How to Choose the Right Roof Installation for Your Home

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against blazing sun, pounding rain, gusting winds and even snow. It protects the structure and its contents while keeping your house weather tight and looking great.

Roof Installation

Make sure you understand the roofing process. Plan ahead and ask your contractor if you should move outdoor furniture or other objects, cover ceramic landscaping features with tarps and trim back trees. Visit to learn more.

Asphalt shingles are an affordable and durable roofing option for homeowners. They come in a variety of colors, styles and textures to complement any design aesthetic. In terms of function, shingle roofs protect homes from the elements and provide insulation to help lower energy costs. They also resist fire and rot.

Asphalt shingle roofs are made from an organic or fiberglass base that is covered with an asphalt-saturated layer. It is then topped with ceramic granules that give the shingles their color and texture. The underside of each shingle is treated with a layer of sand, talc or mica to prevent them from sticking to one another.

Three-tab shingles are the most common type of asphalt shingle found on residential roofs. They have a three-tab shape that gives them a traditional look, and are lightweight and affordable. They are also easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget.

In addition to their affordability, many asphalt shingle manufacturers offer specialty products that can enhance the performance and beauty of a home’s roof. These include shingles that fight algae growth, and those with reflective coatings to reduce the amount of solar heat absorption in the attic, which can lower cooling bills in hot climates.

Although they are not the most durable roofing material, a properly installed asphalt shingle roof should last 20-30 years before it needs replacing. Adding a reflective coating to the roof can extend its lifespan even further.

Whether you’re building a new house or repairing an existing roof, installing the proper roofing materials will minimize the risk of water intrusion and the need for costly repairs in the future. Proper selection and installation will also reduce the risk of shingle blowoff or damage, which can cause leaks in the house.

Regardless of the roofing materials you choose, it is important to hire an experienced and professional contractor to perform the work. A skilled roofer will ensure that the job is done correctly and safely, preventing potential injuries and property damage. They will also follow the appropriate safety procedures when working on a steep or sloped roof and will remove and haul away old roofing materials, as well as all installation debris.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs strike an excellent balance between lightness and strength, making them easier to install than shingle roofing but still providing substantial structural support for buildings. However, they are not without their own set of issues. Loose or missing fasteners can lead to water leaks, causing structural damage and interior mold and mildew.

It is essential to hire a professional to install a metal roof. Not only will this ensure the project is done correctly, but it may also entitle you to a warranty on the material. Attempting to do it yourself can cost you more in the long run, as you could have to pay for storm damage repairs and replacements that result from improper installation.

Before beginning the metal roof installation process, the roof deck must be completely free of any existing roofing materials. Then, any necessary repairs should be made to the sheathing and the roof structure. This preparation will give the roof a sturdy foundation that can withstand years of use.

When the metal roof arrives on site, it is important to store it properly. This will help prevent damage to the panels, and it will ensure the material remains dry until you are ready to install it. Also, make sure to store the panels in a shaded area to avoid sun exposure.

Once you are ready to begin the installation, start at the eave and work your way up. Each panel should overlap the previous one by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). You can use a circular saw or tin snips to cut the panels as needed. Before putting down each panel, apply a bead of sealant to the underside to ensure a watertight seal.

When you are finished installing the panels, add ridge caps to the top of the roof. These are available in both vented and solid varieties. For high-wind areas, a vented closure strip is recommended, while for less windy locations, a solid cap can be used. After securing the ridge caps, you can add a drip edge to protect the underside of the roof.

Wood Roofs

Wood roofs are often associated with historic homes, but the attractiveness of a wood shake or cedar shake roof can also complement a variety of modern home styles and color schemes. A wood roof is a more durable option than asphalt shingles, and the textured appearance can create dramatic shadow lines on a home’s exterior walls.

In addition to their beauty, a wood roof can help to protect a home’s interior from moisture and provide insulation. However, it is important to understand that wood roofs require more maintenance and repair than other roofing materials. They are also more susceptible to mold, mildew and fungus than other roofing options. Additionally, the fire safety concerns associated with wood roofs may lead to higher insurance rates for homeowners.

Shake roofs can be made from a variety of types of wood, including western red cedar, Atlantic white cedar, pine, cypress or redwood. The specific type of wood used will impact the durability and longevity of the roof. In general, shakes with thicker butt ends are the most durable.

When installing a new wood shake or shingle roof, it is important to acclimate the wood prior to installation. This will prevent shrinkage of the wood and reduce the chances of damage caused by rain, snow or wind after it is installed on the roof. Generally, the acclimating process should be done for about two weeks.

While the initial cost of a wood roof is more expensive than other types of roofing, the enduring appeal of this type of roofing makes it an attractive option for many homeowners. As a result, there is a significant and growing market for wood roofs. While it is possible for individuals to install wood shingles or shakes on their own, this project is generally best left to professionals with the proper experience and knowledge of roof installation and repair.

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs offer a unique look to homes and are available in a wide range of shapes and colors. They tend to be more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they also have a long lifespan and can help to reduce home energy costs. Unlike other roofing materials, most tiles are made from natural resources and can be pulverized and recycled when they’re no longer in use.

Installing a tile roof requires an experienced contractor with knowledge of the proper techniques to ensure that the new tiles stay in place. The type of tiles used on a roof will determine whether or not the sheathing needs to be reinforced, and what types of nails are required (some types of tiles do not interlock, so battens may need to be installed before the tiles can be placed).

A layer of sarking is installed under the tile before it is laid out. This sarking is designed to prevent moisture from seeping through the tiles and into the house. After the sarking is in place, a layer of underlayment is placed over it. There are several different underlayment products that can be used, including plastic sheeting, rubber membrane, or foam insulation. A foam underlayment is becoming the most popular because it is less abrasive on the tiles and allows them to remain intact for longer.

Once the sarking and underlayment are in place, tiles are installed. The tiles can be nailed directly into the sheathing or, if battens have been installed first, they can be nailed into the battens. Many tile varieties have grooves on their edges that allow them to interlock, so it is not always necessary to nail each individual tile. Tools will be needed to resize tiles around obstacles like chimneys, and workers will need to take the time to make sure that all areas are covered.

Once the “fields” of the roof are complete, ridge tiles are installed to finish off the roof. This is a critical step, as the ridge tiles will be what holds the water runoff from the roof down the slope of the building.