To determine the answer to the question “what is the best material for a roof?” is not easy – there are lots of other, very specific questions that you need to ask yourself first. Here are the most important factors to consider before selecting the material that is the most suitable for your roof.
The Weight of the Material
Not all roofing materials are lightweight, therefore not all of them are suitable for lightweight construction or not without special weight-bearing framing at least. Asphalt shingles are very lightweight, so they are suitable for any building, the second lightest material being metal, while clay, concrete, wood and slate are among the heaviest materials, suitable only for solid buildings.
Colors and Styles
Slate, clay and wood come in a limited color range that consist mainly of natural earth colors, such as shades of brown, red and terracotta and the shape of the roofing components is also limited, while metal roofs and roofing shingles are available in many different shapes and in almost any color, including green, blue, black, white and other unusual colors.
A very important aspect to consider, especially in the case of homes located in areas that get harsh weather all the time. All roofing products come with specifications related to the resistance they provide against wind, impact, such as hail or other debris as well as with a fire-resistance rating. Each geographical area has its own weather-resistance requirements and regulations that local roofs must respect, so the best material for your roof is not only one that can be supported by your building and looks good, but also one that meets local regulations. Your roofing Omaha contractor will have experience in answering these questions for you.
Installation and Maintenance
Asphalt shingles and metal roofing systems can be installed without any previous experience or special tools, based only on the instruction manual that comes with the system of choice. Clay and concrete tiles, wood and slate systems, on the other hand, require a professional roofing Omaha contractor for proper installation.
Roofing materials are different in terms of maintenance needs as well. Asphalt shingles, metal, clay, concrete and slate roofs don’t need any special maintenance, other than regular inspections followed by the repair of the issues detected during the inspection. Wood roofs need more attention, though – the natural material needs to be treated with special coatings to protect it against rot, insect attacks and the harmful effects of permanent exposure to strong solar radiation.
Roofing materials come in different price categories as well. Asphalt shingles are the cheapest, followed by metal systems. Clay and concrete roofing occupies the middle of the price range, while wood and slate are the two most expensive materials.
Roofing materials are not the same when it comes to warranty periods either. The simplest, 3-tab asphalt shingles come with warranties between 15-25 years, followed by architectural shingles that are warranted for a few years longer. The warranties offered on metal roofs are in 30-50 years range, while clay, concrete and slate are warranted for 50-100 years.
As you see, there is no single one-size-fits-all answer to the initial question, “what is the best material for a roof?” – the best material for your home needs to be determined by your priorities and the specific requirements of your geographical area.