Take it from a roofing expert in Minnesota – the roof you choose for your home matters. Your next roofing material will command the overall appearance of your home’s exterior for decades to come. It will determine how much time and money you have to spend on maintenance, just like it will determine when you have to buy your next roof.
We’re going to lay out your best choices for roofing materials, and explain why one might be better than the others for your roof replacement goal and budget.
Let’s begin with asphalt shingles, since more than 80 percent of homes in the United States already have them. That statistic is not a fluke. Asphalt shingles deserve every bit of their popularity.
Asphalt shingles typically last between 15 and 30 years with normal maintenance. When correctly installed asphalt shingles can withstand wind speeds up to 150 mph, which outclasses the fastest wind speed ever recorded in Minnesota. The supple shingles are resilient (but not immune) to hail damage, reflective enough to significantly cut down on home cooling costs, and Class A fire rated.
Better yet, asphalt shingles are usually the most affordable roofing material. A skilled DIY-er can save even more money by installing their own shingle roofs, although most people should leave that kind of work to the pros.
No roofing material is all wine and roses. Asphalt shingles are resilient to algae growth – not immune to it – and wasps and bees can damage them as well. Asphalt shingles’ low upfront cost is offset by their relatively short lifespan as a roofing material. Intense sunlight and heavy storms will eventually warp, crack and degranulate even the highest-quality shingles.
With its average lifespan of 40 to 70 years, a metal roof can easily last longer than two consecutive asphalt single roofs. The cheapest metal roof may also cost less than an average shingle roof, although few people really like the aesthetics of corrugated metal. Steel is most preferred for metal roofing because it is strong, looks modern and is still affordable.
Steel roofs are durable. They cannot rot or get eaten. They can withstand wind gusts as fast as 180 mph, they’re impossible to burn, and they resist becoming damaged by sunlight while effectively reflecting it away from the homestead. Malleable sheet metal also takes on the look of any other roofing material quite convincingly, and it can hold any color.
A good metal roof costs more than a shingle one. Metal roofing is also prone to hail damage, taking on permanent dents when the hailstones are heavy enough. From a safety standpoint, a metal roof does make a firefighter’s job more difficult, which could prolong a rescue some day. A metal roof also essentially turns into a large percussion instrument during a rainstorm. Some people find the patter bothersome, while others enjoy it.
Wood shakes are smooth on one side. Wood shingles are smooth on both. Either will create a charming rustic appeal for as long as 40 years. That means a wood shake or shingle roof may last twice as long as asphalt shingles. Fittingly enough, it will probably cost at least twice as much, too.
Any wood which winds up as shingles will have already been treated to resist rot, insects and fire. Unfortunately, it still remains more susceptible to these problems than asphalt or metal. Mold and algae may discolor a wood shake or shingle roof, and insects are comfortable taking up residence there. Naturally, woodpeckers are an existential threat to wood roofs as well. Because treated wood is still inflammable, many municipalities no longer allow its installation as a roofing material. Finally, a wood roof requires more frequent maintenance, as just one loose shingle can quickly produce a leak.
But for all its drawbacks, a wood roof is gorgeous, especially as it fades from brown to a pleasing shade of gray.
A good clay or slate tile roof for an average single family house costs about $40,000 – roughly ten times more than an asphalt shingle alternative. But a clay tile roof will easily last 50 years or more, and a slate tile roof lasts twice as long. In other words, a tile roof’s massive upfront cost could eventually pay for itself.
Clay is more brittle than slate, although both materials offer outstanding resistance to the elements. They are fireproof, inedible to any animals, reflective and energy efficient, and relatively easy to repair. Clay and slate are even eco-friendly.
Tile roofs are also heavy. In addition to the high cost of materials and labor, you may need to pay for special roof reinforcement. It’s easy to see why these roofs aren’t very popular outside of the most affluent neighborhoods.
But everyone in the Twin Cities deserves great value when it comes to their roofs. Whether you’re building, remodeling or returning your home back to normal in the wake of hail damage, Angell’s Construction is the general contractor to count on for all your roofing needs. Contact us today!