It's time to hit the roof

Posted by on Monday, February 29th, 2016 at 12:57pm.

Spring is on its way, but in here in Southern Alberta that frequently means it’s time for more snow. March is typically when we get the most snowfall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning outdoor projects.

Like the roof.  Now is the time to get estimates, line up your roofer and pick what sort of roof you’d like to have.  You don’t have to go with ordinary, run-of-the-mill asphalt shingles.  Have a look at what other roofing materials are on the market.  New materials that stand up to the worst of Alberta’s weather and that will add a bit of character and pizzazz to your home.

So what comes first, the roofer or the material?  You might have a reliable company in mind, perhaps the people that did your neighbour’s roof.  On time, on budget with minimal disruption – you liked what you saw.  Check out their line of materials as some roofers carry specialty items.  If you decide on a different material perhaps they can point you in the right direction.

These days you can go with metal, concrete or clay.  There are even roofs laid with recycled rubber that stands up very well to our variable weather.  Wood shakes aren’t out of the question if you like the look and are ok with the maintenance.

Clay and concrete tiles

These are not a new idea, but relatively new in the market here.  Tiles are made with a concrete-type material as true cement would be way too heavy.  This type of roofing material is super durable and they do take a bit of maintenance.  These types of tiles add some style and are a good fit for homes with a Mediterranean or South West kind of style.  They do have to be maintained and inspected and they cost quite a bit.

Metal roofs

If you love the look of homes in the B.C. interior with roofs that are built to handle a good snow load, you may appreciate having a metal roof.  Metal can be fashioned to look like slate or tile, and yes it’s expensive.  However, a metal roof usually comes with a 50 year warranty.  That could be attractive to buyers should you be thinking of fixing your roof prior to selling.

Recycled rubber roofing

This type of material is being used all over the place. It still costs more than asphalt but is extremely durable and is easy to install.  There are reports from homeowners that there is a short-lived but lingering rubber smell.  However, this type of material and the ecological implications resonates with many people and is growing in popularity.  Rubber tiles are interlocking and stand up in windy conditions.

Wood shakes

These were very popular in the late 1980s, early 1990s. Often made of cedar that has a rustic look that suits a particular style of home.  They are prone to growing moss on moist areas where tree branches lay on the roof or north-facing roofs. They also need replacing in as few as 15 years, so you really have to decide that you love the look.

Good ol’ asphalt

If you keep coming back to this, rest assured that this is the most common type of roofing material and actually, the most affordable.   These types of shingles come in different shapes and a variety of colours and on the prairies; they’ll take your hail and your sleep and all the wind you can stand.  They can last 40 years at the very most, although that might be stretching it a bit.

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