Replacing your roofing is a big, expensive job, so do your homework to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Understanding the process and the types of roofing materials available is essential to making the right decisions for your home.
Unfortunately, knowing when to replace your roofing is the home improvement version of Russian roulette – you’d like to squeeze as much service as possible out of your existing roof before it springs a leak. Once it does, however, it’s already too late to avoid additional expensive repairs. Knowing the warning signs of an aging roof can help you time your replacement correctly.
If you’re thinking about buying a new roof, be prepared to pick from possibilities that range from the familiar to materials you never knew existed. In this article, we’ll help you become more acquainted with your options and the features you should consider when comparing one to another. Then we’ll point you to more detailed information about each roofing material.
Some roofing materials, such as slate, wood shakes, and copper, have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. But a considerable array of other roofing materials have joined them, from the perennial favourite, asphalt-fibreglass, to newer products made from fibre cement, concrete, and plastic composites. Most of these have been developed over the past couple of decades with an eye toward greater durability, easier installation, lower cost, sustainability, and other features homeowners want.
Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The trick is to sort through the many options and pinpoint the right one for your roof.
It can be tough to determine the best roofing material for your home out of the wide selection available on the roofing market. There are many factors to consider, such as the weather in your area and the material’s maintenance requirements. Here you can sort through Tango and Gatti’s quick guide to choosing the right roofing material. Looking for a roof replacement? Check out Top Glaze for a wide range of roof services.
A Comprehensive Buying Guide for Roofing Materials
Not too long ago, there were only a few roofing options, including shingles, clay, concrete, and slate. Today there are all kinds of advanced roofing materials in the market, and you have an unprecedented range of alternatives.
When considering a roofing material, your main goal is to have a roof that protects and waterproofs your home. Still, you can’t underestimate the impact that a roof will have on your home’s appearance and style.
In this post, we’ll guide you through a comprehensive list of the roofing materials available to make an informed decision. All these types of roofing materials are suitable for both new homes and re-roofing projects. We’ll teach you to choose one based on the architectural style of your home, your budget, and your personal preference.
If you’re searching for cost-efficient roofing material, you’ll find asphalt shingles a perfect fit. Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular choices for residential roofs all over America, and they come in all shapes, colours and sizes. If you want something of a little higher quality, premium-grade asphalt shingles known as architectural shingles will do the trick. These thick, sturdy shingles are great for homes in areas with extreme weather.
Although one downside to an asphalt shingled roof is its comparatively short life span of 15 to 20 years (compared to other materials), it still does its job of protecting your home while enhancing its exterior style until the end of its service life.
For homeowners who wish for a more authentic, traditional roof exterior, wood shingles or shakes are the roof materials you need to achieve this look. Along with its functionality, you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of a wood shake roof. It can transform any exterior into a cozy, traditional home. The thickness of wood shakes serves as a great barrier against sun damage and wind-driven rain, and they have an impressive life span of up to 50 years.
Slate is the best roofing material for extreme weather resistance for homes in areas with a fluctuating climate. It has properties that make it resistant to fire, rotting and mildew. Plus, you’ll also enjoy the classy look it brings to your exterior. When properly cared for, a slate roof can last for over 100 years!
Metal is a lightweight and water-resistant roof material. It can come in either large panels or smaller sections that resemble shakes, tiles and slate. Metal roofs do an excellent job of shedding water and snow to prevent water issues from occurring. If you live in a storm-prone area, you should have a roof like this over your head, protecting your family from leaks and water damage.
Decide on a Roofing Type
First, figure out what type of roofing you want. Asphalt shingles remain far and away from the most popular choice because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install. In CR’s roofing tests, we found that some shingles performed better overall than others that cost more. And some provide a beautifully layered look or come in huge arrays of colours. On-trend colours right now include light and soft greens and blues, beige and off-white, and taupe and light brown hues.
Slate, tile, and metal are all good options, too, but they cost more. Tile is common in the Southwest and Florida because it reflects heat and matches Mediterranean-style houses, while slate roofing is a more popular pick in the Northeast, where Victorian and Gothic houses from the 1800s are still quite common. Metal roofing can be found across the country. The performance of these options on your roof really depends upon the skill of the installer, but usually they can last longer than asphalt. A metal roof can last 50 years, and slate roofs can last more than 100, with diligent upkeep.
Keep in mind that you may need to do only one side of the roof, rather than the entire thing; that’s something to discuss with the contractor. And if new shingles can be laid on top of the old ones, you’ll save money over having the roof torn off and starting from scratch. However, you or the contractor should check with your municipality to see what’s permitted; if two layers are already installed, you may not be able to add one more. Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
Mind the Warranty—To a Point
In your shingle shopping, you might be impressed by how many manufacturers offer a lifetime protection warranty. But in roofing parlance, a lifetime really isn’t a lifetime. It’s more like 10 years. That’s the period during which most manufacturers will pay the roof’s original owner in full to replace defective shingles under the baseline warranty. After that—and for the rest of the period you own your home—it’ll reimburse only for your shingles’ depreciated value.
