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Exploring Different Roofing Materials for Your Home

Published on: June 05, 2024

One of the most important elements of your home is its roof. That’s because it protects the home from the elements. Insurers use the age of the roofing materials to determine your risk and therefore rates. And the roof provides aesthetics to the entire property.

While the weather in Washington is somewhat unpredictable and very wet, the right roof can help protect your home no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.

Learn the importance of quality roofing and the various protection levels different roofing materials provide your home.

Why Quality Roofing Matters

Roofing is more than just a barrier from the elements. It is also a crucial part of protecting the very foundation of your home. When a roof is installed well, it protects your home and the belongings stored inside from water, snow, wind, potential mold growth, wood rot and more to ensure its structural integrity.

Not only that, but the best roofs offer energy efficiency for your home and keep it comfortable by maintaining the indoor temperature you select. Reduce your heating and cooling bills with the best roofing materials while creating a hospitable living environment.

Additionally, your roof is a key element in your home’s aesthetics. The color, style and design of your roof can give your home greater curb appeal and generate a positive impression for guests. If you plan to sell soon, an updated roof will show potential buyers that you’ve cared for the home and will make a positive first impression on them.

Not only that, but you’ll likely see great ROI from a roof replacement when you sell your home. In 2023, the average ROI for roof replacement with asphalt shingles was 61 percent.

Different Roofing Materials for Your Home

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of quality roofing materials, review these different options for upgrading your home’s exterior.

1. Asphalt Shingles

This is the most popular roofing material type and it’s easy to see why. Dimensional shingles are attractive and add visual appeal to your home while balancing your budget.

Pros

  • Easy installation: you’ll only have contractors on your property for a short time, depending on the size of your roof. Depending on the condition of your current roof, the contractors might even be able to place your new material over the old to save money. Just know that this is not the ideal way to roof a home, but it can be one way to make the project more affordable if you must.
  • Low cost: when it comes to roofing materials, asphalt shingles are the most affordable option while still providing outstanding protection for your home.
  • Durability: you can get 15-30 years from an asphalt roof depending on the shingle you select. The heavier the shingle, the greater its life expectancy. 
  • Diverse design choices: you can select from many colors for your asphalt roof. These shingles come with varying energy efficiency ratings based on how much heat they absorb.
Asphalt Shingles

Cons

  • Still requires some maintenance: you’ll need to clean debris off your roof and make sure your flashing is in good shape to prevent water damage. Removing moss and algae will also help make your roof last longer.
  • Not the best insulation properties: some other roof types are better at insulating your home.
  • Not sustainably made: roofing shingles are petroleum and fiberglass-based, meaning they have an environmental impact. You might be able to recycle your old shingles but this roofing type still includes a great deal of waste.
  • Shorter lifespan compared to metal: metal roofs can last 75 years. Clay, slate or concrete can provide hundreds of years of longevity. But an asphalt roof is only good for about 15-30 depending on its environment and the storms it undergoes.

Allow the Professionals to Do It

2. Metal

Metal roofs are growing in popularity as homeowners look for more sustainable options with a lower maintenance requirement. When you know you’ll be in your home long-term, a metal roof might make sense. It is a large investment on the front end but pays off the longer you stay in your home.

Pros

  • Durable: the greatest benefit metal roofs have is that they are durable. That means you won’t have to worry about updating your home’s roof for decades to come, which is great not just from a cost standpoint but a convenience standpoint so you know you won’t have to spend the time working with a contractor a few years down the road. Metal roofs can withstand gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour. They won’t crack, corrode or rust. 
  • Environmentally friendly: when you’re working hard to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s nice to know that your home upgrades are doing their part for the environment. Asphalt shingles lead to 20 billion pounds of asphalt in landfills annually. But metal roofs are 100 percent recyclable and come from 20 percent recycled material in most cases.
  • Energy efficient: not only are metal roofs environmentally friendly due to the materials they are made from, but they also help homes be more energy efficient. They do not absorb solar heat, which can reduce your cooling costs. You can also get them with reflective coatings that help further mitigate heat gain.
  • Attractive: metal roofs look great on homes. They come in a variety of colors with the option to customize the color based on your needs. And they hold the color well to look great for years to come.

Cons

  • Cost: although metal roofs last a long time, they are extremely expensive to start. They can cost as much as 10 times what an asphalt roof costs, despite only getting three times the longevity. Estimate the cost of the roof over time carefully before deciding the best material for you.
  • Dent easily: when metal roofs go through extreme weather events, they can be dented from hail and falling debris. Washington is no stranger to extreme weather conditions so consider that carefully before choosing a metal roof for your home. 
  • Noisy: metal roofs can be noisy during rain, hail and snow storms. Make sure your roofing contractor adds extra layers of solid sheathing to your roof to minimize the noise.

3. Slate or Tile Roof

Homes with slate or tile roofs offer timeless beauty with long-term durability. They have been around for centuries and when properly installed, they can last for centuries. But these roofs aren’t right for every home because they are exceptionally heavy and some homes don’t have the structure to support these roofs. Learn the pros and cons before installing this roofing material.

Pros

  • Durable: these roofs can last for hundreds of years while providing superior protection to your home.
  • Unique aesthetic: when you want a roof that sets your home apart from your neighbors, a slate or tile roof can do the trick.
  • Resistant to the elements: these roofs are fire, rot and insect resistant to provide a long life for your roof.
  • Insulating: tile and slate roofs are excellent at keeping your home cool during the warmer months and warm during the winter. 

Cons

  • Heavy: the materials these roofs are made from are extremely heavy, making them not ideal in many applications where the home’s structure can’t support the roof.
  • Expensive: installing these roofs on your home is very expensive. It makes the most sense for family homes that you know you’ll pass to your heirs.
  • Few roofers with expertise: you might struggle to find a roofing contractor that has the expertise necessary to install this roof type.

Roofing Installation in the Greater Seattle Area

2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing is a premier roofing contractor in the greater Seattle area. We’ll help you decide on the best roofing material, manufacturer, color and design to elevate your home’s curb appeal and protect it from the elements. Schedule your free estimate today.

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