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4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Roofing Material

If you are thinking about replacing your old roof, you may wonder which material is the right choice. If you want to better prepare yourself beforeBackground texture pattern of red ceramic roof shingles buying your next roof, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Keep reading to learn about four factors you need to consider when choosing your next roofing material.

1. Cost

One of the leading factors to consider is the cost of the overall project, including the materials and labor. Depending on the material you choose, the price can range from $1.50 per square foot to $75 per square foot. You may also have to pay additional money for the underlayment or any necessary repairs.

The labor also affects the overall cost of the product, and some materials are easier to install. For example, if you choose a metal roof, it can be installed right over some old roofs. This drastically reduces labor costs by eliminating the need to tear off the old roof.

2. Durability

Durability and cost go hand in hand because if your roof isn’t durable, you’ll need to replace it sooner. If you own a home for 50 years, you may have to replace an asphalt roof once or twice while you own the home. With a more durable material, however, you may never need to replace the roof during that 50 years.

3. Maintenance

Naturally, your roof will stick around longer if you maintain it well. Some roofs require a lot of maintenance, but others do well with little work. Typically, maintenance is about keeping the roof clean and preventing standing water. For this reason, slate tile requires little maintenance.

Stone is not susceptible to rot, and most slate tile roofs have a steep slope, so water and debris naturally slide off. If debris or snow does get trapped, however, it can add extra weight to an already heavy roof, which increases the risk of collapse.

On the other hand, wood shingle roofs can rot when exposed to moisture. The wood may become brittle and dry when exposed to UV rays. Plus, wood is prone to pests and moss growth. Therefore, while you can ignore your slate tile for years, you need to regularly clean and stain/paint your wood roof.

Regardless of the type of roof you have, extreme weather conditions can cause problems. A windstorm, for example, could cause a branch to fall onto the roof. For this reason, it is recommended to trim branches that hang over the roof.

4. Insulation

Roofs should have decent insulating properties to help reduce heat loss or prevent heat gain. In the previous example, installing a metal roof over an asphalt roof can help improve insulation, but metal alone may not be a great insulator.

In some cases, different materials have better insulating properties. For example, clay tiles are great in hot climates because they are excellent at absorbing the sun’s heat, which keeps the attic cooler. Similarly, you can use color to manipulate the roof’s insulating properties.

A darker roof absorbs heat into warm a cold house, but a light-colored roof keeps a hot house cool by reflecting heat. As an added benefit, if your roof has insulating properties, it boosts efficiency and reduces heating/cooling costs.

If you are ready to replace your roof, you need to make sure you pick the perfect material for your needs. Even the most inexpensive roof is a long-term investment, so investing in the right roof is extremely important. For more information, or if you would like an estimate on a new roof or roof replacement, contact us at Rays Harford Home Improvement Contractors, Inc.

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