Roofing options that add life and beauty to your home.
LIKE MOST HOMEOWNERS, you probably don’t think to inspect your roof—until there’s a problem. But that could be a mistake. Central Florida’s extreme and unpredictable weather—think thunderstorms, hurricanes, heat and humidity—can take a toll on one of your home’s biggest investments.
Whether you’re replacing a damaged roof or in the midst of new construction, consider these tips on materials from Jared Mellick, president of Universal Roof & Contracting in Orlando.
Pros: They’re inexpensive, easy to install, fire resistant (although not necessarily fireproof) and readily available.
Cons: They don’t last as long as some other types of roofing—usually between 15 and 20 years.
The Florida Factor: “Asphalt shingles are more durable than they have ever been,” Mellick says. “They can withstand 140-mph winds.” However, they’re made of asphalt, which holds heat. “So in general, they’re not the coolest type of roofing system.” In this case, consider Energy Star-rated asphalt shingles.
Investment level: $2 to $4 per installed square foot.
Pros: This hot trend in roofing appeals to homeowners because the roofs are durable and require little maintenance.
Cons: Metal panels can look industrial. However, metal shingles with more visual appeal are available at a higher cost.
The Florida Factor: The biggest selling point here is that metal roofs are super-resistant to sun and wind damage. Adding a reflective coating to your roof could potentially lower your cooling costs, and you could even get a tax break.
Investment Level: $3 to $11 per installed square foot.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Pros: These tiles, which include the Spanish mission-style, aren’t just aesthetically beautiful—they’re more durable than asphalt shingles, and they won’t burn.
Cons: Clay and concrete require more upkeep, and they can break if you walk on them. You’ll also have to make sure the construction of your house can handle the extra weight—a single Spanish mission-style clay tile measuring 9.75 inches by 13.25 inches weighs just over 5 pounds.
The Florida Factor: “Because they’re heavy, they’re fairly resistant to wind damage and hail,” Mellick says. The ventilation space between the tile and the underlayment system reduces heat transfer, and concrete and clay don’t hold heat the way asphalt does.
Investment Level: $5 to $10 per installed square foot.
Pros: Roofs made of this natural stone product can add distinctive curb appeal, and they typically last the life of the home. Some have proven to last well over 100 years. For this reason, slate is also environmentally friendly.
Cons: Slate roofs are expensive to install and difficult to repair.
The Florida Factor: Slate is heavy, making it best-suited for houses with steep-pitched roofs that shed water quickly. But like clay and concrete tiles, slate can help reduce cooling costs.
Investment Level: $10 to $30 per installed square foot.