Things to Consider When Choosing Your Roofing Material

We’ve previously talked about the vast selection of roofing materials available on the market. However, if you’re a homeowner, the time to decide may be just around the corner. Which material to choose?

The truth is that there is no trump card material. The different types of roofing materials each offer benefits which are more suited to particular types of building, location and budget. But never fear. We’ve got a handy rundown of the factors you should consider when weighing up different types of roofing materials for your project.

A good roofing material is durable

Durability is an obvious factor. A good roof will stand as a steady investment throughout the years and, with good maintenance, will withstand harsh rain and hot, cracking summers.

Steel: Metal is a great bet as it is naturally stronger than different types of roofing materials. Being coated in aluminium, gives them an extra protective layer which means they can last between 60 and 100 years, whilst withstanding the elements every day.

Lead: Lead is another material that offers reliability for years to come. No wonder it’s traditionally associated with churches and historic buildings; in some cases, it has been durable for hundreds of years.

Slate: Slate is a wonderful natural material with inbuilt durability. It may be one of the most expensive tile materials, but it is fireproof and doesn’t sustain damage in heavy hail. Despite that, it can easily track when tampered with by humans, so best stay off the roof if you want your slate to last as long as possible.

Watch out for: Felt flat roofing. If your primary aim is durability, felt roofing may not be the best choice. It can require lots of maintenance, though it’s a cheap option and perfect if you have a tricky flat roof.

Weight is a key factor to consider

Every homeowner should enquire about the effect of heavy tiles on the frame of a house. The weight of different types of roofing materials can vary greatly, and it’s important to consider if your home is older or has previously had a different type of roofing material for a long period of time.

Low weight materials are great if you want to protect the structure of the home, but heavier materials also have their benefits in providing more protection from the wind and rain. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your roofer directly.

Aluminium Shingles: Aluminium is known for being incredibly lightweight, but, as we read about its durability, it can present a surprising amount of protection for a home. It is also able to withstand high winds because of its streamlined shape.

Slate: Slate is on the other end of the spectrum. It has a heavy weight, though thinner tiles can reduce this if necessary. If your roof is structured with plywood, it’s best to restart with a more durable wood in order to support the extra weight. If the roof has never had slate before, an engineer should inspect it to check it is suitable.

Homeowners always consider aesthetics

There are few homeowners out there who haven’t considered the image of their roof from the exterior. It’s important to note that homes in a conservation area or with listed status may be subject to government guidelines about the image of a roof – so don’t spend any money until you’ve checked the regulations.

Rubber: Rubber roofing tiles do an excellent job of imitating clay or slate – the heavier and more expensive roofing materials. Their ability to boast modern benefits like low cost of production and simple installation is fantastic for the price point, and the visual difference is minimal.

Clay tiles: Clay tiles produce your typical red roof aesthetic, and are a safe, comforting choice in terms of the image of the building. The burnt orange colour is unique and can lend more personality to a home than other different types of roofing materials. 

Cost dictates it all

No homeowner approaches roofing without a budget. Knowing the cost of certain materials, as well as the maintenance costs year to year, is vital in order to make the best decision for your roof, as well as for your pockets.

Felt flat roofing: If you have a flat roof, felt is the way forward. It sits at a low price point because of its light weight. It does, however, need regular maintenance to stop pooling and leaks. That said, if you pay attention to this and get regular help, your roof will stay watertight for years to come.

Slate: Well-known as an expensive material, slate is a true investment into the image and safety of the property. Welsh slate is one of the most expensive options because of its history and shipping costs – remember to consider that the installation costs of tiles will be greater than roll-out flat roofing.

Is it energy saving?

Among all the different types of roofing materials on offer, it can be hard to remember that roofing materials are responsible for energy saving in the home too.

In and among the new innovations like solar roofing from Tesla, it’s perfectly possible for everyday roofing materials to reduce a home’s energy usage. Coatings such as elastomeric can also trap heat and reduce energy consumption by 40%.

Metal: Metal roofs can be sustainably produced, thus reducing the amount of energy used in production. It can also be recycled once it’s worn out, which is more sustainable than plastic imitation tiles which are built to last, some for hundreds of years. Steel and aluminium are shiny materials and thus reflect heat in warmer months, meaning there is less need for air conditioning in the home.

Green roof: This is a far more unusual option, but having a living, green roof atop your home can be beneficial in a huge variety of sustainable ways: from protecting wildlife to reducing the amount of electricity used to warm your home. Green roofs are becoming increasingly more popular, and homeowners need to start taking the plunge if they are to become a norm.

So, which of these different types of roofing materials is best for you?

Whether your top priority is durability, weight, aesthetics, cost or the energy saving properties of a roof, we can help you discover which one is the perfect material. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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