The roof is an integral part of your home, protecting the interior from the elements and extremes of weather outside. Choosing the right roofing material is an important decision that will impact your home for many years. There are various factors to consider when selecting roofing materials, from appearance and durability to budget and environmental impact. Here are some tips to help you pick the ideal roof for your home:
Take Local Climate Conditions into Account
The climate where you live should be a major factor in your choice of roofing material. Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in North America. They are relatively affordable and come in a variety of styles. However, they have a shorter lifespan in hot climates with extreme temperature fluctuations. They also tend to deteriorate faster with frequent hailstorms or heavy snowfall.
Metal roofs are a good option for hot or cold climates. They reflect sunlight to keep the attic cooler in summer and can withstand heavy snow loads in winter. Metal roofs also last 50 years or more with little maintenance.
Clay or concrete tile roofs are best suited for dry, hot climates. They offer excellent fire resistance, look attractive, and have a long lifespan. But in colder areas with heavy winter snow, the extra roof weight from the tiles may be a concern.
Among best rated roofing companies in Calgary, Epic Roofing offers high-quality metal roof options for Canadian homes.
Consider Cost & Lifespan
The upfront cost and longevity of the different roofing materials vary significantly. Asphalt shingles generally cost the least but have the shortest lifespan of around 20-30 years. Metal and clay tile roofs typically cost more upfront than asphalt shingles but can last 50-100 years with proper installation and maintenance. So, while they have a higher initial investment, they provide excellent value over the long term.
Consider Appearance and Noise Reduction
Aesthetics are also an important factor to be considered when choosing a roofing material. Asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and metal roofs each have their distinct looks that can complement different architectural styles. Metal roofs may reduce noise from raindrops and hail by a small amount. Clay tiles, on the other hand, offer the best sound dampening, making them a good choice if noise concerns them.
Get Multiple Quotes
Gathering multiple estimates from different roofing companies will give you the most competitive pricing and allow you to compare specifications, experience levels, and overall value. At least three bids are recommended. Reputable roofers like Epic Roofing should provide a detailed, itemized proposal at no cost that outlines the specific materials, labor hours, and warranties they are offering. Compare these details across multiple bids.
Material warranties can range from 10 to 50 years or more, depending on the type and grade of roofing products used. However, workmanship warranties that cover installation defects and callbacks are equally important. Look for installers offering at least a 2 to 5-year workmanship warranty to cover issues during that crucial settling-in period for your new roof. The longer the combined material and workmanship warranties, the more protection you have from unexpected repairs or replacements. If you live in the area, Calgary offers some of the best rated roofing companies around.
Ensure Proper Ventilation and Insulation
Adequate attic ventilation and proper insulation are critical components of a high-performing roof. Discuss these elements with each contractor to ensure their proposed installation includes the recommended ventilation methods and insulation R-value for your climate and home type. This can significantly lower your heating and cooling bills and improve indoor spaces’ comfort.
Hire Experienced, Licensed Installers
Only use an experienced roofing contractor who is properly licensed, certified, and insured to install your new roof. Check reviews, ask for references, and confirm they carry general liability, workers’ compensation, and any required specialty insurance. Only experienced installers can properly install complex roof designs and anticipate any potential issues that could affect the longevity of your new roof.
Examine the Details Before Signing a Contract
Review every detail in the contract or proposal before signing, including payment schedules, timelines, materials lists, warranties, and any exclusions or disclaimers. Ensure you understand the full scope of the work and have all your questions answered to your satisfaction before committing. A detailed, clear contract helps set the right expectations and minimize potential issues.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Roofing Material
Your choice of roofing material is huge in the overall health and appeal of your home. Here are some of the main factors that could be influenced by your choice of roofing material.
Durability and longevity: The roof is one of the most important parts of any home, protecting you from the elements and extending the life of the entire structure. Your roofing material will dramatically impact how long it lasts before needing replacement or repairs. Materials like asphalt shingles typically last 20-30 years, while metal and tile roofs can last 50 or more. Choosing a more durable, long-lasting material may have a higher upfront cost but can save money in the long run through reduced maintenance and replacement costs over the roof’s life.
Energy efficiency: Different roofing materials vary significantly in their ability to help insulate your home and reduce energy costs. Darker materials like asphalt shingles can absorb more solar heat, increasing energy usage. Lighter color roofs and metal roofs often reflect more of the sun’s rays, lowering summer cooling demand. Highly insulating materials like clay or concrete tile can help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The right roof can substantially impact your yearly energy bills.
Aesthetics and curb appeal: The roof’s look is important to your home’s overall aesthetic and can impact its perceived value. Low-slope roofs may limit your choices, but higher pitched roofs allow for a wider array of options that suit different architectural styles. Consider factors like color, thickness, texture, and pattern when choosing a roofing material that enhances rather than detracts from your home’s design and curb appeal. An attractive, coordinated roof can significantly increase the beauty and worth of your asset.
Resale value: The right roofing material can increase your home’s value at resale. Potential buyers see long-lasting, stylish roofing choices that match neighborhood norms as assets. Poor choices like outdated asphalt shingles or roof damage may require replacement, representing a cost to the buyer. Upgrading your roof before selling can meaningfully boost what you receive for your home.
Noise reduction: Certain roofing materials are better able to mitigate the transfer of noise from outside. Thicker tile and concrete roofs have greater sound-dampening abilities than thinner asphalt shingles. Metal roofs require special underlayment to reduce noise transmission. Choosing a quiet roof can substantially lower the traffic, aircraft, and weather sounds you hear inside your home, enhancing your comfort and enjoyment.
Choosing the right roofing material for your home is an important decision that will impact your home’s appearance, durability, and energy efficiency for many years. The most important thing is thoroughly researching, comparing your options, and deciding based on your unique needs and priorities. The roofing material you choose must withstand sun, rain, snow, hail, and high winds while protecting your home. By making a careful, well-informed decision now, you can ensure that your home’s most vital and visible component remains functional, attractive, and valuable for as long as you own the property.