There are a lot of different options when it comes to roofing, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to look carefully at the roofing material before you make a decision – the roof, after all, plays a vital role in protecting your home and family. Additionally, the last thing you’ll want is to pick a roofing material that not only does a poor job protecting the home, but that will end up requiring constant repair, something that can get quite expensive as it adds up.
As far as your roofing options go, one that you should be sure to look at is shingles, aka asphalt shingle roofing. The following are the pros and cons of asphalt shingle roofing that you should take into consideration when comparing roofing materials. The following are the benefits of using asphalt shingle roofing for your home:
The Pros of Shingle Roofing
- Asphalt shingles are inexpensive – Out of all the roofing materials that are available, asphalt shingles are probably one of the most affordable choices, making them a good option for homeowners on a budget. The cost of a metal roof can be three times as much as an asphalt one. These shingles are the most affordable, not to mention accessible, out of the pool of available shingle materials. Asphalt is usually seen as the most sensible cost option in the roofing industry
- Asphalt shingles fit any style – Curb appeal is important, especially if you ever plan on selling your home. One of the benefits of using asphalt shingles is that they are visually flexible. They come in a number of different styles, including laminated, three-tab and premium versions. This means that they can fit a wide variety of home styles without looking out of place. Asphalt shingles are one of the least difficult to work with within the roofing world. They can be easily cut, secured, and fitted during the installment process. Asphalt roofing is also a good match for most rooftop structures.
- Asphalt shingles are easy to install – Because they are so light and easy to cut, they are relatively easy to install. Very little prep work is needed and no special tools are required. This means that it won’t take as long to install an asphalt shingle roof as it might if you’re using another roofing material. One of the most positive benefits of asphalt roofing shingles is how lightweight they are. They can be installed speedily without any structural support. A worker can have the entire roof done within a period of one to two days.
- Asphalt shingles are easy to replace – First of all, you can replace your shingles one at a time since you don’t have to replace the entire roof. Secondly, because of how easy they are to install, replacing asphalt shingles is relatively simple. Asphalt roofing isn’t subtle when it comes to hints that it’s time to call in the cavalry. They show when they become frail and delicate. Noticeable signs are cracks, discoloration, buckling, and significant gaps.
The Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofing
The following are some of the drawbacks to using asphalt shingle roofing for your home:
- Asphalt shingles are more vulnerable to wind uplift – Cheaper versions of asphalt shingles can be more vulnerable to strong winds, which can cause them to detach, thereby making your roof more vulnerable to leaks.
- Asphalt shingles can crack – Because of how light they are, asphalt shingles can crack more easily, especially when they are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. Extreme temperature fluctuations can cause shingles to expand and contract, resulting in cracks. Extreme heat can also cause asphalt shingles to crack.
- Asphalt shingles need to be installed in warmer temperatures – It’s generally not a good idea to install asphalt shingles during the winter, especially if temperatures are below freezing. This can cause the shingles to become damaged during installation.
- Asphalt shingles don’t offer a unique look – Although they won’t damage the curb appeal of your home with their look, asphalt shingles aren’t exactly unique. You won’t make your home stand out with the use of asphalt shingles as you might with other roofing materials, such as wood shingles or shakes.
- Asphalt shingles don’t last quite as long – Because they are lighter, cheaper and more prone to damage, asphalt shingles simply don’t last as long as some other options.
To some, tile roofing is purely a stylistic choice. It’s a distinctive look that can completely change the appearance of a home and therefore very personal. Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal and incredibly long life expectancy of tile roofs, there are several other benefits of choosing this material over a less costly one. To start with, tile roofs perform better under harsh conditions than many other roofing materials. They resist damage caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, and other weather extremes better than most other options. Roof tile is also fireproof, and carries a class-A rating.
Characteristics of Tile Roofing
Tile roofs are initially a lot more costly to install than shingle or metal roofs but they also last much longer. Depending on the quality, a tile roof may last 50 to 70 years–or even more! When you compare that kind of longevity to the durability of some asphalt shingles (in some situations, only 10 or 15 years), it’s easy to see how an investment in tile can pay off in the long run.
Traditional clay tile roofs are very heavy, and sometimes require more structural reinforcement than other roofing materials. However, tile is now offered in new lightweight versions which can be used on most structures without additional reinforcement.
While many homeowners prefer the look of traditional Spanish and Mediterranean styles, tile roofing is also available in exact replications of shake, wood shingle, and slate. It can be found in a wide spectrum of colors, ranging from the well-known adobe red to colors that are reminiscent of moss green, driftwood grey, and ocean blue.
