Your home is more than just a place to live. It’s a reflection of your unique style and personality. In this regard, your roof is a defining feature of your home that encapsulates the very essence of your abode. However, choosing the best roof for your home isn’t merely a matter of aesthetics. You will also have to consider factors like durability, cost-effectiveness, and suitability to your local climate.
According to the Roofers Guide, hail storms remain the number one cause of roofing emergencies in 2023. Such statistics reveal how crucial local climate considerations are when selecting the best roof for your home. It is for this reason that you must research and educate yourself before making any decisions. In this guide, we’ll discuss roof types to help you make an informed choice for your home.
Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Asphalt shingles are currently the most popular and widely used material in North America. It is a type of roofing system that consists of individual shingles laid in an overlapping pattern to cover the roof. These shingles come from combining asphalt, fiberglass, and other materials.
Asphalt shingle roofing is a favored option for many homeowners due to its affordability. Forbes estimates it to cost $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot, which is relatively lower than other roofing types. Additionally, asphalt shingles are relatively easy and cheap to install, reducing their cost. Due to their ease of installation, it is easy to find local roofers for repairs and maintenance services.
When it comes to aesthetics, asphalt shingles offer various options to choose from. The most common types are the three-tab shingles and architectural or dimensional shingles. Three-tab shingles have a flat appearance, while architectural shingles have a multi-layered, textured look, resembling wood or slate. They also offer versatility with various colors and styles to complement your home’s design.
When choosing the best roof for your home, consider that asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Higher-quality variants may endure longer, withstanding adverse weather conditions like rain, wind, and moderate hail. However, they may be vulnerable to severe weather events, such as hurricanes and intense storms.
Rolled roofing, also known as roll roofing, is a cost-effective and easy-to-install roofing material. It is popular with builders and homeowners on a budget and is often used on low-slope roofs. It consists of the same materials as asphalt shingles – asphalt-saturated felt or fiberglass. However, it comes in large rolls rather than individual shingles.
The most significant advantage of rolled roofing is its affordability and low-cost labor. Installation is easy and does not need specialized tools, making it ideal for DIY projects. Rolled roofing can be a temporary solution or an underlayment for other roofing materials.
According to Forbes, rolled roofing has a relatively short lifespan of 5 to 10 years, making it more suitable for sheds, garages, or small-sized homes. It is also less durable than other roofing options and may need frequent repairs or replacement. Rolled roofing can be the best roof for your home when seeking a low-cost and short-term solution.
Metal roofing is another popular option in North America, especially in areas with high precipitation and severe weather. While they may feel like a modern choice, they’ve been around since the 1800s. Metal roofs come from aluminum, steel, zinc alloy, or copper and come in two varieties: metal sheets and shingles.
Unlike other roof types, metal roofs are low maintenance, requiring little repairs throughout their lifetime. They are also highly durable, with a lifespan of up to 80 years, depending on the material used. This longevity and low roofing repairs make them an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a long-term roofing solution.
However, their most significant advantage is their versatility in style and design. Unlike traditional metal roofs, modern metal roofing comes in various colors, finishes, and textures to complement your home’s aesthetic. They can even mimic luxurious roofing types like slate, asphalt, or wood.
Metal roofs are lightweight, non-combustible, and fire-resistant with a class A fire rating. Additionally, they provide energy efficiency by reflecting much of the sunlight and heat. This factor keeps the house cool, reducing cooling costs during hot weather.
The only downside to metal roofs is their relatively higher initial cost. According to Forbes, a metal roof will cost you $6 to $14 per square foot, depending on the material and design. However, they will surely make up for it with their 80-year lifespan.
Another drawback is that metal roofs may be noisy during heavy rain or hail, requiring costly soundproofing. They also need specialized labor, including roof metal decking, to install and repair. Hence, it’s essential to consult with local roofing contractors to ensure proper installation and maintenance.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing system made from ethylene propylene rubber. It is energy efficient, low maintenance, and cost-effective. Although favored in commercial buildings, TPOs have been gaining popularity in the residential market.
TPO roofing can be the best roof for your home if you want to reduce energy costs. It has high reflectivity and emissivity, allowing it to reflect heat away from a building, thus reducing cooling needs. They also have excellent UV resistance, meaning they don’t deteriorate quickly under direct sunlight. As a result, TPO is more durable and has a longer lifespan than other single-ply membranes like EPDM. A TPO roof can last anywhere between 15 to 20 years, as noted by Forbes Home.
Roofing and reroofing TPO installations are relatively simple and quick, reducing labor costs. It comes in wide sheets of up to 12 feet in width that get welded on-site. Its light weight also means it doesn’t require extensive structural support. All these factors make TPO roofing cost-effective compared to traditional roofing options.
Another benefit of using TPO roofing is its low water absorption, which makes it resistant to fungi. It can also withstand extreme climatic conditions such as hail and only requires insulation. Additionally, TOP roofs are highly resistant to dust build-up, eliminating the need to hire a roof cleaning business. A TPO roof costs anything between $2 to $3.50 per square foot. It can also be installed in winter and cold weather.
Wood Roofing (Shakes and Shingles)
If you live in an area where wood is readily available, this may be the best roof for your home. Wood roofing involves covering a building’s roof with wooden shingles or shakes. These are typically made from cedar, redwood, and pine because of their natural insect-repelling abilities.
