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Choosing a new roof for your building

Wondering how to choose a new roof? There are many great options available out there, as well as many options that are not optimal for your specific situation and needs. Today’s article explores things to consider when you’re looking for a new roof and want to understand what your options are. As buying a new roof is a major purchase, it’s worthwhile spending some time thinking about what exactly you need, what your budget is, and then making a decision as to what type of roof is best for you.

First thing’s first, though: no matter the quality of materials you choose, having a professional roofer building it is going to make all the difference. You could have a beautiful new metal roof, but if it is installed improperly, many of the benefits of metal roofing may be compromised — so you ended up paying more for mediocre performance. Don’t let that happen to you!…

Step 1: Decide What You Need

The first step of deciding what kind of roof to get is understanding what exactly you need. The criteria for what you want your roof to accomplish will help you determine which type of roof to get, so you can avoid disappointment down the road after getting a roof installed that you are not 110% satisfied with.

Buying a new roof is not all that different from buying a new car. In both cases, doing your research beforehand is crucial to determining what will be right for you. To accomplish your new-roof vision, consider the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics — Consider how much the look of your roof means to you. Do you want something that looks traditional, like shingles? Or would you like something a bit more contemporary and bold, like a standing seam metal roof?
  • Fire Safety — Fire safety is important wherever you live, yet in some places it is even more important, such as forests or regions where firestorms are regular. Consider fire-proof roofing options like metal and cement tiles for greater peace of mind and preparedness for if the worst happens.
  • Longevity — This one might take some cost analysis. You may end up spending more money on a roof made of high-quality metal tiles, but it will also most likely last much longer than other options like asphalt shingles, so in the long run you may end up spending significantly less, even though the up-front costs could be higher.
  • Wind Resistance — Much like with fire safety, this is going to be a greater or lesser concern based on where you are geographically located. If you are at the top of a hill where there is a lot of wind or in a region where hurricanes are not uncommon, choosing a roof designed to withstand high winds is a must. A metal roof with interlocking panels may be one of your best options for protecting your home from high winds.
  • Energy Efficiency — This isn’t about installing solar panels on your roof (which is nonetheless a pretty good idea), but about choosing a type of roof that is well-insulated and reflective of heat. For example, people who get metal roofs with reflective coatings reduce their summer energy costs by roughly 20%! In terms of long-term energy savings, the type of roof you get can go a long way.
  • Go Green — If you are inclined to choosing green building techniques, you can get a roof installed made entirely of recycled material. The environmental impact of your roof may be another criterion you consider when deciding what type of roof is best for you.

Step 2: Compare Different Roof Types

With those criteria in mind, let’s now look at some of the common types of roofs available for you to get installed, and what the pros and cons are of each.

#1: Concrete tiles

Concrete roof tiles have the benefit of being naturally fire-resistant and relatively long-lasting, with a single tile being able to last anywhere between 15 and 30 years. However, concrete tiles are heavier than their counterparts, they require stronger structures to support them. The heating and cooling of stone tiles due to sunshine and rain can also lead to tile cracking. Furthermore, these pockets of water allow moss and mildew to thrive and grow, which can discolor and stain your roof.

#2: Metal

Metal roofs can be made from a number of different materials — e.g. steel, copper, zinc alloy, and aluminum. Many people love metal roofs for their aesthetic, as well as for their longevity. There’s a reason they have the nickname of “forever roof” — they last a very long time, with minimal maintenance. Metal roofs are great because they are:

  • Highly durable and long-lasting
  • Fungus- & moss-proof
  • Animal-proof
  • Fire-resistant
  • Low-maintenance

Other benefits of metal roofs include things like their high thermal emissivity, meaning they readily absorb and release heat, meaning your house stays a more comfortable temperature easier, as metal cools much faster than a material like concrete/asphalt. The main downside of metal roofing is the cost — they are usually significantly more expensive than alternatives like concrete tiles. However, in the long-run they are likely to pay for themselves, saving you on the need to repair and maintain your roof, as well as on your monthly energy bill….

Source: Tim Leeper Roofing