The roof in a building serves many purposes – it provides protection, keeps the building cool or warm depending on the materials used and increases the life expectancy of the entire structure. So, whether you are building a new structure or renovating an existing roof that has worn out, it is important to know about the different roofing materials available and also get some tips on taking proper care of the roof. The following are the common materials used in roofing:
- Asphalt shingles
In the US, most home are constructed using asphalt shingles that are available in many colors and can last for nearly 30 years if properly maintained. Shingles are inexpensive and easy to install although the main disadvantage is that they do have the propensity to build up moss and require periodic maintenance. Newer homes are adopting cedar shakes rather than shingles that are eco-friendly, last long and give a lovely rustic appearance to a home.
Metal roofs can reflect off the sun’s rays, withstand snow, high winds or rain. It does not build up moss although it is more expensive than shingles. What is more, metal roofs last even for 50 years and are considered a good investment. Spanish-style homes in warmer areas like Florida go in for concrete or clay roofs. Both clay and concrete are heavy and if being used in an old home, the structure has to be studied to ensure it can withstand the weight of this heavy roofing material. The color choice is limited so only certain architectural styles will look good with these roofs.
Slate roofs are the most expensive and hence found only in high-end neighborhoods. Apart from being beautiful to look at, slate roofs do not get moss or insects and can even last for 100 years. The most unique roofing system is the living roof or a green roof. A flat roof base is needed for this living roof. Over this, a thin layer of soil is spread and a lawn or shrubs grown. Living roofs are eco-friendly, improve air quality and provide natural insulation to a home. Just ensure the base is constructed properly for water seepage can be a problem with living roofs.
There are many new roofing materials available and one of these is the rubberized roof. This roof helps people save energy and can be molded into different roof shapes. Just ensure that rubberized roofs are not used in places that have a great deal of snow or rain. Bitumen is also a modern roofing material that is widely used in more equitable climates for it is inexpensive. A built-up roof is made of many layers of saturated felt that has a covering of asphalt or hot tar. Even bitumen can be mixed with different materials like fiberglass or polyester.
It is important to know which type of roofing material will suit which type of construction and also if the existing building structure can withstand this material. Hence, those opting for renovation must get expert advice from the right home renovation contractors as to what material to choose. An important aspect of roofing is to know how to maintain it properly so that it will last long. Roof moss is the major cause of roofs getting damaged. So here are some ways to take care against roof moss build-up.