Having a roof that doesn’t leak is an important part of homeownership. Deciding what to use for materials used to be fairly simple but now there are a lot of choices available. Each choice has its pluses and minuses.
Asphalt shingles are probably the most common roofing material. This is not only because it is the least expensive choice; it is also very easy to install. The shingles come in many different colors so that it can be coordinated with the colors the house itself is painted. These roofs last about twenty-five years and the cost starts at twenty-five dollars a square foot. Laminated shingles offer texture variation but don’t last as long. They typically last fifteen or so years.
Wood has long been a choice for new roofing. Centuries of use suggest cedar, redwood and pine are the best choices. These roofs have about the same longevity as asphalt. There is one major concern. States and cities that have high fire danger often ban this type of roof as it tends to lead to more loses of homes. There are lookalike shakes that are not made of wood for those who prefer that look.
Metal roofs are another way to go. Copper, aluminum, steel and even lead can be used for roofing. These roofs are a lot more expensive but they last a lot longer than either asphalt or wood shakes. They are also loud when it is raining and can heat up the inside of the home unless there is adequate insulation. Cost for installation starts at two hundred fifty dollars per square foot but is usually two or three times more than that.
Tile roofs are popular for homes that are built in the Spanish style. These do last a long time but can present something of danger should the tiles break. They are very heavy and could hurt someone or dent a vehicle should they fall off of the roof. These roofs are also expensive but they do last a long time.
Cement is an option as well. It can resemble tiles, shakes or even asphalt. Like tile, it is very heavy although it may not have the same dangers as the tile when it comes to breaking.
Slate is not as commonly used but it lasts for centuries. In fact, the fasteners will be what need replaced. Slate tiles are often reused. This is better for the environment although it is very expensive to begin with.
There is one other new choice for roofing material. Hemp is being used more and more in the construction trade, either by itself or mixed with other materials. Of all of the choices, it is the most environmentally friendly. The other materials used are all recycled. Growing hemp also provides more oxygen that a like amount of trees. It doesn’t require as much land or water and goes from seed to harvest in ninety days. It can be produced like tiles or like concrete so as to match whatever décor the house has.