What Kind of Roofing Panels Are Right for Your Building?
One of the most important decisions that building owners need to make when constructing a building is deciding on the type of roofing panels that will be installed. With so many architectural choices available including asphalt, clay and metal, the decision is not always an easy one to make. You will want to consider aesthetics, durability, warranty, projected lifespan and of course cost and maintenance of the roofing panels. In some cases, local building codes and HOA regulations limit your choices by stipulating the types of roofs that are permitted in your municipality or neighborhood.
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof due to the relatively inexpensive cost. The roofing material contains either paper, fiberglass or ceramic fibers that is adhered to the roof using asphalt. On the other hand, asphalt shingles are not very durable and can become easily torn or damaged during heavy rains and wind storms. Also, they are not as fire resistant as other types of roofing materials. The lifespan for an asphalt shingle roof is generally 15 to 30 years.
Clay tile roofs give buildings that beautiful upscale Spanish architectural appearance. Because of their durability and longevity, they are very popular in tropical climates like Florida. However, clay tiles can break off during high wind conditions. Otherwise, they require very little maintenance and have strong fire-resistant properties. Many building owners apply a waterproof coating to help extend the life of the clay tile roof, which is about 50 years.
Unlike clay tiles that have a distinctive curve shape, concrete tiles are usually flat. They are similar to clay tiles in durability and strength but are less costly. One caveat is their weight. Due to the heavy weight of concrete, the roofing system needs to be reinforced. A waterproof coating can be applied to help protect the tiles. Concrete tile roofs have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years.
Many building owners that want the durability and strength of a concrete or clay tile roof, but at a cost that is closer to asphalt shingles, are choosing a metal roof for their home or business. In addition, metal roofs are naturally resistant to mold, algae and pests and are not easily punctured. They are extremely resistant to fire and wind and require minimal maintenance. Since metal roofs can get very hot in sunny conditions, an optional reflective coating can be applied to reflect the sun’s energy and keep the roof cooler. They can also be painted in a variety of attractive colors to match your architectural appearance. Metal roofs have a lifespan of approximately 50 years.
With a life expectancy of more than 150 years, slate tile roofs last longer than any other type of roofing material, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). But its longevity also comes with a premium cost. And like concrete, slate tiles are heavy and require additional structural support. Also, due to the stone’s unique properties, roof color is limited to grey.
There may be other factors that will influence your decision. Your building contractor will be able to provide material samples, available colors and options and other important information that will help you choose the right type of roofing panels for your building