Roofing Buyers’ Guide

Aug 28, 2017

Roofing Buyers’ Guide

There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to roofing or re-roofing your house, it’s almost inevitable to become confused. This article will take you through the process of roofing, beginning with choosing the right material and ending with finding the right contractor.

If you are unsure whether your roof needs to be replaced, look for the following signs. Does your roof leak in more than one spot during rain? Does it have lots of different patches due to replacing some of its shingles? Are shingles curling or breaking? If the answer to one or more the previous questions was ‘Yes’, it may be best to reroof altogether, rather than fix the roof temporarily.

  • Choosing the Right Material

different roofing material and tiles

Lots of factors may limit your choices when it comes to choosing the right roofing material. Living in an area that is prone to lots of wind or hurricanes, for example, may force you to choose a certain type of roofing over others.  

In the following table, you will find different types of material, each with their features;

Roofing type

Materials

Eco-Friendly

Durability

Weight

Fire & Wind Resistance

Cost

Asphalt Composition Shingles Organic paper fiber mat, or fiberglass  Not eco-friendly, but can be recycled Not very durable Moderate Good (fire)
Fair (wind)
$$$
Metal Steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc May be made from recycled material. Can be recycled when replaced Fairly to very durable Lightweight Good $$$
Plastic Polymer Plastic polymer material Can be recycled when replaced Long lasting  Light to moderate Good $$$
Clay Tile Natural clay  Natural, but requires great energy to manufacture Long lasting Heavy Excellent (fire)
Fair (wind)
$$$$
Concrete Tile Cement and sand Natural, but requires great energy to manufacture Long lasting Heavy Excellent (fire)
Fair (wind)
$$$
Slate Slate rock Natural Long lasting Heavy Good $$$$$
Wood Shingles and Shakes Cedar or redwood Natural Short lifespan Moderate Poor (fire)
Good (wind)
$$$
  • Appearance, Performance, or Value

Before choosing the perfect material, you have to consider what is more important to you, appearance, performance or value. In the previous table, we can clearly see which materials have the best durability but do not forget about maintenance rates. The cost also is a major factor at this point.
Keep in mind that in order for your roofing job to be worthwhile, you have to make sure you have a solid foundation for your roof, as well as the right underlayment material. Note that adequate attic ventilation also maximizes your roofing’s life.

  • Insulation

Insulating an attic with mineral wool

There are two types of insulation that can be applied to pitched roofs. You can have a ‘Cold Loft Insulation’ or a ‘Warm Loft Insulation’. The choice depends on whether you want to use the loft space as a living space or not.
If you were not planning on living in the loft space, you may want to choose the Cold Loft Insulation. This type will keep the space warm during summer and cold during winter. It is also cheaper than having a Warm Loft Insulation. This type of insulation is installed above the ceiling of the first floor only, covering the wooden joists and coming in between them.
On the other hand, a Warm Loft Insulation is your go-to option if you were planning on spending time in the loft, as it keeps the space from heating during summer, or losing its warmth during winter. This type of insulation is installed directly under the roof, and it needs more ventilation.

  • Choosing a Contractor

When it comes to choosing a contractor, ask if they have the following;

  • General liability and workers compensation insurance
  • Manufacturing Certification
  • References for completed works

You can find a great variety of accredited roofers in your area on our website. All you have to do is enter your zip code, and you’ll find the top roofing contractors near you.



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