Metal roof installation, materials, prices and manufacturers

Roofing Materials – How to Choose the Best System for Your Home

Asphalt shingle roofing continues to be the most widely used residential roofing material, but it does have many disadvantages and drawbacks. To name a few, asphalt shingle roofs average less than 20 years of service life. When the asphalt shingle roof ages, the shingles begin to chip and crack, which causes the roof to lose its water resistant properties, and this ultimately causes roof leaks.

When it comes to replacing the asphalt shingle roof, the old roof has to be stripped and disposed off. Although asphalt shingles roofing is relatively cheap, it is not the most environmentally friendly type of roofing material. Unfortunately, the asphalt shingles are not recyclable. The end result of disposing of the old composition roof is that this petroleum based product ends up in our landfills to decompose. Clearly, this is detrimental to our environment. With its short lifespan, asphalt shingles are becoming obsolete, and it is highly likely that asphalt shingles will be phased out from production in just a few decades.

Cedar shakes are made of cedar wood, a natural building material. Cedar shakes can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years on the roof. The cost of installing cedar shakes is roughly double of what you would normally pay for asphalt shingles. The disadvantage of cedar shakes is that their lifespan is rather short for the price.

Metal roofing is available in metal shingles and standing-seam profiles. Both of these systems are highly energy efficient and long lasting. Metal roofs are considered green because they reduce the temperature of the building by reflecting solar radiant heat away from the roof, which helps keep interior spaces cool, as well as lessens the urban heat island affect.

Metal is a fully recyclable material, which makes it a green alternative to asphalt composition shingle roofs. Another advantage of standing-seam metal roof is that they can be easily integrated with solar roofing panels. From the financial stand point, roofs made with metal cost roughly double the cost of an asphalt roof, but their higher initial cost is well justified considering that metal-built roofs can last three times longer than asphalt. Factor in the energy savings, and appraised building value, and it becomes clear that it is a superior choice for sloped roofs.

Thus, asphalt shingle roofing is not the most lucrative option in terms of its poor performance, environmental unfriendliness, and being susceptible to thermal shocks, which is especially relevant in hotter climates.  On the flip side, relatively low asphalt shingle prices make it a viable alternative for somebody who needs a quick fix for a leaky roof, and couldn’t care less about the long-term consequences, or any environmental considerations.

Materials covered above pertain to sloped roofs. There are many houses and buildings that have flat roofs. The most widely used flat roofing membrane is EPDM rubber. EPDM roof replacement cost is moderate ranging anywhere from $300 to $500 per square installed. The biggest problem associated with EPDM roofing, is that EPDM roofs are prone to fail at their seams. This happens when the glue dries up, and the water gets in between the seams. Refreezing of the water further expands the gaps between the seams. Although, EPDM roofs are fairly easy to repairs, the repairs may be costly and are usually impermanent.

PVC cool flat roof membrane is a good alternative to EPDM roofs. PVC membranes are hot air welded to connect the seams. The advantage of using hot air welding process over glue is that the roof seams formed by hot air welding, create a permanent bond between the roof seams. Such seams, when properly welded together, will not come apart due to the water freezing and refreezing cycles.

Written by Leo - roofer with a vision. Follow Leo on Google+

with one comment

Written by Roofing Wiz

Posted on November 1st, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Posted in roofing materials

One Reply to “Roofing Materials – How to Choose the Best System for Your Home”

  1. Norma Mary Fay says:

    Metal roofing is almost always going to be more expensive than traditional choices. Nevertheless, it is a good option for some. Metal is fully recyclable material which is a great green alternative compared to other types or roofs such as asphalt. Another advantage of standing-seam metal roof is that it can be easily integrated with solar roofing panels which gives the property a modern look. For those interested, I recommend checking out the Sweets Network from McGraw-Hill, my employer. They have a great directory of metal roofing materials you can learn more about.

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