One of the most difficult decisions to make when installing a new roof on your home is choosing the material. Different materials have different lifespans and a wide range of costs. It is important to understand what roofing material is affordable now while maintaining the quality to last.
A reliable Florida roofing contractor can educate you and steer you in the right direction. A roofing contractor is an expert and can help you understand different roofing materials, their lifespans and installation costs. Every three years, the Fidus Group recommends a thorough roof inspection to make sure your roofing material is standing up to the elements. Options of roof materials seen in Florida include:
Composite shingles – Composite shingles made of asphalt, fiberglass or other materials, are the most common roofing material in America. This roofing material offers durability with an affordable price tag. You can find composite shingles in a variety of brands, colors, and sizes and are installed easily. They require low maintenance and provide Class A fire protection. Shingles warranties range from 15-40 years depending on the type and thickness. On the negative side, composite shingles can blow off easily in high winds and can in some cases scar with heat.
Clay, terracotta, and concrete roofing tile – Very common in Florida, tile roofing offers a great architectural look and a lifespan around 50 years. Tiles, although a more expensive choice, wont rot or burn, cannot be damaged by insects, and require little maintenance. Tiles come in many colors, types and styles to give your house a unique look. The biggest negative of roofing tiles is their weight. Roofing tiles can be very heavy, sometimes much to heavy for a roof to bear requiring the need for extra support. Also, tiles can break when walked on making maintenance difficult.
Slate – slate roofs are made up of shingle-like slivers of rock. Slate is one of the most expensive roofing choices but offers an upscale look with a lifespan of 45-60 years. Benefits are similar to those of roofing tile. Slate offers great fire protection, low maintenance and invulnerability to rot and insects. Downsides, also similar to roofing tile, slate shingles are very heavy requiring extra support and is also breakable when walked on.
Metal roofing – Standing-seam steel metal roofing is the most popular residential metal roofing used today. The term standing-seam refers to the upturned edge where the metal sheets meet but metal roofing is also seen in the form of shingles or tiles. Metal roofs are durable, fire retardant, and almost maintenance free and can last from 75-100 years. They also are very energy efficient as they reflect heat and block the transfer of heat into the attic. Research by the Florida Solar Energy Center has shown that metal roofing absorbs 34% less heat than asphalt shingles and can save a household up to 20% in energy costs. Metal roofing can also carry a very high price tag, especially premium metals such as copper. Also, the installation process can be very intricate increasing the initial cost of the roof.
Full roof replacement can be an expensive and stressful process. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of all the different roofing materials. Although some materials have higher price tags, their lifespan can last for up to a century.
The state of Florida requires a licensed Florida contractor to do all residential and commercial roofing work. For this reason it is important to consult with a roofing expert such as St. Augustine Roofer, the Fidus Group, a GAF certified roofing contractor, when making this big decision.