The Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Roofing Materials
The roof of your house not only shelters you from the elements, it also accounts for a large proportion of the house’s visible exterior. Therefore, when choosing roofing materials you will need to consider both the aesthetics of the materials and the ability of those materials to withstand the weather conditions in the area where you live. Below is a list of five popular roofing materials and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Slate roof tiles are popular due largely to their aesthetic appeal. Slate is also one of the most long-lasting roofing materials, with tiles generally lasting around a century. Not only does this save you the headache of replacing the tiles, it also means that they are more environmentally friendly than most other roofing materials as they don’t create as much waste. In addition, slate tiles are fireproof.
On the downside, slate is more brittle than other roofing materials. Unless you know what you’re doing it’s not advisable to walk on a slate roof. The tiles are also heavy, which means that they can only be used on roofs that are structurally strong enough to bear the weight. Installing slate tiles is generally more difficult than installing other roofing materials.
Like slate tiles, clay tiles are aesthetically pleasing. They are also versatile since they can be shaped more easily than other types of roofing tile. Clay tiles are also long-lasting and fireproof. In general they are capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions, but constant freeze-thaw cycles can cause them to crack and shatter. Clay is one of the more eco-friendly roofing options, but environmentally conscious homeowners should be aware that producing the tiles is an energy intensive process.
Clay tiles are heavy and relatively expensive. They are also brittle compared with other roofing materials.
Concrete tiles are on the more affordable end of the price scale. These tiles come in a range of shapes, textures, and finishes. They are also extremely durable and fire resistant.
As with the above options, concrete tiles are heavy. They are also susceptible to mildew, thus requiring more maintenance than some other options, such as clay tiles.
Steel, lead, zinc, aluminium, and copper are some of the metals commonly used on roofs. Metal can be a good option as it is long-lasting, waterproof, and resistant to fire, insects, and rot. It is usually lightweight compared with slate, clay, and concrete. It is also comparatively easy to install. Furthermore, metal roofs can be easily painted in whatever colour the homeowner chooses.
Heavy rain or hail on a metal roof can be noisy (the noise can be minimized through the use of sound-deadening insulation and other things though). Metal is also prone to denting in heavy hailstorms. It can also become warped from constant expansion and contraction when the temperature fluctuates between hot and cold (although if installed properly this is usually not a problem). Metal tends to not be an environmentally friendly option due to the mining and manufacturing processes involved in producing it, but the environmental impact can be minimized by using recycled metal.
Wood shingles are usually made of cedar or redwood. They are a popular roofing choice for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that they look good. If the wood is responsibly sourced, shingles can be one of the most environmentally friendly options too. In addition, wood is one of the most lightweight options.
Wood is vulnerable to insects, such as woodlice, as well as fire (although it can be treated with fire-retardant chemicals). Its lifespan is not as long as many of the other options.