A roof is a fundamental part of the home, and it’s impossible to go without one. The roof affects the whole home, from its structural integrity to its sale price. And because they’re so important, roof repair and new roof installation work needs to be handled by an experienced and vetted roofing company.
Types of Roofs
Different types of roofing materials have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re considering making a change to your roof type, you’ll want to do some research and consult a professional roofer to figure out which roofing material suits your home and climate best.
Northern Virginia residents will want to consider factors such as snow and frequent thunderstorms. A roof is a major investment, and you’ll want it to protect your home from the Northern Virginia elements.
Also known as composite shingles, this is a very popular roofing material. These shingles are composed of a fiberglass mat with small particles of asphalt and minerals on top.
Asphalt shingles are the most affordable option available. It may not look fancy, but an asphalt shingle roof will do the job and can last for at least a couple decades. However, asphalt shingles are more easily damaged by wind than some other roofing materials. They also absorb heat from the sun, which can warm up your attic. Insulation and proper ventilation can help with this issue.
Metal roofing has become more popular in recent years. You’ve likely seen traditional standing seam metal roofs, but you may not know that metal roofs can also imitate the look of shingles and tiles.
Metal roofs can last for 50 years or more. Although it is a more expensive option, this material is insect-proof and fire resistant. In fact, the long lifespan and overall durability of a metal roof means that your home insurance provider may offer you a discount on your annual premium if you have a metal roof installed.
A metal roof is also an eco-friendly choice, since some of the material can be recycled. Metal roofs can endure all kinds of bad weather, and they also reflect the sun, instead of absorbing heat like asphalt shingles.
Wood shakes and shingles
Wood shingles and shakes come from cedar, pine, cypress, and redwood trees. Wood shakes, split from logs, are thicker on one end. Wood shingles have a more uniform thickness, tapering less than shakes. They’re also sawn instead of split, so they’re less textured.
Wood shakes and shingles look great, and many homeowners like how this material transforms as it ages. However, a wood roof requires some maintenance, including regular cleaning of debris buildup and treatment to keep mildew and fungus at bay.
Natural slate and synthetic slate shingles
Slate roofs are attractive and durable, sometimes lasting over 100 years. Installation of slate roofs needs to be handled by a contractor with plenty of experience with this material.
Slate roofing is a more expensive option, but for some homeowners, the cost is worth the look of the material and its very long lifespan.
Clay and concrete tile roofs
When you think of clay tile roofs, you probably conjure up images of Spanish-style homes with terra-cotta-colored roof tiles. But clay roof tiles come in a wide variety of colors and styles, as do concrete roof tiles.
Clay and concrete tiles are much heavier than other roofing materials, so they require more support underneath. The installation is also more expensive than standard asphalt shingles. However, a tile roof will last a lifetime, sometimes 80 years or more. Concrete tiles are less expensive than clay, but clay tiles are more durable than concrete.
There are many threats to your roof, including hail, trees, snow and ice, and ponding water. It’s a good idea to check for damage after major storms and on a routine basis, twice yearly during the spring and fall. Unless you’re a professional roofer with the necessary safety gear, climbing around on your roof is never a good idea. Observe what you can with your feet firmly on the ground, and call a pro to do the rest.
Most roofing contractors perform inspections and are a good resource if your roof’s structure is complex or you aren’t sure if you actually have roof damage. However, not all roofing contractors offer roof repairs, so if you find a roofing contractor for an inspection, be sure that they can also perform any necessary repairs.
The safety of you, your family, and everything in your home depends on having a solid roof overhead. Replace your roof if:
- Its structural integrity has been compromised
- It needs repair but is near or past the end of its expected lifespan
Replacing your roof is an involved process, so be sure to ask your contractor to go over the steps and details with you. You may not want to stay in your home while the work is being done, so get an estimated time frame for the replacement before the job begins.
Unfortunately, new shingle roofs are sometimes installed over the existing roof, especially in a DIY situation. However, your professional roofing contractor should always remove the old shingles before the new roof is installed. This will give your contractor the opportunity to assess the underlying roof structure.
In most cases, failure to strip the existing roofing material voids the warranty on the new roofing material. If a roofer does not include existing roof removal in his or her bid for the job, cross that company off your list and continue your search.
The Best Picks for Northern Virginia Roofers
Best Pick Reports conducts thousands of surveys with homeowners every year, with the goal of finding the best roofing companies in the Northern Virginia area. We use our objective research, based on survey responses from your neighbors, to compile a list of the best professional roofing companies in your area.
The data we gather in our research creates a picture of the most experienced, competent, and timely roofing contractors in Northern Virginia, and we are proud to present this information in a format that is easy for homeowners to consult. Call a Best Pick roofing company today for your roof repair or replacement project.