Roofing is one of those elements of housing that is often relegated to the back of a homeowner’s mind. The only time that people actually think about their roof is when it is leaking. When it comes to your home’s covering, there are many options on the market from which to choose, however, most people will opt for the most common option just because they are unaware of the other roofing materials available. Let’s take a look at what can cover your home efficiently and attractively.
The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. They are inexpensive, durable and easy to install. They come in many different colours and styles, as well as different thicknesses for better durability and are extremely low-maintenance. Asphalt shingles are the go-to covering for the majority of homeowners.
Wood shingles/shakes are the next most common form of roofing. They have a more rustic and traditional look than asphalt shingles and they allow a roof to breathe better, however, they do require a lot more maintenance in the form of regular washing and oiling to keep them in optimal condition. Most wood shingles and shakes are made from various types of cedar. Shingles are smooth and a uniform thickness and can vary in width and length. Shakes are much thicker and rougher as they are split from logs instead of sawn. Although they are much more expensive to install, well-maintained wood roofs can last up to 50 years – as long as stainless nails are used to prevent rusting.
The next roofing material of note is metal. Despite traditionally being used for utility buildings, metal has come into its own with powdered versions, painted versions and more sophisticated styling resulting in roofs anyone would be proud to own. Metal roofs have fantastic longevity and, contrary to popular belief, they are neither noisier when it rains nor are they colder in the winter time.
Slate was very popular in the past, but because of its weight and the more solid roofing construction it requires, it is not commonly used any more. However, if you are willing to bear the expense of beefing up your roof and of installing slate, then you will have a roof that will last for generations to come, one that sheds ice and snow and one that looks terrific.
Ceramic and tiles roofs are usually used in warmer climates. They are very expensive to buy and install, but they last a very long time. However, in our northern climates they are rather rare and not necessarily the best choice.
Green roofing options are slowly increasingly in popularity. With the cost coming down every year and the technology for installing living roofs improving constantly, these eco-friendly roofing options are now a viable alternative to conventional roofing. Not only do they look nice but they provide a host of benefits including reduced energy use, reduced pollution and improved human health and comfort. You can read more about the benefits of green roofs over here //1.usa.gov/1A0dXDs, and you can find out the bylaws of installing a green roof in Toronto over here //bit.ly/1cwLIRM.
Another alternative to conventional roofing is the installation of solar shingles. Each solar shingle is a photovoltaic cell that converts light into energy, yet they are also a sturdy and durable roofing option. Although they have been around since 2005, they have only now come down in price enough to be a viable option for homeowners who want the benefit of solar energy but want to keep their traditional roofline. There is a good article about solar shingles in Scientific American that you can read over here //bit.ly/1PGycrl.
Given the options available roofing, when it comes time to update your roof, choosing the right material might get a little tougher!