Another factor to take into account is the variety of changes that have to be made in order for the house or building to accommodate the roof. Many people will select a roof based on how it fits the house or building in terms of color or design, while contractors will select a roof based on its strength and durability.
Both of these considerations have to come together for a good compromise that will ensure the integrity of a house or building while ensuring that it blends with the surrounding environment.
What are the Different Roofing Materials Now Available?
The roof that we see on our buildings and homes is actually the outermost part of the entire roofing structure. This is often referred to as the weather-proofing material, and it stands on different structural panels or posts that ensure its integrity and strength.
The most basic, and perhaps one of the oldest roofing materials, is thatch. Thatch, sometimes loosely referred to as straw, is made of plant materials, and is placed in overlapping layers upon a house.
There are different kinds of thatch materials available. In small villages in England and France, wheat straw is popular, as it can keep out water. In the coastal areas of Scotland, seagrass is more popular, as it can last longer than wheat straw and protect houses against the harsh weather of the estuaries. In fact, thatch users claim that their simple roofs can last as long as sixty years.
Any roofing material that is laid over the roofing base in overlapping sections is referred to as shingles or shakes. Shingles can be made of wood, and they can be expensive, as they have to be bought per section and installed per section. Red cedar shingles can last for as long as thirty years, although they can be expensive. Hardwoods were once popular, but with the decline of hardwood forests, hardwood shingles are limited to restoration work.
Slate is another expensive type of shingles, as it can last for up to two centuries. However, since slate is heavy, it should be supported by extremely strong structural materials. Another heavy shingles type is ceramic tile, which is also expensive, but which can last for up to a century. Shingles, in fact, are historically significant: the Greeks and Romans used tegula and imbrex. Another innovation today is metal shingles, which are not only durable but expensive.
High quality, high durability materials such as concrete and asphalt are popular for business buildings and high rises. Concrete will usually be reinforced with strong fibers, while asphalt will be covered with a layer of protective material. Also popular is membrane roofing, in which sheets or membranes are laid over a roof, and then fused at joints or corners in order to form a continuous, smooth surface. Such roofs can be made of rubber, plastic, modified bitumen, and sprayed on polyurethane foam.
Thanks to innovations, many other materials can be used to cover houses or buildings and serve as roofing material. Some fabrics can be infused with structural materials that can make them stronger and more resistant to wear and tear. Dacron or polyester, as well as fiberglass infused Teflon, are also gaining popularity as roofing materials.
Metal Roofing Can be Cost-Effective
Metals are also popular nowadays: despite their relatively high cost, metal roofs can pay for themselves, especially if the house or building on which they rest will be maintained and used for two decades or more. A popular metal roof consists of corrugated iron, which is common, and which can be inexpensive for most countries because of their wide use.
There are many different materials that can be used for metal roofs. Galvanized steel is one of the cheaper forms of metal roofing, but it can rust easily. Most galvanized steel roofs are coated with zinc-aluminum alloys that can protect the roof from harsh weather. Aluminum and copper are also popular metal roofing materials. They are especially strong and rust-resistant, although they can be quite expensive.
Metal roofs can also be installed in a variety of ways. A popular method is to fix the roof to a structural base that effectively makes the metal roof a part of the house or building. This is referred to as standing seam metal roofing: it allows the metal roof to contract or expand according to weather and atmospheric conditions, and it can keep out rain, water, and hail effectively.
Whichever roof material you pick, make sure that you make a comprehensive account of the cost of roofing for your home or building. Pick only the highest quality materials that you can afford and have time to maintain and clean. By investing in good roofing material, you do not only ensure the integrity of your house or building, but the safety of its inhabitants as well.