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A roof will last for decades, so you want to be sure you’re getting the right kind of roofing system for your home or commercial building. Style, functionality and performance are all important features, but there are others that often get overlooked. With that in mind, here are 10 key factors to consider before selecting your roofing material.

1. The Style of Your Home or Building

The architectural style of your home or commercial building may dictate what type of roofing materials need to be used. For example, while asphalt shingles are compatible with most styles of homes, tile roofing may be more suitable for the style of historic homes. The style of a commercial property is extremely important when selecting its roof covering. Some buildings may need a built-up roof, while metal roofs might suit the style of other commercial buildings.

2. The Roofing Application

Whether the new roof is being applied to a brand new structure, as a replacement roof, or as an addition to a home or building makes a big difference in your roofing material selection. With new roofs, you have more choices because you’re not limited to existing components, such as roof materials currently on the roof, the underlying roof structure composition, roof pitch, etc., as you are with replacement roofs. Adding an addition to a home or building also limits your roofing material choices because the roof addition needs to function and blend in with the existing roof structure to which it is being attached.

3. Ownership

Roofing is a cost that will give you a return on your investment if you’re staying in your home for most of your life, or remaining as the owner of a commercial building long term. If you’re not planning to own the property for at least 20 or more years, it might be best to install a roof with a shorter lifespan that is less costly.

4. State Building Codes

Some states have building codes or other restrictions that may prevent you from installing a certain type of roofing. For instance, some states at risk for hurricanes, tornadoes, or forest fires may prohibit certain types of roof shingles.

5. Municipality Requirements and Residential Community Covenants

In addition to state building codes, many municipalities may have their own building requirements that dictate the types and grades of roofing that must be used. If you live in a private or gated community, you may need to adhere to building covenants that outline acceptable types of roofing shingles and roofing material restrictions.

6. Your Surroundings

It’s crucial to take into consideration the surrounding environment when choosing shingles for your roof. Trees over your roof, an oceanfront view and a humid climate are some conditions that can cause mold, mildew, moss, or algae and affect the performance of your roof. To avoid roof damage, it’s important to choose a roof that can handle environmental situations where you live.

7. Functionality

The pitch of the roof dictates the functionality required of the roofing shingles. For example, if your home has a steep roof pitch, you might consider cedar shakes or shingles because wood sheds water faster. On the other hand, if your roof has a lot of corners or edges, slate roofing may be more appropriate because it can be cut into different shapes and sizes to match the architectural features in your home design.

8. Aesthetics

Roof shingles come in a variety of types, styles, textures and colors so they can easily complement the style of other homes or buildings in a neighborhood or community, or accent the roof pitch of your structure. When selecting your roofing system, consider how the look of it will match the style of your home and give it curb appeal.

9. Underlayments

Besides choosing your roofing covering, the roof underlayment materials also should be considered. When you look at the anatomy of a roof, the underlayment adds another layer of protection to the roof structure. Depending on where you live, you might want to consider upgrading to a waterproof underlayment, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow.

10. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient roofing systems are becoming quite popular because of the cost savings they provide. While they might cost a bit more than traditional roofing materials, energy efficient shingles deliver substantial long term savings in your energy bills. What’s more, energy efficient roofs are a green alternative, providing environmental benefits that promote recycling and less usage of hazardous toxins.

Our Free Roofing Consultation

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when deciding on the best roofing choice for your home or commercial property. But there’s no need to go it alone. The Roofing Annex can guide you through your options and help you make a final decision based on your vision for your new roof. Contact us today to get started.


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