Steel is another very attractive option and it is becoming increasing popular. It has long been popular in industrial settings, but better styling and its amazing durability have drawn the attention of homeowners. The cost is greater but the roof will last more than twice as long and it improves property values. Most metal roofing manufacturers offer a transferable warranty. Steel or metal roofing also provides better energy efficiency and holds up better against severe weather such as hurricanes, heavy snows, hail and even fires. Some insurance companies even give discounts to homeowners who have metal roofs installed.
Regardless of the type of roof you choose ventilation plays a significant role in the life of your roof. On shingle roofs the heat build-up in the hot summer months combined with cold winter weather will take a toll if not properly installed. Inadequate ventilation can cause problems such as ice damming and condensation may accumulate from frost and humidity. Proper air circulation prevents buckling, blistering, curling, and ultimately rotting, and dramatically reduces the odds of leaks and repairs. Improperly installed shingles and ventilation may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Ventilation aside, normal weathering of asphalt roofing shingles will not cause leaking, but problems such as ageing or damaged flashings or wind damage may. It is important to repair damage quickly to prevent more serious problems such as rot. The best way to prevent serious problems is regular maintenance in the form of semi-annual or annual inspections. These inspections can catch problems such as collected debris (which has a tendency to store water), algae, loose shingles and problems with flashings. It is also a good idea to keep overhanging limbs trimmed back. Algae causes discoloration and it plagues homes all across the United States. Algae resistant shingles are one option, but for a roof that isn’t ready to be replaced a thorough cleaning with bleach and chlorine will remove it but it puts surrounding vegetation at risk and it is not the most environmentally friendly process. Zinc strips are another good option. When rain washes over the strips the zinc is released and it washes the algae off the roof over time.