Wood roofing has been around for centuries for its natural aesthetic appeal and rustic charm. It perfectly complements Tudor-style homes, cozy Craftsman, and charming Cape Cod cottages. It is available in various shapes and sizes, providing a unique, one-of-a-kind look to your home.
Due to their aesthetic appeal and the exorbitant cost of wood, these roofs tend to be expensive. According to Good Housekeeping, woof roofing can cost up to $21,500. However, it’s worth noting that the cost varies depending on your location.
Wooden roofs can serve you for up to 50 years in dry climates, according to Angi. However, in wetter regions like the East Coast, water damage can accelerate the deterioration, resulting in a shorter lifespan. The roofs become susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot, necessitating regular maintenance with chemical preservatives.
In fire-prone areas like California, wood roofs demand regular treatment with fire retardants. As a result, you will need a roofing company with highly skilled roofers to install and maintain your roof correctly. This detail further increases the wood roofing cost, making it unsuitable for some homeowners.
However, wood roofs come with a host of benefits, such as being highly energy-efficient and biodegradable. Wood roofing provides excellent insulation, which reduces energy costs during both the hot and cold seasons. It is also an environmentally friendly option as it’s biodegradable and renewable.
Clay Tile Roofing
Clay tile roofing is among the most sought-after roofing options in the world. It utilizes natural clay molded into interlocking tiles. This type of roofing style has been around for centuries thanks to its durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance requirements.
Roofing with clay tile provides a distinctive and timeless appearance. It exudes a touch of elegance and warmth with various architectural styles. The most popular designs include French, Spanish, Scania, and Mediterranean.
Clay tiles are excellent at withstanding harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, strong winds, and hail. They have a low water absorption rate, so they are not prone to water damage or freeze-thaw cycles. They are also non-combustible, making them an ideal choice for fire-prone areas like Florida and Southern California.
While clay tile roofs have a higher initial cost than other roofing options, they are incredibly durable. With proper maintenance, they can last 50 to 100 years, according to the Tile Roofing Institute. A clay tile roof is resistant to rot, pests, and fire, making it the best roof for your home. While the maintenance cost is low, you may need to hire competent roofing contractors for specialized installation and repair labor.
Roofing clay tiles are heavy and brittle, requiring careful handling and structural support to hold their weight. However, they are excellent at withstanding harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, strong winds, and hail. Additionally, they have a low water absorption rate, so they are not prone to water damage or freeze-thaw cycles.
On average, clay tile roofing costs between $6 to $18 per square foot per Eco Watch. The cost varies depending on your location, the type of clay tiles used, and the roof design. Despite its high price, clay tile roofing is an excellent investment for its durability and low maintenance.
Slate roofing is a material known for its durability, longevity, and distinctive appearance. It consists of thin sheets of natural stone, typically quarried from regions with high-quality slate deposits. Slate has been a roofing material of choice for centuries and is still popular today due to its many advantages.
Its most significant selling point lies in its durability and longevity. Slate roofs can last 50 to 200 years if well-maintained, making them the best roof for your home in terms of lifespan. They are also naturally resistant to fire, mold, and fungus growth and are not susceptible to rot or insect damage. Additionally, they can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, saving you from excessive roof insurance.
Besides durability, slate roofing has an elegant and timeless appearance. It comes in various colors, including grey, black, green, red, and purple, which can add a unique and upscale aesthetic to a building. The natural variation in the stone’s color and texture adds to its visual appeal.
Once correctly installed, slate roofs require minimal maintenance. This aspect has a significant impact on their cost. However, they remain one of the most expensive roofing options, costing $10 to $30 per square foot, according to Home Guide. Synthetic slates like bituminous or fiber cement slate can be more affordable.
Slate roofing requires highly skilled installation labor. Due to its weight, it may also require additional reinforcement for support. Therefore, have a residential roofer evaluate your home’s structural integrity before installing slate roofing.
Green roofing is an environmentally friendly roofing option that involves covering a roof with vegetation and plants. It offers numerous benefits, including stormwater management, improved energy efficiency, and increased biodiversity.
Installing a green roof includes a waterproof membrane, root barrier, drainage layer, and soil layer. The plants chosen for the roof should be climate-appropriate and low-maintenance to minimize upkeep costs. Green roofs make an excellent addition to urban homes seeking a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing roofing option.
Green roofs can be the best roof for your home as they reduce energy costs by providing insulation during both summer and winter. According to This Old House, Green roofs reduce roof surface temperatures by up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. They are also effective in reducing stormwater runoff, which can prevent flooding and help purify the water. Green Roofs For Healthy Cities reveals that green roofs can retain between 70-90% of the precipitation in summer and 25-40% in winter.
Roofing with green roofs requires extra structural support due to their weight. They also require specialized labor because of complex installation procedures. However, once installed, they can last between 30 to 40 years, considerably long enough. In terms of maintenance, green roofs require regular watering and occasional pruning.
The cost of green roofing varies greatly depending on the type and size of the roof, plant selection, and installation complexity. It can range from $10 to $25/square foot but provides long-term cost savings through energy efficiency and improved air quality. While the initial cost can be high, the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment.
Ultimately, all roofing options have their pros and cons. Therefore, the best roof for your home will depend on your budget and personal preferences. It is also wise to consult a professional roofer to assess your home’s needs and recommend the most suitable option. Whichever option you choose, ensure proper installation and regular maintenance to maximize its lifespan and benefits.