When it comes to roofing choices, one style, material or color does not fit every situation. When you’re faced with a roof repair or roof replacement anywhere in Madison WI it pays to explore your options. There are roofing materials to accent any type of architecture. Colors, shapes and sizes have come a long way as the roofing industry keeps up with technology.
There are six basic roofing materials in use throughout the Midwest:
- Traditional Composition Shingles
- Metal roofing panels
- Wood shakes
- Clay tiles
- Concrete tiles
- Slate tiles
Each has its benefits and drawbacks.
The Most Common Roofing Choices
As you survey your neighborhood the most popular roofing choices are almost always traditional composition shingles. The latest manufacturing techniques make these a great choice. Advances in material selection and manufacturing technology give these shingles more vibrant colors, non-traditional sizes and longer lifespans. In the past, for a traditional roof you expected a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years. Today the GAF products have a guarantee that covers them for as long as you own your home – a true lifetime warranty.
When removed from a structure composition shingles are regularly recycled and used in other forms of construction. Not only do they work longer, they no longer clog landfills.
Compare Before Your Roof Replacement
Whether you’re choosing a roof for a new home or a roof replacement, it pays to compare options. Colors, textures and materials give you an opportunity to make a design statement. You can have a one of a kind creation. But, not every option fits your neighborhood, your budget or the southern Wisconsin climate. Consider these points when looking for a new roof:
- Composition Shingles – available in many colors, shapes, textures. Easy to repair or replace. Require little or no maintenance. Usually the least expensive of the roofing choices. Thanks to modern technology they are recyclable. Drawbacks include: fading in extreme heat and sun exposure, damage in high winds, subject to mold, moss and mildew.
- Steel Roofing – durable panels are fire resistant and are energy- and environmentally-friendly. Can be installed over an existing roof. Can be made to look like wood shakes, clay tiles or traditional shingles. Major drawbacks are very high cost and difficulty of installation. Some painted metal roofing has been noted to chip and fade – especially when in direct sun all day or subject to hail damage (like an automobile, a metal roof can dent in a hail storm).
- Wood Shakes – provide a natural, rustic look. The properties of wood allow a building’s attic to “breathe” while providing additional insulation. Drawbacks include: high cost of shakes and high cost of installation, require regular maintenance, subject to mold, mildew, moss, rot and insects unless treated regularly, and relatively poor fire rating.
Less Common, Specialty Roofing Choices
Although rare in southern Wisconsin, you may also encounter a roof covered with one of the less common, high-maintenance tile choices:
- Clay Tile – is durable and long lasting with little or no maintenance required. Available in several colors and shapes. Drawbacks: Clay tiles are extremely heavy so there must be added support for the roof. Tiles are fragile, require regular maintenance and are hard to work with so installation is difficult and expensive.
- Concrete Tile – have a long lifespan and require little maintenance. They are available in many textures to mimic other materials. Drawbacks: like all tiles, they are difficult and expensive to install and require added support for the roof.
- Slate Tile – long lifespan without much maintenance. Available in colors and various sizes. Drawbacks: very fragile making maintenance and installation difficult, very expensive.
These specialty materials provide a distinctive look but don’t have the lifespan of more traditional choices. Not only do they wear faster, they cost more to repair or replace.
Madison Weather Plays A Role
The climate in southern Wisconsin is a factor in roofing choices. Cold winters with heavy snow loads followed by extremely hot, humid summers are hard on any roof. Rain, wind, snow and occasional hail punish every roofing surface. Extreme winds from storms are a serious force directed right on your roof.
Where you live makes a difference, too. A home on top of a hill or in a deep valley has different stresses on its roof. One in the open sun all day has concerns one in a wooded, shaded lot does not – and vice versa.
Choosing the right material for a new roof has to take into account durability and potential for repair. Few companies in the Madison area have the experience and reputation for roofing expertise that Sims has. Known for professional products and reliable service, it has been a GAF-certified dealer for years.
Call Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500 or email us for advice roof repair or roof replacement. Our skilled professionals are ready to walk you thought the best roofing choices for your Madison WI home.