Warranties involve a lot of fine print like that. For instance, to extend the full-replacement period, you have to either upgrade to a different shingle or buy more of the manufacturer’s components. A roofing warranty won’t pay if the shingle maker finds problems in your home’s ventilation. And manufacturers usually won’t cover damage from certain acts of God, such as very high winds and hail; for that, you’ll have to put in a homeowners insurance claim or pay out of pocket.
Given all those gotchas, a warranty probably shouldn’t be your main focus in choosing a new roof. Rather, our testers recommend that you place your faith in a strong shingle and a reliable contractor. That said, see whether the warranty is transferable to the next owner. If you sell your home, a transferable roof warranty can be a perk to a potential buyer.
Solar Panel Considerations
If you might add solar panels to your new roof, check the warranty of the shingle you’re considering to make sure a solar-panel installation won’t void it. You should also check for insurance coverage from the solar panel company.
Even though replacing a roof isn’t a do-it-yourself job, estimating the cost of the shingles themselves can be helpful when you’re comparing bids from roofers.
Manufacturers price roofing by the square, or 100-square-foot area, and that’s how we price each option in our ratings. To estimate how much roofing you’ll need, multiply the overall length and width of each roof section in feet to measure its area and add 10 per cent to allow for waste. Then divide by 100 to determine how many squares you’ll need. In addition to buying extra to account for waste, it’s a good idea to keep an additional bundle on hand for minor repairs. That way, you’re covered if the manufacturer stops making those shingles. Check out our range of roof restoration services here.
For example, for a typical 2,300-square-foot house, you’ll want to figure on about 30 squares to cover 3,000 square feet total that should give you enough for waste and extra shingles for future repairs.
While manufacturers price their product by the square, roofing is generally packaged and sold in bundles. Generally, you’ll need three to five bundles of shingles to cover one square of your roof. The exact number of bundles required depends on the type of shingle you are buying; the heavier the shingle, the less you get per bundle. By law, each shingle bundle should state clearly how many square feet it covers so that you can calculate the number of bundles you need and budget accordingly.
- Metal roofing installation is generally more expensive compared to other roofing systems, standing-seam-metal-roof-installation because installing metal roofing requires specialised training, knowledge, tools and equipment that general roofing contractors typically lack.
- The cost of installation greatly depends on the complexity of the roof itself, how difficult and cut up the roof surface and how many dormers peaks and valleys there are, and the type of material/system being installed.
- Expect to pay between $550 and $750 per square to install a corrugated or ribbed steel roofing system with exposed fasteners for materials and professional installation of G-90 (26-24ga) steel corrugated or ribbed roof coated with Kynar 500 paint finish.
- The national average cost to install stamped interlocking metal shingles ranges between $850 0and 1,45 per square for materials and fully-warrantied professional installation.
- Expect to pay between $850 and 1,450 per square, on average, to install stone-coated steel tiles, including the cost of materials, professional labour, building permits, and workmanship warranty from the installer.
- It will cost between $1,000 and $1,650 per square, on average, install a high-end standing seam metal roof on the house, including the cost of materials and professional installation.
- The national average price to install a zinc standing seam roof can range between $1,200 and $1,800 per square for materials and professional installation.
- Expect to pay between $1,800 and $2,500 per square of copper standing seam or shingles fully installed.
- If a tear-off and disposal of the old roof are required, it is normally (but not always) a separate cost of about $100 per square.
Roof Installation Issues
The weight of roofing materials is always a concern because the roof’s structural framing is only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. If you choose a material that, combined with the substructure, will exceed that limit, you’ll need to beef up the framing. Doing this definitely takes time, adds to the hassle and mess, and increases the cost. Tile, slate, and masonry materials are especially heavy—some are 1000 pounds per square—so be sure to check out the specifications and your roof’s structure if you’re considering one of these.
The weight also affects the installation. Lightweight materials are easier to load onto the roof and handle during installation. And some lightweight materials, such as asphalt shingles and composites, often can be installed directly over the top of an existing roof.
- It is normally possible to install a metal roof over an old asphalt roof, thus eliminating the extra standing-seam-metal-roof-installation cost and hassle associated with the shingle tear-off (be sure to consult your contractor about the possibility of “over-top” installation for your specific roof). — This is generally possible because metal is an extremely light-weight material.
- Metal roofs should only be installed by specialists with expertise and ample experience in installing metal roofing because if the installation is done incorrectly a metal roof will develop leaks (or outright fail prematurely as in the worst-case scenario), which may later end-up costing thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
- Unlike many other roofing materials, a metal roof can easily be installed in the winter.
- The cost of installation for metal shingles is typically about 10% to 20% less than the cost of installing a standing seam because metal shingles are easier and faster to install, especially on more complex roofs.