Roofing is the protective covering on the top of a building. This is often used for the whole house or smaller parts of the roof (such as an addition). It protects the structure from water penetration, UV rays, and weathering. Different roofing materials have their own advantages, disadvantages and applications.
If you’re planning to replace your roof or upgrade it, it can be a challenging task. Here is an introduction to different roofing types to help you decide which one is right for you and your home. EPDM (rubber) roofing has become very popular in recent years as it is cheap and lasts a long time. New materials are being tested all the time. It is often hard to know how durable these are given that they don’t have a big track record.
What is the purpose of roofing?
Roofing primarily serves as a barrier to weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail, snow, and UV rays. It protects the structure underneath the roof from water damage. Roofing materials are also designed to lower the energy costs of your home by acting as a barrier to retain heat in the winter and keep cool air in the summer.
Roofing can also serve as insulation against sound, helping reduce noise pollution where people live, work, or go to school. It is a cheaper alternative than tiles. Most roofs have a slope so that water runs off them into the gutters. Some roofs are flat and special attention has to be paid to how the rainwater can get removed. Standing water can lead to water damage and mold.
Types of roofing for an addition to your house
In most instances, the same roofing material is used for the addition as for the main house. In some instances, you can consider another material. Having a sloped and a flat roof is an example of this.
Metal roofing is one of the most traditional and widely used roofing materials. It is often made from aluminum, copper, zinc, or steel that is either rolled or cast. It has excellent resistance to corrosion and is highly durable. It also has natural cooling properties due to its high reflectivity and can withstand extreme temperatures. The benefits of metal roofing include its low maintenance. It can last up to 50 years, depending on the type of metal and quality.
These roofs are harder to install and can become quite hot during summer. It can also get damaged by hail and be quite noisy during a storm. Some local codes don’t allow this type of roof for these reasons.
Concrete roofing tiles are quite popular in some areas. It is pretty durable if installed well. These tiles can start to wear down over time and don’t look that nice once they start to deteriorate. They are also quite heavy and require a strong construction While they are quite popular in some areas, most people prefer clay tiles. Concrete roofs are mainly used on commercial buildings.
Sometimes a coating is added to a concrete roof to make it more durable. An example is a PVC-coated concrete roof.
Clay Tiled Roofing
This is mainly installed in areas that have some clay grounds nearby.
Tiles are very heavy and they are costly to transport over bigger distances. Clay has a lot of advantages.
Its excellent weather resistance and lasting durability. It keeps the house warm during the winter and cold during the summer. It is also quite easy to replace some tiles if there is damage.
There are often multiple layers to a clay tiled roof so that it can be properly insulated and has a strong foundation. Wood is typically used to create this structure.
While less used nowadays this used to be a popular solution given that it was quite cheap to install. This type of material is not very fire resistant and might be less durable. This is why other options have become more popular. Some people like the traditional look and opt for it.
These roofs are still being developed. One of the most famous producers is Tesla. These roofs consist of tiles with integrated solar panels. These are then connected to a home battery. The different tiles have to be installed properly so that the roof can generate electricity. At the moment the orientation of the home is important as well as some houses get more sunlight than others.
We can expect that this option will become more popular in the future as it is a nice way of installing solar panels on your roof.
Given its complexity, specialized installers have to do this.
Solid Vinyl Roofing (SVR)
SVR roofing is a type of roofing made from a rigid plastic material. It is one of the most popular roofing materials used today for sheds and garages. The benefits of SVR roofing include its low cost of installation and maintenance. After a while, it can start to discolor. This type of roof typically won’t last that long and isn’t used often on houses as it is quite fragile. It can start to sag after a few decades and should have enough support to avoid this.
Rubber (EPDM) roofing
Rubber roofing is an eco-friendly roofing option made from recycled rubber tires. It is a very durable, lightweight, and weather-resistant roofing material that is suitable for low-cost residential roofing projects. It is delivered in rolls. Glue and heat are used to install this type of material. It is often used on flat roofs (such as additions). It can last up to 20 years and requires very little maintenance. It can be integrated with a solar roof to make this area of the house less dark.
There are kits that allow you to install this type of roofing yourself. Advanced DIY’ers should be able to replace EPDM roofing as you just have to follow the right steps to get it done. It is often installed in smaller areas so it is possible to do it in a few days.
How long does roofing last?
Different roofing materials last for different lengths of time. The lifespan of a roof largely depends on the quality of the materials used, the amount of maintenance it receives, and the climate where the house is located. It ranges from 15 to 50 years or more.
It’s important to know how long your roof will last so you can plan for a replacement. As a general rule, the higher the cost of installation, the longer the roof will last. Roofing made from natural minerals, such as clay and concrete, tends to last longer than cheaper roofing materials, such as EPDM.
Some installers cut corners and this can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the roofing material. For example, if nails are used that corrode over time, your roof won’t last as long as when stainless steel nails are being used. This is why it is essential to check the reputation of your builder. Ask for references and check other roofs that they have installed.
Once the roof is done, you can ask an inspector to double-check everything. This makes sure that everything is up to code and that you don’t have to deal with problems later on. Getting the roof flashing right and the chimney properly installed is important as well as these are fragile parts of the installation.
A roof should also keep rodents out. These can cause a lot of damage and you have to use materials that keep the local rodents out. In some areas, there are roof rats, whereas in other areas you have to take ants into account. Your builders should know what needs to happen to avoid problems with this.
The type of roofing you choose will affect the lifespan of your roof, but also the cost of maintaining it. A roof leak can lead to costly damage so it is important that you inspect your roof often. Some roofs are easier to repair than others. For example, it is quite easy to replace some clay tiles while it can be harder to fix a metal roof.
To conclude, we can state that there are several types of roofing materials. These are used to protect the home from wind and rain.