When it comes to components of a well-constructed home, a quality roof should be at the top of the list. In addition to providing a visually pleasing aspect that increases your home’s curb appeal, your roof should provide insulation from air, moisture, and UV damage.
With that said, not all roofing materials are created equal. If you are building a home in the Austin area and are at an impasse on what type of roofing to use, consider the following breakdown to help identify the type of roofing material that will best suit your needs.
In terms of roofing options that provide the most practical benefits, metal roofs are at the very top of the list. Among the myriad benefits this durable material provides homeowners include:
1.) A lifetime of protection, as a well-installed metal roof should last the life of the house, or 50+ years
2.) Environmentally friendly, which can help your resale value in a forward-thinking area like Austin. In addition to requiring few, if any, resources for maintenance, metal roofs can be made with varying degrees of recycled materials and are recyclable themselves in the event that the roof ever needs to be changed
3.) Ease of installation compared to other materials
4.) Available in a wide array of colors to match your home’s siding
As far as downsides, metal roofs can be a bit more costly than some other materials, although this higher initial cost will typically pay for itself quickly in terms of costs saved on maintenance and replacement. Metal roofs can also get hot or cold in extreme temperatures, so it may be a good idea to consider some polyiso insulation to pair with your metal roof.
2. Composite Shingles
Arguably the most popular roofing material available are composite shingles. Composite shingles are an affordable option that match well with a number of home designs, from suburban lap-sided houses to more country-style farmhouses that feature white board and batten siding. This material also does a decent job of providing an initial layer of insulation for the home.
Unless you go with a trusted brand such as GAF, CertainTeed, or Owens Corning that offer dimensional shingles, which add value to a home, and roofing warranties, be prepared to pay for some repairs, or a replacement within a short period of time -- relatively speaking. A lot of composite shingles on the market begin to break down at 15 years. Furthermore, traditional composite shingles don't stand up very well in inclement weather; they are notorious for raising during heavy winds and shedding granules in the face of extreme rain. 3-tab shingles, on the other hand, stand up to more types and degrees of weather. You can read more about the difference between traditional and 3-tab shingles here.
3. Wood Shakes
Wood roofing is another common option that has many of the same benefits of asphalt shingles, only with a more natural appearance, making it a strong choice for those homeowners attempting to avoid a synthetic look.
However, the wood shingle roof life is very short and they tend to break down rapidly in wet or humid climates, with replacements sometimes necessary in as little as 10 years. Furthermore, that natural look comes with some risk; wood roofing is arguably the most susceptible of any material to fire and insect damage.
We couldn't talk about roofing materials without mentioning a popular addition, solar paneling. As energy costs become a concern for an increasing number of people, homes that feature solar roofing are likely to be extremely appealing to a wide market. In addition to their strong resale value, solar roofing panels will help homeowners save money, making them an ideal project to pair with other energy-efficient renovations, such as double-paned windows, radiant floor heating, and roofing vents.
Despite being trendy and energy-efficient, solar roofing does have its drawbacks. Although solar panels will help homeowners save on electric costs, the high initial investment is often a barrier. Next, despite improvements in design and aesthetics, solar roofing simply is not a match for some roofs. Finally, as solar panels are comparatively new, the long-term benefits and issues are not well known at this point in time.
Choosing the right roofing material is essential in ensuring the quality of your home, as a roof enhances the appearance of your home while providing protection from air, moisture, and sun, among other threats.
From metal to composite, wood to solar, there are a number of diverse roofing options to choose from to put the ideal cap on your Austin home. Are you interested in exploring your roofing options with Longhorn Roofing? If so, click here or on the button below for a free estimate.
Guest Writer: Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.