Roof types and Materials
Different roof types
Technology is advancing in the solar roofing industry, from solar tiles to solar shingles. It gives homeowners the option to generate power on and off the grid, each with it’s own pros and cons. This would make sense for roofs that absorb a lot of sunlight on a yearly basis, which can save the homeowner lots of money, and in most situations, even pay back the initial cost and some. You can see what your potential savings look like at Project Sunroof by Google.
Asphalt shingles are not only the most common roofing material in the US, they are also considered one of the most effective in all environmental conditions. They are relatively inexpensive, compared to other roofing materials, and easy to install, effectively lowering the installation and repair costs as well. Depending on the thickness, shingle type, as well as weather patterns, you can expect anywhere from 15-30 years of usefulness.
Metal roofs fall on the more “durable” side of the spectrum, averaging at about 60 years of usefulness. While it can be more expensive than shingle roofs in the short term, it can outlive a shingle roof 3 or 4 times over. Metal roofs are also great at running off rain and snow, they’re lightweight and don’t put a lot of strain on your rafters, and are great at resisting high winds.
Slate roofs will definitely last you the longest. These roofs average more than 100 years, and are rock hard (because they’re technically are rocks). They’re resistant to all types of weather, mold or fungi growth, and are aesthetically pleasing. However, they do crack under weight and impact, and are on the more expensive side. You may decide to use the synthetic rubber slate version, which are less expensive, which makes installation and repairs a little bit easier on the wallet.
Clay and concrete tiles
Clay and concrete roof tiles are some of the most durable materials for roofing, withstanding damage from tornadoes and hurricanes, depending on their type. They can withstand heat and many environmental conditions. They’re durable, and last between 50-100 years, depending on type and installation.
Asphalt Rolls and Built-up roofing
Asphalt rolls and Built-up Roofing (BUR) rank among the easiest and cheapest roofing materials to work with. However, don’t expect to see this roof last you too long, as this roofing type expects the shortest lifespan (15-25 years). It consists of an underlayment, topped with layers of asphalt and tar, or some kind of adhesive bonding. It’s common to see this type of roofing material on flat roofs, as it’s more secure to prevent leaks if water begins to pool.
What's best for you?
It’s a difficult question to answer, as there are many different factors to take into consideration (e.g., budget, climate, aesthetics, neighborhood, HOA, etc.) We recommend talking to professional roofers in your area, to see what works best in the houses they’ve worked on, and what kind of prices they can offer. You can also look at some online calculators to give you a general idea of what to expect(e.g., www.roofingcalc.com). All in all, the best kind of roof is the one that works.