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Everything You Need to Know About Roofing

Your roof serves as your home’s first line of defense and as a result it is the hardest hit by the elements. Considering how important your roof is to the overall well-being of your home, it’s vital that you make the best roofing choice. When choosing a roof for your house you have to consider a few key factors about roofing and you also need to familiarize yourself with the various available materials.

Roofing Considerations Climate:

Some roof types stand up to the elements better than others. For instance, in areas with heavy snowfall, ice damming is a problem, especially if your attic stays warm throughout the winter. Metal roofs tend to readily shed snow, making them a good choice for extreme climates. Such roofs also reflect heat, leading to a cooler home in the warm months.


The appropriate type of roof can enhance your home’s architectural style. For instance, a metal roof fits well with a contemporary style house, whereas a home with a lot of brickwork and stone lends itself to a slate roof. Cottage-style houses look best with shake roofs and clay roof tiles enhance Spanish-style homes.


While all roofs require regular inspection and eaves trough cleaning, some roofs call for more frequent maintenance than others. For example, wooden shake roofs need chemical treatment for moss buildup and UV protectant to shield the wood from the sun’s rays.

Common Roof Types Shake:

Also known as shingle, this type of roof is composed of wood. The highest quality shingles come from the heartwood of mature cedar trees. Shake roofs give a home a natural look, and each shingle roof is unique because of wood variations. Wood is also an effective insulator. Shake roofs do have problems with mold, insect damage and rot. They can also be a fire hazard. Some companies infuse shingles with fire retardant materials.


Popular in the late 1700s, metal roofing has made a comeback. Generally constructed of coated steel or aluminum, metal roofs tend to shed snow, reducing the likelihood of roof collapse. Metal is light-weight, nearly maintenance free and energy efficient. It reflects heat in the warm months and keeps your house cool.


Fiber-reinforced cement is used to create a variety of roofing materials, including shingles and tiles in various styles and colors. Concrete is low-maintenance and durable, offering resistance to insects, rot and fire.


Ceramic tiles are made from clay and come in a variety of styles. This roofing material is impervious to rot, fire and insect damage. Drawbacks of ceramic include its heavy weight and tendency to easily break.


Composed of thin sheets of actual rock, slate tends to be an expensive choice. This roofing material is eye-catching, offering a natural, sleek look in a variety of patterns. Slate is fire-proof and insect resistant. On the downside, slate is somewhat breakable, and its especially heavy weight requires the addition of extra support when the roof is installed.


Consisting of live plants and drainage and irrigation systems, green roofs naturally cool buildings, reduce storm water runoff and offer an aesthetic element that attracts wildlife. For safety, it is critical that a structural engineer and leak detection specialist be involved in the creation of this type of roof.

Now that you’re armed with the information you need to make the best roofing choice, you can rest easily knowing your home is well covered.

By Julie Bawden-Davis

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