Selecting the right type of roofing materials for your new roof may seem like a daunting task. Installing a new roof is a big investment and an important decision, not only due to the cost of the new roof, but because your roof has a big impact. A new roof can increase your home’s resale value. It protects your home against the elements and helps you reduce energy use. The new roof should add beauty to your home and be functional, durable and aesthetically pleasing. In order to make the right choice, homeowners faced with budgeting for a roof replacement or a new roof should understand some simple fundamentals about different kinds of roofs.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing Type of Roofing Material
There are a number of things to consider when deciding on what kind of roof material to choose. Here are some of the things that may impact the choice of roof for your home.
Your roof material should be compatible with the climate where you live. Here in the Southwest, tile is the dominant material. Cement or clay tiles are very durable and hold up to the very strong sun and heat of desert summers. Asphalt shingles, the most common low cost roofing used throughout the country, are used in the desert, but the high heat and sometimes rapid cooling, such as a summer rainstorm, may cause them to shrink, crack or warp. Metal roofs do very well in hot climates as they are durable and reflect solar rays away from the home, adding a cooling effect.
Metal and slate are good materials for cold and snowy areas, when combined with a pitched roof, as both shed snow well and resist damage. In areas with heavy winds, a flat roof can be a good solution. It must be installed by a professional roofer to make sure it’s properly laid out and secured so it isn’t subject to lifting and being torn away. For this reason, the best roofs in high wind areas will be of a material that is continuous without seams, such as a metal roof.
For a very environmentally-friendly roof, cool roofing has been developed over the last few decades to help homes and businesses reduce their CO2 emissions and cut heating and cooling costs. Cool roofs may just be roofs painted with white reflective coatings to reflect the sun. This category also includes solar roofs for energy efficient buildings, and green roofs that feature live plants that absorb and use the sun’s heat to improve the environment.
Slope or Pitch
High slope or high pitch roofs are used in heavy snow areas in order to help the roof shed snow rapidly. They also tend to be very attractive to the eye and can be selected for design reasons. They tend to be a bit more expensive to maintain, as access is of course more difficult. Tile, shake and slate are good choices for higher pitch roofs.
Metal roofing works well with low pitched roofing as it drains rainwater very well. Conventional shingles are not desirable for very low pitch or flat roofs because rainwater will tend to pool and permeate the shingles, causing damage to the home beneath.
Which Color Roof is Right for Your Home?
Color and shading play an important role in choosing your new roof. By choosing the right color you not only create the style and look you want for your home, but you also help your home stay cooler during the hot summer months. Some things to remember when choosing the color and shade of your roof are:
- Choose a complementing color to the exterior paint of your home, not one that matches.
- If you are trying to achieve a traditional look, you can pair a gray or black roof with a home that has white exterior.
- Make sure you check the color of shingles or roofing materials next to the exterior color of your home. Seeing colors in brochures will not look the same as when they are put next to each other.
- It is always good to view your home as a buyer would when choosing your colors. Choose a color that provides your home with the best appeal to a range of potential buyers, usually a neutral color.
- Consider your location and sun exposure. The rule of thumb is that the darker your roof color, the more it will attract the heat. Lighter colors tend to reflect heat and can help keep your home a few degrees cooler.
Looking to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency?
The hot summers and cold winters in Las Vegas and in many areas of the country can certainly increase your energy bills, so improving the energy efficiency of your roof may play a vital part in your decision-making process.
Metal roofs are a good choice for hot locales because they reflect the heat away from the home very efficiently. Clay and concrete tiles tend not to get hot themselves, so they are another good choice for hot areas. They can also be painted with a reflective coating to better block the sun. Popular asphalt shingles are the least efficient as the dark asphalt tends to absorb heat and radiate it into the home.
Other keys to energy efficiency are proper design and installation of your roofing system. Your new roof installation should include a layer of insulation with no gaps that might allow the transfer of heat into or out of the home. Generally, your new roof system should include a 1-inch layer of insulation and roof sheathing. Proper ventilation is necessary for insulation under your roof to remain effective, so make sure roof ventilation is ample and not blocked.
How Long Do You Expect Your New Roof to Last?
Two additional considerations when making an investment in a new roof are longevity and the amount of maintenance it will require over the years. Different roof materials have different qualities and lifespans:
- Asphalt or Composition Shingles – Asphalt shingles are usually lowest in cost. Shingles come in a wide range of quality and colors allowing you to create your desired look. Although in the past, asphalt shingles generally lasted about 20-25 years in the desert heat, improvements in manufacturing have produced many shingle lines that will last in excess of 45 years.
- Wood Shingles and Shakes – While they cost more than asphalt shingles, these are easy to install and lightweight. Wood shingles may last 15 to 25 years before they will need to be replaced. Shakes, such as the advanced material CeDur shakes that replicate the look of wood with more durability, may last as long as 50 years. CeDur shakes are also fire resistant and handle tough climates better than natural wood.
- Slate – Slate and slate alternatives are a great way to give your home a unique appearance. This option can be higher cost, but they provide for better durability, lasting 50-125 years or more. Slate has a Class A fire rating and also resists insects, rotting, and mildew which can lower the amount of maintenance and repairs that you may need to perform throughout the life of your roof.
- Clay and Concrete Tiles – These types of roofs are most popular on Mediterranean-style homes. Tiles can be more costly than other options, and they are heavy so the roof structure must be appropriate for them. However, they have the same Class A fire safety rating and share the natural repellent properties of slate tiles. Best of all, a well-built tile roof can last 50-100 years and generally require little maintenance.
- Metal – Metal roofing, including copper, zinc and aluminum, is commonly chosen by those looking for a modern or custom design. They are prized for their all-weather qualities and energy efficiency, as well as for their durability. These type of roofs, while more costly, require little maintenance, are fire, rot and mildew resistant and will last between 30-100 years or more.
When you are ready to choose your new roof, Prestige Roofing can help you find the right solution to fit your home. We have been providing quality custom roofing to Las Vegas and Southern Nevada for over 20 years. Contact Prestige Roofing to schedule your free consultation.