Pros of Tile Roofs
Tile roofing is a great insulator, which helps to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Accessories for tile roofs are widely assorted, including bird stops, cloaked attic vents, hip starters, apexes, and multiple other options. Tile also has the unique ability of being able to accent or complement the exterior color or finish of practically any home or building.
Even more attractive than its outward appearance is the fact that tile gives an air of quality to a structure and it can increase curb appeal and be very appealing to prospective buyers. When combined with the range of styles and finishes, a tile roof not only adds to the beauty of a structure, it can also add to its resale value.
The strength of a tile roof may be a bonus for most property owners. However, their weight can also make installation more challenging. In some cases, homes that were constructed without the ability to support heavier roofing materials may need to be improved before the tiles can be safely put in place.
Also, tiles cannot be placed on a roof with pitches less than 4:12. So, you may need to adjust the structure of your roof before embarking on an upgrade or replacement. For some, the drawback is the initial cost. However, it’s important to keep in mind that their incredible longevity will provide a better long term return on the investment, since owners will need less repairs and roof replacements in coming decades.
Cons of Tile Roofs
The biggest drawback is its initial installation cost. When compared to asphalt shingles or even basic metal roofing, tile roofs can cost several times as much to put up. Additionally, tile roofs are not only heavy, but brittle. Tile roofs may require added structural reinforcement to install and when a problem does occur, they can be difficult to work on since the individual tiles can break under the weight of a worker.
Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before choosing a tile roof. Is your current property made to withstand the weight of the tile? Are you willing to invest more upfront to save a lot of money in the years to come? If so, then a tile roof is an excellent choice. You will enjoy a higher property value, increased curb appeal, decreased utility costs, less repairs and incredible durability and longevity.
If you are interested in a tile roof and want to learn more or receive a free estimate, call the experts at Campbell Roofing Contractors today.
Metal roofing is often referred to as the “best of the best” of roofing materials. In reality, “metal roof” doesn’t describe a specific product, rather an entire range of products. This designation alone does not explain whether you are speaking about a steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper roofing. However, metal roofing’s reputation for being durable and able to handle a huge range of requirements and design options is 100% true. So, let’s break down the differences in metal roofing material options, and the pros and cons of each material, profile, and source.
When you hear the phrase “metal roof,” your thoughts likely go towards a steel roof, but the term encompasses a much larger variety of materials. Depending on your location and environment, the type of material will be a crucial first step in deciding which direction to go. While an aluminum roof is an excellent option for resisting rust in salty regions, it’s durability factor can be much lower than other materials. Steel, Copper, and Zinc metal roofing materials also have their own pros and cons.
Copper Roofing – Pros & Cons
Considered to be the grandfather of metal roofing, copper roofing has been used for centuries around the world. Copper is an extremely long-lasting metal that in ideal environments, can last well over 200+ years. Copper roofs are 100% recyclable too, making them wonderful green roof options.
Copper is an extremely soft metal, which makes it among the quietest types of metal roofing. However, with modern installation practices, all metal roofing now recommends proper substrates and insulation that minimize noise from rain or hail at the same level. The softer nature of Copper Roofing also means that in hail prone regions, it may be easily damaged. As a softer metal, hailstones will easily dent the Copper. While this lowers the aesthetic value, it also performs better than a harder metal that, with a large enough hailstone, will puncture rather than simply dent the roof.
If metal roofs were an SUV of roofing, Copper roofs are the Range Rovers of their class. This brings up an apparent downside to Copper. Like the Range Rover, it is extremely expensive and depending on your needs, may be more than you need to get the job done. Another negative aspect of Copper is its tendency to expand and contract with swings in temperatures. While this can be controlled with the proper panel or shingle, it does need to carefully be considered when choosing this metal.
Aluminum Roofing – Pros & Cons
If Copper is the Range Rover of roofing, then Aluminum is easily considered to be the Dune Buggy of roofing. Stay with us here. Take a Volkswagen Beetle, pull off the doors, the roof, and all unneeded features. Seal off the essentials to prevent salt spray, add a roll cage, and upgrade the suspension. Throw some nice sand tires on the thing and take it for a cruise along the beach … you now have the vehicle that best describes the strength and corrosive durability of an Aluminum roof.
Aluminum metal roofs are often highly recommended for use in coastal climates. This is mainly due to aluminum’s resistance to salt corrosion compared to other types of metal roofing materials. While the common perception of Aluminum is that it’s not affected by corrosion, the reality is that it’s a highly active metal and almost instantly reacts to atmospheric conditions.
