To many Vancouver homeowners a roof is nothing more than a roof and they pay no attention to it until shingles are laying in their yard or their ceiling has acquired an unexpected new brown design change. The truth is that a roof is a very important part of the home’s structure especially in our climate. Some customers might not even know they have options and simply call ‘the roofing guy’ when it’s time for a new covering. We’re here to tell you that there are definitely options and that not all roofing materials were created equal.
Shake roofs are a great way to add a natural look to a home while maintaining a lightweight feel. In Vancouver’s climate though it’s especially important to choose quality wood such as cedar due to the heavy rainfall followed by sun exposure which may cause an inferior product to crack over time.
Slate is a great roofing choice for longevity as its life span could reach up to 150 years. With this comes a very minimal maintenance requirement as well as some very unique looks. Slate is also great to disperse Vancouver’s heavy rainfall but installs in quite a difficult system which substantially raises the costs. Also, slate is very heavy which is extremely hard on a home’s structure.
Asphalt shingles are a very affordable roofing option with a large number of color choices available. Unfortunately they may not be the best option due to all the rain we get in the area. For one, heavy wind and rain storms can send tree branches flying into the roof which could damage the asphalt. Also, the incessant presence of moisture leads to algae and moss growth which decreases the life span.
Concrete tiles are very diverse and have a number of various design options including the mimicking of wood shakes or slate. Of course they are very heavy and durable which makes them very long-lasting and resistant to hail damage and general wear. Unfortunately since concrete is very heavy, it could easily collapse during an earthquake. With the risk of the “big one” looming over the heads of lower mainland homeowners, concrete tile may not be your best choice.
Aluminum roofing is great for deflecting heat and helping to keep cooling costs low on those hot summer days. Aside from that, the material is very lightweight and also allows rainwater to flow downward. One area where aluminum is a little more vulnerable is denting from hail or loose branches which also limits roof access for the homeowner.
Steel roofing is perhaps the most ideal for the Vancouver climate as it is lightweight yet still durable enough to resist damage from most impact. Steel roofs can still be walked on (carefully) and will likely last the life of the home. Steel roofs are one of the more expensive options, but given their longevity and durability they are a very popular choice among local homeowners.
The thought process behind selecting a roofing material involves analyzing budget, home structure, weather and looks and the ideal surface is a perfect blend of each of them depending on your tastes.