For any home or building, the roof is one of the most vital components for a number of reasons. As a part of the basic structural system of the house, its function goes beyond improving the curb appeal of the property. It also serves as the first line of defense of the house, protecting it and its contents against rain, snow, ice, wind, heat, and cold.
Due to the important functions that a roof plays, along with the substantial outlay of cash it will entail, it pays to think carefully when deciding on what type of roofing system to choose.
Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof to replace the existing one on your home, aesthetics should not be the only factor you need to take into account. A successful roofing system is also influenced by a number of other essential factors. So when it is time to decide, here are some of the criteria you can use to guide you in making the right choice.
The appearance of the roof is particularly important in a residential installation. As the house’s primary covering system, your choice of roofing system can make a big impression on the look of your house, especially when viewed from the street, not to mention it reflects the image you project as a homeowner.
What you want is a roof that complements the design of your home. There are certain roofing materials that work well for specific architectural styles than the others. Tile and cement roofs, for instance, make a nice visual accompaniment to Spanish colonial or mission style residences. A metal roof, on the other hand, goes perfectly on a contemporary house. In short, think about what the roofing system can do to the curb appeal of your home.
Of course, money always plays a big role when deciding on a roofing system. As you think about your budget, a number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof.
Material pricing is just the starting point. If the primary reason you would be buying a new roof is to replace the old one, then you also need to take into account the condition of the existing roof. If the old materials have to be removed or if the supporting structure has to be repaired, this will entail additional expenses.
The shape of the roof also has an impact on the cost of the system. For instance, a gable roof that has no breaks, such as chimneys, vent pipes or dormers, on the surface is less pricey as it will require fewer materials and installation would be easier. Contrary to this, a roof with multiple chimneys, valleys, turrets and other elements would be more expensive since more materials would be needed for proper coverage and the installation process would be more complex.
Climate or Weather
Performing well under heat and rain is usually expected from most roofing systems. But what about in other conditions, such as snow, hail or high winds, and extremely high and low temperatures?
Keep in mind that not all roofing systems are capable of handling extreme climate or weather conditions. As such, snow, rainfall, humidity, sun exposure and temperature changes are all factors that should influence your choice as all of them have an impact on the lifespan of a roof.
Quality of Maintenance
Every roofing material has certain maintenance requirements. For example, wood shingles, although aesthetically pleasing, are among the highest-maintenance roofing material because they are vulnerable to moss, mildew and humidity damage. They must also be coated with fire retardant, which will entail additional costs.
On the other hand, a metal roof will not easily deteriorate even when frequently exposed to the elements, so maintenance would be minimal. The point here is to determine if the maintenance required by the roofing is something you can afford, especially since the maintenance cost involved is something you will have to deal with for the entire lifetime of the roof.
Making the Choice
All too often, the existing roof of your house will determine your choice of roofing system, especially if you are remodeling or replacing it. However, if you would be building from scratch, you want to consider not only the criteria mentioned above but also what has been traditionally used on houses similar to yours and what may be suggested by your local building codes. And whatever roofing system you pick, make sure that it will be properly installed, as it is only through a proper installation that you can be assured about the long-term performance of your new roof.