This rapid reaction is actually what protects it so well. The outer layer of aluminum reacts with the oxygen in the environment, creating a layer of aluminum oxide, which effectively seals the inner layers of the metal from any future corrosion. This process is similar to an A606 Weathering Steel process, but in a much faster time frame and with longer lasting protection. Aluminum is often used with a painted coating as it’s natural patina over time is not typically thought of as aesthetically appealing.
Like Copper, Aluminum’s downside often comes down to cost. While it can offer a better protection against corrosion, it’s also more expensive than comparable solutions that use aluminum as a coating. As a commodity, Aluminum’s price range fluctuates depending on the market. Typically, the price for this metal lies somewhere in the middle between steel and copper. Due to its price, Aluminum is often used in much thinner thicknesses than steel.
While Aluminum’s strength-to-weight ratio is higher than steel, the factor of cost often results in panels that are too thin for their surroundings. In regions with high winds, hail, or strong environmental stresses, this can result in damage to the roofing material. Properly identifying the environmental strains that your Aluminum roof will face will be crucial in choosing the right design.
Zinc Roofing – Pros & Cons
Who remembers the original Humvee? An extremely durable and dependable machine that could take you anywhere you needed to go, yet at a pretty price. This is Zinc in a nutshell.
Zinc is an amazing metal, able to use its patina to heal scratches over time, plus stay strong for over 100 years. The natural properties of Zinc make it a favorite for commercial projects due to its ability to be easily formed and manipulated into amazing shapes. While the chalking of Zinc over time is not considered an appealing aspect of the metal, it can be cleaned and controlled to an extent.
While the Humvee was not exactly a “green vehicle,” Zinc could be considered one of the greenest metals available for roofing. Zinc has a lower melting point than other roofing metals. This lower melting point means that processing the Zinc for use as a building material requires up to a ¼ of the energy that it takes to process steel or copper. Zinc is also 100% recyclable and available in most local markets, making it an extremely green material, even compared to Copper or Steel.
The main downside to Zinc is the chalking (sometimes called patina) effect from an aesthetic point of view, and the price. Zinc is not cheap. In fact, Zinc often is comparable to Copper. Like Copper, Zinc also requires expert installation to properly make use of its advantages as a building material.
Zinc, like most bare metals, does patina into a blue/grey appearance if left unpainted. Along areas where water flows, this often leaves a chalk residue that many find unappealing. Zinc is also a very soft metal, and can be easily damaged by hail or high winds depending on the panel or shingle design.
Steel Roofing – Pros & Cons
Steel is an alloy, made from iron and other elements. Used in every aspect of building, steel roofing has often been one of the most common materials found on a commercial construction site, and is now often incorporated into residential builds. While the initial creation of steel can be an energy-intensive process compared to a metal like Zinc, the recyclability and availability of the metal alloy means that most of the steel we use today is made from recycled material rather than new. In fact, steel is the most recycled material on the planet, making it an incredibly green building material to work with.
When compared to other metals, steel is also the least expensive. While also being a commodity, steel is often priced at a much lower rate than Aluminum, Zinc, or Copper. This makes steel both affordable and available at a greater amount compared to the other metals on this list.
There are three primary Steel Roof types: Galvanized, Galvalume, and Weathering Steel.
- Galvanized Steel is actually created by using a layer of Zinc to protect an inner layer of steel from corrosion. This coating helps extends the life of a steel panel and slow the corrosion process. Galvanized Steel is the most common form of Steel Roofing material.
- Galvalume Steel is similar to Galvanized, but rather than using a primarily Zinc coating, Galvalume uses a combination of Aluminum and Zinc. The Aluminum better protects against corrosion in certain environments compared to Galvanized, and also provides a smaller, smoother spangle for a more uniformed appearance. Due to its Aluminum qualities, Galvalume offers better surface protection than Galvanized, but is vulnerable to scratches or cut edges.
- Weathering Steel is a form of steel that was originally designed for use in heavy steel industries like bridge construction. An outer layer of steel is designed to intentionally rust, protecting the inner layer of steel. In effect, Weathering steel roofing works similarly to Aluminum in the patina process, although unlike Aluminum, this process takes a longer period of time. It’s important to remember that Weathering Steel does intentionally rust, and is not designed to be used as a structural solution for steel roofing. It is often used in accent roofs, or with the expressed understanding of the rusting process and the need for regular maintenance.
Steel Roofing has made huge advancements in the past 50 years and can now be used to mimic Copper, Zinc, and other more expensive metal roofing materials. This is done through paint systems that create a painted solution to match the natural patina of a Copper, Zinc, or even the Weathered Steel look. These solutions often carry long warranties and make ideal choices for remodels, restorations, and new builds.
