What’s the Most Affordable and Durable Solution for My Roof?
When it comes to putting a new roof on your house, how do you determine what kind of material is the best?
If you’re one of the millions of American homeowners who live in an area where intense storms frequently occur, then your choice of roofing material plays a critical role in protecting your roof from storm damage.
You may be preparing to sell your home or simply want to give your roof an upgrade—either way, you have several options for roofing material. Every roofing material has its pros and cons, but there are three primary factors that you should consider when selecting the right solution for your home: durability, sustainability, and affordability.
Because Colorado is one of the most impacted states for hail damage, durability is an especially crucial consideration.
Let’s take a look at the most popular roofing material options available so you can make an informed decision.
What to Look For in Roofing Materials
Before considering your options, you should have a good idea of what to look for in your roofing material, particularly as it relates to durability, sustainability, and cost.
Not all roofing materials are created the same, which means that not all have the same longevity. In Colorado, your roof will face exposure to intense weather that has the potential to cause some serious damage. That includes hail, which can crack and chip your shingles and create leaks in your home.
Look at impact resistance ratings when considering your roofing materials. Class 4 is currently the highest impact resistance rating, and many options are available in this class.
Some roofing materials like metal and asphalt are made from recycled materials, and others like wood are purely organic and have little impact on the environment. There are also a variety of synthetic shingles that look like wood shakes that have a longer lifespan. Additionally, some materials like slate are excellent for energy conservation, which will help lower your heating and cooling bills.
However, bear in mind that some of these sustainable materials are more expensive upfront and may not be appropriate for your geographic location. The good news is that they save you money over time in various ways, and you may also be eligible for a tax credit to help offset the costs (as with solar, depending on where you live).
Availability and affordability go hand in hand, and you may have to go with a roofing material or color option that isn’t your top choice. Work with your roofing contractor to get an idea of what’s available for your roofing project—they’ll help you choose the best option for your home.
1. Asphalt Shingles
Undoubtedly the most popular roofing material, asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 12 to 20 years based on the weather where you live, and they’re by far the most cost-effective option.
Storms that bring hail, airborne debris, and high winds put your roof at risk for damage, so installing impact-resistant shingles may be a worthwhile investment. Impact-resistant roofing shingles – sometimes referred to as “IR” roofing shingles – are designed to minimize roof damage during severe weather events and extend the life of your roof. You may also qualify for a homeowner’s insurance discount if you install impact-resistant roofing shingles on your home. Ask your insurance provider to learn more.
Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of strength and durability ratings and are also the most cost-effective roofing material available. They also come in a wide variety of colors and profiles, which is why they’re such a popular choice in Colorado.
2. Wooden Shingles and Shakes
Wooden shingles, also known as wood shakes, are popular due to their aesthetic appeal. This material is beautiful, not to mention functional. Cedar is the most common type of wood shingle and is ideal for cottage owners and wood cabin enthusiasts. These roofs are resistant to insects and bugs, but they require annual upkeep. As such, routine roof inspections are an essential part of your home’s maintenance if you have wooden shingles.
Wooden shingles can last up to 50 years in the right regions, but probably aren’t functional for Colorado properties. Due to inclement weather, wood shingles often don’t fare well in this state. Due to our windstorms and wildfires, various localities and insurance companies have updated requirements, so you should check if your area allows the use of this material.
If you like the look of a wood shake or shingle, there are several synthetic composite products on the market. These products (such as CeDUR) look like wood shakes and are fire-resistant, lightweight, and highly durable.
3. Metal Roofing
Metal roofs are another popular option, as they’re durable and require less maintenance than the other materials on this list. Some may worry that a metal roof will be noisier during a rain or hailstorm. Luckily, modern installation techniques incorporate sound-absorbing materials, which significantly dulls outside noise.
Stone-coated metal, aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc alloy are common types of metal roofing, all of which are excellent insulators that will help keep your energy costs under control. They’re also recyclable and incredibly durable, making them an attractive option for Colorado homeowners.
Depending on what you are looking for, stone-coated metal roof options replicate the style of asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and wood shakes. This variety will help retain the original elegance of your home without sacrificing strength or style.
Installing a metal roof can be expensive upfront, but it will last anywhere from 30 to 50 years with proper care and maintenance.
Clay tiles are made of molded clay baked at high temperatures. The most common color is terracotta, but they also come in shades of brown and other colors. It’s an iconic look for a roof, and they’re incredibly durable, lasting up to 100 years or so. They are relatively low maintenance, but they’re often expensive to install. Tile roofs are durable and heavy. You or your roofing team should analyze the roof structure in advance to determine whether it can hold the weight of this product.
Additionally, if you go with a clay tile roof, you want to ensure an effective gutter system is in place, as any pooling of water can potentially freeze and crack each piece. This result is typically why clay tiles are popular in warmer climates like the Southwest and California.
Slate roofing is similar to tiles in that this material is incredibly durable—lasting up to 150 years. Slate is also fireproof and has high impact resistance.
Another advantage of a slate roof is that it’s made from natural materials, making it even more sustainable when properly installed and maintained. The dark stone look is a feature of many homes, and since not many people have slate roofing, your home will stand out from your neighbors.
However, the drawback to slate is that it is relatively expensive as a roofing material option. But in Colorado, slate is a good option considering the amount of hail and inclement weather that rolls through.
J&K Roofing Can Handle Your Project
No matter what material you are considering, we can help you. Our team of experienced roofing experts can handle all materials and provide professional recommendations to ensure you get the best material based on durability, affordability, and sustainability.
Contact us today for a free inspection and talk through your roofing project.