Your home’s roof is as crucial as its foundation. Far from just another construction element, it plays a key role in the safety of your family and property against weather and outside intrusions. Hence, your home’s security and functionality is largely dependent on your choice of roofing material.
With a wide range of options available, it can be challenging to choose the best one. Let’s consider some of the most important factors when selecting a roofing material.
How to Choose a Roofing Material: 9 Essential Factors to Consider
Your budget, taste and your home’s architecture are just a few things that will influence your choice of roofing material. Let’s sum up some of the key factors you should consider.
Your choice of roofing material will depend partly on your home’s architectural style. For instance, asphalt shingles are versatile and suit almost any architectural design, whereas tiles are more suitable for antique-style homes. Houses painted in red, green or yellow complement dark roofing. Grey or blue homes should either have dark grey or black roofs; the same can be used with a white house for a classic but contrasting look. Homes painted tan, cream or brown go well with a brown roof, or a combination of brown and cream. No matter which material you choose, make sure that it blends with your architecture and wall colour.
Whether your roof is being installed on a brand new structure, as a replacement roof, or as an addition to an existing construction plays a key role in selecting your roofing material. You have more choices with new roofs because you’re not limited to existing roof materials, underlying roof structure composition, and roof pitch, as you are with replacement roofs. Additional roofing also limits your material choices because the addition needs to function and blend well with the existing structure.
The right roof can help you save money on your energy bills. Certain materials, like metal and asphalt shingles, reflect the sun’s heat away from the attic, rather than absorbing and transferring it to the space below. With a cool roof, your AC won’t need to work to bring the temperature down to a comfortable level. This can have a significant impact on your energy bills.
When choosing a roofing material, it’s important to take into account local climate. For example, if it rains a lot, choose a material that can withstand heavy rains. You might also consider a sloping roof that allows water and snow to drain easily. Trees higher than your roof and a humid coastal climate can cause mould, mildew, moss, or algae to grow on your roof and affect its performance.
To avoid roof damage, choose a material that can handle such environmental conditions. Materials like terracotta, concrete and slate tiles, for instance, are ideal for hotter climates. If you live in a colder area, you may want to choose materials that’ll trap heat, such as slate, metal and asphalt shingles.
What will it take to maintain your roof? What does regular maintenance look like? Will it need annual recoating or painting? How often will you need to hire a roofing contractor? How much does professional maintenance cost? Consider all these upkeep factors when choosing a roofing material.
Consider the weight of the roof; heavy materials may affect its structural integrity. Instead, opt for materials that complement your building’s structural stability, not overburden it. Remember, as a building ages, it starts losing its strength. For homes built over 40 years ago, it’s important to reduce the overall pressure on the building through a low-weight roofing material like asphalt.
Choosing a resilient roofing material is important, especially if you live in an area prone to natural disasters like hailstorms, hurricanes or fast-moving wildfires. Even a small hole in your roof’s top waterproofing layer can allow in water and damage your property, while a resilient roof can withstand punctures and prevent dents. While no roofing material is entirely fire resistant, some won’t ignite due to sparks or embers from a nearby fire, including metal, tile, asphalt and treated shakes.
As with any home improvement project, budget comes into play when picking roofing materials. Different materials have different prices, depending on brand, quality and production cost. For example, asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive, while slate is expensive. Not surprisingly, durable, high-quality roofing materials are costlier than lower-quality ones.
However, it’s important to remember that just because a material is expensive doesn’t mean that it will last forever; it may only be expensive because of its brand. Consult a reliable roofing company to help you select the material that best suits your needs and budget.
Finally, don’t forget to check the lifespan. Different roof materials have different lifespans, so you need to choose the one that best meets your goals. Ask yourself if you plan to sell your home soon or stay in it. If the latter, consider investing in long-lasting materials like slate, tile or metal. Of course, they cost more to install than other options but often last for decades. Make your choice based on your preferences and future plans.
Roofs take a lot of abuse, from scorching heat and pounding rain to heavy snow and strong winds. They protect your home, its occupants and their belongings, so choosing the right material is important. To make an informed decision, consider all the factors mentioned above.