Steel’s primary advantage over other materials in this list is it’s flexibility of use and cost. Because of the higher prices of other metals, Steel has been the primary solution for both commercial and residential projects, and that trend looks like it will continue in the future.
As a green solution, it is both easily accessible and highly recyclable. As options go, because it is among the hardest metal options, it can be used in most weather environments, and works well in hail and high winds. It’s a common sight in mountain regions with high snow volumes, and is a preferred solution in regions prone to hail.
Steel is a highly flexible option both commercially and as a residential metal roofing option. For its diverse range of uses, its availability and cost, and the durability it provides, Steel is the Jeep Wrangler of roofing options. If you are interested in a metal roof and want to learn more or receive a free estimate, call the experts at Campbell Roofing Contractors today.
Tin Roofing – Pros & Cons
Tin Roofing is an often-requested item by enthusiasts around the United States and Canada. The term is used interchangeably with metal roofing, steel roofing, or galvanized steel. In fact, Tin is an incredibly rare, and unused metal for roofing. Tin itself is an element, like Copper or Zinc. Tin was introduced as a canning material, which was then adapted by rural DIYers by flattening out the material and using it as a shingle when other materials were not available.
When Aluminum became the standard for containers, which replaced Tin, so went the use of it as a DIY building material. In reality, when you hear reference of a tin roof, in modern times this is normally referring to either a galvanized steel or aluminum material.
For its DIY use in the 19th century, and its ability to remain a part of our vernacular long after it left, Tin could be fondly considered the Willy’s Jeep of roofing. While it still has many uses in science and technology, Tin is no longer generally used as a building material option.
In Conclusion for Metal Roofing
While each of the five types of metal roofing materials have their advantages, in the end, the choice often comes down to cost. Copper can be aesthetically the most appealing of the metals, but also the most expensive. Zinc is the greenest of the materials due to its low melting point, but is also very expensive. Aluminum offers a great solution in coastal regions, and is less expensive than Copper or Zinc. Steel is the most used of the materials, making it less expensive and affordable as a metal roofing option for homeowners as well as commercial builds. Tin had its day, but now often refers to galvanized steel when spoken about in terms of roofing.
Each of these metals has their advantages and weak points. Choosing the right metal to use for roofing comes down to the installer you choose, the location of your build, and the stresses and strains it will be put through. Make sure to always hire experienced roofing contractors who not only have worked with metal roofing, but the specific metal you choose to use on your next project.
Of all the different roof types for homes and buildings, one of the most controversial is the flat roof. Used commonly on large buildings and outbuildings, the flat roof has its own special set of needs and challenges. If you’re considering this type of roof for your building or residence, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages it can bring.
Flat Roof Advantages
By far the biggest advantage of using a flat roof is the expense. From the initial building and installation to the materials most often used to cover the roof, flat roofs are fairly cheap. Many types of material used for installation run about .80 a foot, which makes a flat roof extremely affordable both for the initial installation and the maintenance and upkeep.
Another advantage to using a flat roof is the fact that you can now make use of the space once the roof is done. Get your air conditioning units up off the ground and put them on the roof. Install solar panels on the roof that are less obvious from the curb. Plant a roof top garden or design a living roof. The possibilities of how you can use a flat roof are nearly endless, and this is by far one of the greatest benefits to using one.
Going hand in hand with the last advantage is the fact that with a flat roof, you have the ability to have a more versatile interior space as well. Finished attics and the use of a top floor apartment become more readily available without the sloped walls that a traditional pitched roof would produce. This makes a nice option for homes where the maximum amount of interior space is needed.
Finally, flat roofs are generally more accessible than sloped roofs. So cleaning your gutters, making repairs, and installing things like satellite dishes or solar panels become easier and less expensive to do as well.
Flat Roof Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage to installing a flat roof is the drainage, or lack thereof. Flat roofs do drain, but not nearly as efficiently as a roof with any kind of pitch. Therefore water has a tendency to puddle and remain on the roof, which could lead to the roofing material breaking down or to eventual leaks, particularly along the seams.
The second disadvantage is the lack of roofing material options. The vast majority of flat roofs use a type of rolled roofing; rubber, EPDM, TPO, or bitumen. These are all relatively inexpensive materials and easy to install, but most of them have a limited lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Rubber shingles are available that can be installed in conjunction with rolled rubber roofing, and some new materials such as polycarbonate roofing and PVC roofing are becoming available that may last longer and give some style options, but these come at a higher price, and lack the kind of history that can help predict how long they will last.