A roof is a vital component of any structure. It protects the people and things inside a building from weather, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. A well-maintained roof can increase the value of a property.
There are many different roofing solutions available, each with its own unique set of benefits. Some offer durability, while others reduce energy costs and improve a home’s appearance.
1. Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing solutions and have been around for decades. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and offer a traditional look that works with many home styles. They also tend to have a longer lifespan than other roof materials.
There are a number of different types of asphalt shingles that homeowners can choose from. Some are made of organic mats that are saturated and coated with asphalt while others use fiberglass. These shingles are then surfaced with ceramic-coated opaque mineral granules to provide weatherproofing and durability. There are also a variety of color choices to choose from for the shingles. The shingle color options allow homeowners to preserve their property’s aesthetic and match the shingle colors to other exterior features, including siding and windows.
Depending on the style of roof, there are also a variety of roofing accessories that can be installed with a shingle roof, including ridge caps and underlayment materials. There are even shingles that offer a “cool roof” feature to reflect sunlight and reduce cooling costs.
Shingles can be used on most roofs, though they aren’t appropriate for flat or low-sloped roofs. There are also specialty shingles that can be used for specific types of roofs, like those that resist high winds or that are designed to withstand hail.
Another advantage of shingles is that they are easily modified to suit changes to a roof or to accommodate new additions to a home, such as skylights or chimneys. In contrast, a metal or wood roof may require more complicated installation processes to accommodate these changes.
2. Metal Roofs
Metal roofs are ideal for property owners who want a durable roofing construction that can withstand hurricane-strength winds, heat, rain, snow, and fire. They also provide great curb appeal and come with outstanding, transferable warranties. They are also recyclable and can increase your home’s value while adding to its beauty and security.
Metal roofing is available in a wide variety of designs, styles and finishes. They can be made from copper, steel, tin, zinc and aluminum, and they offer different color options as well as textures. They can be designed to match your siding and trim or to stand out as accent pieces on your home’s exterior.
Unlike traditional asphalt shingles, metal roofs don’t require special maintenance, and they can last 50 years or more with minimal repairs and maintenance. They are durable and resist fire, and they also reduce energy costs by 10-25%. However, many homeowners have doubts about whether a metal roof is suitable for their homes. Some have concerns that the material will rust, while others worry about loud drumming from hail and rain.
In order to avoid these issues, it is crucial that a metal roof be properly installed by a trained roofing professional. This will include using quality underlayment to prevent leaks, which can be made from felt or synthetic materials. It is also important to have a proper ventilation system in place, as well as to install sound-deadening insulation and solid plywood sheathing.
In addition, the type of metal roofing you choose can impact its performance and cost. For example, galvanized steel roofing panels have a layer of zinc that protects the metal from corrosion, while galvalume steel has an aluminum layer in addition to zinc.
3. Wood Roofs
Wood roofs can add a lovely, rustic appearance to your home. This type of roofing pairs well with Cape Cod cottages and cozy Craftsman and Tudor-style homes. Depending on the wood used, a wood roof can last 30 to 50 years. Cedar, redwood and cypress are common woods for roofs, but pine and spruce are budget-friendly alternatives. Wood shingles and shakes come in two varieties: shingles are designed using sewing machines, while shakes are hand-cut into thicker wedges for a more natural look. Shakes are also more durable, and they can resist moisture, fungus, and insects better than shingles.
No two wood roofs are alike, because the grains and patterns of the wood vary. This can give your home a unique look that stands out in the neighborhood. It is important to note, however, that a wood roof requires regular maintenance to protect the wood from moisture and insect infestation. In addition, a wood roof is not as insulating as other types of roofing, so it will use more energy to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Another drawback to a wood roof is its vulnerability to fire. Even if the wood is treated with fire retardant, it can still burn and smolder. If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, you may be required to have a special permit for a wood roof. You can get around this problem by using a composite shingle, which offers the beauty of a wood roof without the risks. A composite shingle can also last longer than a traditional wood roof. This is an especially good option if you plan to own your home for the long-term.
4. Green Roofs
Increasingly popular, green roofs are a great roofing solution that not only reduce energy costs, but also enhance the beauty and value of your home. A green roof is a roof that is partially or fully covered with vegetation and growing medium, planted over a waterproof membrane.
The basic design of a green roof includes a structural frame, a waterproof membrane, an inorganic barrier layer to prevent root damage, a drainage layer, a porous planting stratum made from volcanic pumice, chipped shale, or ground-up roofing tiles, and a vegetative layer. The vegetation is usually grasses, mosses, or drought-resistant plants such as sedum.
Green roofs filter storm water, cool and clean the air, and provide habitat for birds and insects. They can also dissipate the heat island effect of cities by absorbing and evaporating sunlight, which would otherwise be converted to thermal energy.
Some municipalities even require that new buildings include green roofs, which can help to offset the cost of construction and maintenance by reducing energy bills. They can be built on residential and commercial buildings, as well as on garages, garden offices, sheds and extensions.
While the cost of green roofs can be high, many jurisdictions offer incentives and rebates. In addition to construction cost rebates, many cities offer property tax abatement programs for green roofs.
In order to qualify for the tax abatement, a green roof must be designed by a New York State licensed professional engineer (PE), or a registered architect and landscape architect who is also a certified horticulturist. In addition, the green roof must consist of a layer of vegetation covering at least 50% of the rooftop and must include at least 80% sedum or other drought-resistant plants.
5. TPO Roofing
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a relatively new roof material that can be installed on low-slope commercial buildings. It’s a single-ply membrane that can be mechanically or chemically fastened to the substrate. It has the added benefit of having heat-welded seams, which are stronger than taped seams. TPO is also energy efficient, reflects sunlight and can keep a building cooler than traditional roofing materials. It also has natural fungal resistance, long-term durability and flexibility without the need for plasticizers.
The TPO material can be applied over existing flat roofs, or it can be installed in a direct-to-deck installation method. It can also be used in conjunction with insulation to increase its effectiveness. TPO meets the fire requirements of Underwriters Laboratories, which makes it a good choice for commercial buildings where there is a risk that embers from nearby trees or neighboring properties might land on the roof and start a fire.
Another positive of TPO is its ability to reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can lower energy bills by keeping the facility cooler and more comfortable. This can be a major advantage for facilities that must pay high utility rates. TPO is available in white, light grey and black reflective colors.
One downside of TPO is that it can attract dirt, which will cause the surface to discolor and lose its reflective properties. This will require the roof to be washed regularly. It’s important to choose a reputable contractor who has experience with TPO. They can advise the facility owner if TPO is right for their building. They can also trim any trees that come into contact with the roof to prevent excessive rubbing and damage, and they can inspect the TPO for signs of wear.