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Popular Home Roofing Options-Choosing the Best Roofing Material

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, November 16th, 2018 at 9:22am.

How to Choose the Ideal Residential Roofing MaterialWhen it comes to home roofing, homeowners have a lot of options, and with those options comes a series of features and drawbacks that homeowners must consider before selecting the material for a new roof. If a homeowner is planning to replace the roof on their home, they must first plan for the type of roof they are going to choose. To do that, homeowners first need to make a list of the most important roofing features and determine a budget.

With the wide range of products and price points amid roofing materials, owners should have a bit of leeway to evaluate the pros and cons of each roofing material type to find the one best suited to their needs. Here are five home roofing options for consideration when renovating or upgrading your roof.

Installing Asphalt Shingles

If homeowners are looking for roofing that can be installed quickly and affordably, then asphalt shingles may be the ideal choice. Widely available and available in a multitude of grain and colour styles, asphalt is a top seller in Canada and the USA. However, if longevity and eco-friendliness are essential, asphalt may be a no-go for a number a reasons.

Asphalt shingles are rarely recycled, and in Canada alone an estimated 1.25 million tonnes of asphalt shingles are discarded annually into landfills. Furthermore, they emit solvents into the atmosphere in sunlight, and they deteriorate quicker due to heat absorption that can cause warping and cracking. With a lifespan of only 12—20 years, asphalt roofing requires replacement more often than other alternatives but also offers affordability to homeowners on a budget.

Installing Metal Roofing

If longevity, eco-friendliness and high resistance to the elements is important for homeowners, consider metal roofing installations. There are several types of metal roofing options available in a variety of textures and hues, and they can be applied to just about any type of slope—including flat roofs. These systems typically:

  • Last 50 years or longer.
  • Are 100% recyclable.
  • Stave off mildew.
  • Resist rotting.
  • Never succumb to insects.
  • Are resistant to fire.
  • Easily shed snow to prevent ice dams.
  • Are low maintenance, with only a 25-year screw and gasket replacement recommended.

On the downside, metal roofing can be costly depending on the type and grade of metal used and special features desired. Lower-grade metal can be damaged by hail or high winds, and they can be somewhat noisy during storms.

Installing Cedar Shake Roofing

For a homeowner who values green qualities, affordability, durability and maintenance, cedar shake roofing could be the right choice. Cedar shake shingles create a beautiful, natural look with a traditional and upscale appearance. With a lifespan of 25 years, they are resistant to wind and rot. However, hail can split shingles, and they are susceptible to mildew and moss. Cedar must be re-stained and treated every few years, and it comes with higher-than-average installation costs.

Installing Rubber Roofing

Those seeking long lasting, durable and green-friendly roofing should consider EPDM rubber roofing options. Though rubber is of the most common choices for low-sloping and flat roofs, rubber can be used on even high-sloped spaces. Crafted from recycled tires that are moulded to resemble other shingle designs, this material is eco-friendly from conception to disposal. It's also highly durable, low-maintenance, and is available in an array of colours. Furthermore, rubber tends to last 50 years or longer. While materials are typically affordable, rubber roofing may cost more to install, and its flexible nature can make shingles prone to wind damage similar to asphalt.

Installing Slate Roofing

Slate roofing can be costly to install, but it's most affordable in areas near slate quarries. Homeowners who install slate on their home are usually attracted to the beauty of the stone. Slate is one of the most traditional of all the roofing materials, and can be found on older, stately homes. One of the greatest benefits of slate is that it can last for centuries if it's properly maintained.

Homeowners who want to install slate on their home must ensure that the structure is properly reinforced. Slate is much heavier than normal roofing material and cannot be installed on a house unless the house is well-equipped to handle something of that weight.

When the time comes, slate roofing may require maintenance and repair from roofers who have experience with this material. Roofers who have this inside knowledge may be hard to find because slate is not as common as other roofing materials. 

Installing Clay Roofing

Clay roofing is similar to slate in that it is very heavy and durable. While clay roofs do not last as long as slate, clay can last for fifty years or more. It too is so heavy that it cannot be installed on a home unless that that home has been retrofitted for the material. 

Clay roofing is unique in appearance. Clay tiles are often barrel-shaped and slightly red-orange in appearance. Clay tile may be especially desirable in areas of the country where wildfires are a problem, as clay tiles do not burn. Clay looks best with homes that have Spanish and Mediterranean influenced architecture. Like slate roofing, clay roofing may need special maintenance from roofers who are experienced with that particular type of material.  

Installing Composite Roofing

If low-maintenance and long-lasting roofing are priorities, consider composite roof installations. Typically crafted from fibreglass or cellulose mat materials coated with asphalt and granules, composite roofing can resemble slate shingles or wood shakes and are highly realistic. With a lifespan of 50 or more and virtually no maintenance, composites withstand extreme weather and are resistant to insects and rotting. On the downside, there's a high price tag for composite roofing, installation is time consuming, and materials aren't highly recyclable.

Still Need More Help Choosing the Right Home Roofing?

Northwest Calgary home owners should contact a contractor or home improvement expert today to learn more about design and material options and cost considerations.

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