protection and insulation while visually complementing the architecture of a vast range of residential properties. For obvious reasons, concrete and clay are among the best roofing materials for a stone home, as well as a wood home.
Clay and concrete are heavy materials that can only be applied by roofing professionals. The price per square for roofing in this category ranges from $300 to $500.
One of the more stylish and sophisticated roofing options for today’s homeowners is slate — a metamorphic rock material comprised of clay and volcanic ash. As a natural material derived from Earth’s sediments, slate can last on roofs for many decades. When you think of all the weight slate bears underneath the soil, there is no doubt the material has the strength to protect homes in all kinds of environmental conditions.
Slate roofing has been popular for ages in continental Europe, especially in the French countryside. Available in various shades, slate roofing can complement a vast range of homes, from mansions and cottages to modern-day suburban properties. Dark in appearance, slate roofing is also available in shades of purple, red, green and grey.
Slate is fireproof and weather-resistant. Regardless of the climate trends in your area, a slate roof can keep your house protected as long as you remain at your current address and beyond. In general, a slate roof will last a minimum of 50 years on a residential household. In the best of climates, slate roofs can last for a century or longer.
The one inhibiting factor for a lot of homeowners is the price of slate, which starts at around $600 per square. Consequently, many homeowners have resorted to artificial slate, which is more accessible than the real thing due to its lighter weight and lower cost. Though some of the more discerning onlookers can spot the difference between real and fake slate, many others cannot. As with real slate, imitation slate shingles last for at least half a century.
As with concrete and clay, slate is one of the best roofing materials for a stone home or any property built with rocky materials. Throughout Pennsylvania, slate roofs complement and safeguard homes of all sizes in both the sunny and rainy counties.
WOOD SHINGLES AND SHAKES
One of the most time-honored roofing materials on the planet is wood, which has been used in the construction of homes and buildings since the dawn of civilization. As a natural product derived from trees, wood possesses a timeless look that spans the ages. Regardless of passing trends and changes in architecture, wood never looks dated or out of style. With its limitless appeal, wood can complement virtually any style of home.
The most popular type of wood for shakes and shingles is cedar, which is native to the Pacific Northwest. Used for centuries among natives due to its strength and durability, cedar was soon recognized as a valuable material by settlers, who eventually passed the secret onto homebuilders everywhere. Cedar’s value lies in the strength of its composition, which resists the warping and bending effects water and moisture can have on other woods.
In colder climates, wood shingles generally provide better insulation than asphalt. A wood roof can block out the solar heat of summer and the cold winds of winter. With a wood roof, you can cut down on your energy expenses and maximize the temperature adjustments of your HVAC unit.
Wood shingles change color as they age. A newly applied wood roof will have the natural color of the lumber in question, be it cedar, redwood or pine. As the years go by, the wood will develop a silvery-grey tone. Tastes may vary, but many homeowners agree wood roofs age aesthetically like fine wine.
Granted, wood shingles can have their drawbacks. As everyone knows, wood is flammable. If you have a wood roof installed on your house, make sure the shingles get treated with a fire-resistant coating to inhibit the spread of flames. Wood can also break if subjected to blunt force. When natural disasters hit, wood shingles are more liable to come out damaged. As such, homeowners in states like Pennsylvania should only use the best wood shingles if choosing wood over slate, clay or metal.
Wood shingles start at around $100 per square and can last for up to 30 years.
ABOUT THE EXTERIOR COMPANY, INC.
On houses of all shapes and sizes, The Exterior Company, Inc., supplies roofing in a variety of styles and materials. Whether your roof has been damaged or worn with age, we can give you a new roof that will revitalize the look of your property. Alternatively, you might just be ready for a new or fancier roofing style, in which case we can help you find the perfect replacement roofing style for your home. Contact TEC today to get started!