If you live anywhere on a coastline in Northeast Florida, then you know you need to make special considerations for your home. When it comes to protection from the elements, your home has to be nothing less than a fortress. In fewer places around the world is this more true than in sunny Florida.
Here homeowners face challenges all year round trying to protect the house from sun, strong winds, heavy rain, and even hurricanes. Different roof types present different challenges when it comes to dealing with the elements.
Roofs Built for Hurricane Force Winds
Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Dorian are only three of the recent storms our nation saw devastate families in coastal regions. Tons and tons of buildings were completely destroyed by water damage. Just as many, if not more, were destroyed after their roofs failed to hold against the wind.
Powerful winds can wreak all kinds of havoc on your poor rooftop. Any kind of overhangs attached to the structure can catch strong gusts, resulting in the roof being blown off the top of the building much more easily. On the flip side, a roof with a steep, narrow pitch can catch the wind kind of like a sail and put strain on the entire building. Plus, a roof without sufficient hurricane protection installed, of course, may also more easily detach from the rest of the structure.
All of that said, Florida is a beautiful state featuring gorgeous architecture. St. Augustine, especially, boasts some of the most stylish homes you’ll see anywhere around the United States. So what is a Florida homeowner to do when it comes time to put a roof over their head?
When you call your friendly neighborhood Florida roofing contractor like your friends at Elite Remodeling Services you’ll want to consider the practicality and safety of the roof types that they offer, and the style of home you want to build.
Most Popular Roof Types
First popularized hundreds of years ago, clay tiles are one of the most traditional types of roofing materials around.
We see a lot of clay tile in the St Augustine roofing market for a lot of great reasons. Clay tiles can last well over fifty years when properly taken care of. They never rot, and they’re highly resistant to damage from bugs and insects. Clay tile roofs aren’t susceptible to damage from salt spray, too, which means they’re resilient tiles for homes right up against the ocean.
Oh, by the way, they’re highly fire resistant!
Clay tiles are also a very attractive material. They come in all kinds of rich earthy tones, and they don’t discolor under the intense Florida sun like many other types of roofing materials. After all, Clay tiles are kiln-fired under extreme heat in the first place. They’re perfect for that blazing Florida sunshine and our Palm Coast roofers love installing them!
But clay tiles don’t come without their drawbacks. For one, they’re much heavier than some other roof types, so there may be some cost in reinforcing your roof to make sure it holds up. While the tiles themselves can be more expensive than other types of roofing, they’re still a really good value because of how long the roof will last.
Still, strong as the tiles can be against the elements, they aren’t incredibly strong against physical damage. Even a roofer walking across the roof haphazardly stepping on tiles could cause structural issues, or even simply crack the tiles. As a result, you may find the need for occasional repairs, particularly after working on the roof, or after hail strikes the roof.
Natural slate roofs have been, for hundreds of years, considered to be beautiful, practical, and long-living.
If you want an attractive home above all else, slate is a great choice. It complements so many different styles of architecture, and can be found in a wide range of different colors and appearances. They can even be hand-customized to be sized to perfection to meet the needs of any home.
Like clay tiles, slate roofs also last a really long time; oftentimes for more than 100 years! This is far longer than what most traditional roofing materials will be able to do. If you know you’re in your home for the long haul, a slate roof might be the last roof you ever purchase.
Also like clay tiles, slate roofs are inflammable. No need to worry about that roof going up in smoke!
Slate roofs are also very green; they’re made from natural materials, and they last so long, they wind up in the landfill far less often than, say, simple shingles which much be replaced three times as often. If you’re a friend to the environment, slate roofing is a great way to make your home more green.
Slate roofs share many of the same issues with clay roofs, however.
They’re heavier than most types of roofing; after all, they’re made of rocks! You’ll have to have your home inspected to make sure it’s structurally capable of holding up such a heavy roof. Also, like clay, it can crack easily under the weight of human footsteps. If you have thinner slate panels, they could also be broken by hail damage. And, getting new slate to replace any damage can be a big headache, since it’s very difficult to find the right color, especially years after you made your purchase.
(Oh, and we didn’t mention,but… slate roofing is also pretty pricey. Even more than clay!)
Metal roofing is easily the way to go when it comes to safety. Metal roofs offer all the advantages you would expect; they’re highly durable, they’re insect-resistant, and they’re impervious to the salty air from the sea.
Even more importantly, metal roofs can stand up to winds up to 160 miles per hour. They’re far stronger against powerful storms than other types of roofing. They’re the perfect choice for a home anywhere in a hurricane zone.
Metal roofs also reflect heat away from the home, rather than transferring it down into the structure, as is the case with shingles and other types of roofing materials. As if that weren’t enough, most metal roofing materials these days are made from recycled materials, and can be recycled again once they’ve outlived their lifespan as a piece of roofing!
Metal roofs, like anything else, aren’t without a few drawbacks. While they’re not the most expensive type of roof on the market, they last up to fifty years and then should be replaced. This is shorter than some of the other materials we’ve discussed, but, given the strength and reliability of a metal roof, a single replacement during your lifetime may well be worth the expense.
Plus, metal roofing isn’t always quite as attractive as other styles of roofing materials. And, like anything “designer,” the more attractive styles can come at a higher price. While appearance shouldn’t trump safety, the way your roof looks is still an important consideration and is a big consideration for many homeowners.
Asphalt shingle roofing has been one of the most popular roof types in the United States for decades, being both affordable and attractive to look at. They fit well with all kinds of different architecture, and they can last a long time if they’re properly cared for. For most homeowners, this makes asphalt shingles an easy choice.
Another significant advantage of asphalt shingles is their effective resistance to cold, water, and even fire. They’re good for the types of more moderate weather that many homes endure.
However, they aren’t without their drawbacks. Shingles, particularly those light in weight or installed without any sort of wind protection will blow right off under high winds. Even if they don’t tear off entirely, this exposes the roofing materials below to rain and debris. Plus, under the intense heat of Florida summers, aging shingles can warp, bend, crack, and shatter. If you live in St. Augustine, Palm Coast, or Flagler Beach, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of shingles, particularly when it comes to maintenance costs.
Concrete Roof Tile
Concrete is one of the more popular roof types in Florida because it’s great at standing up to the high winds brought on by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Of course, it’s not just great at withstanding strong winds; it’s concrete, so it’s not going to burn up on you in a fire, and it’s even highly resistant to water and flood damage. Concrete is a great choice for a coastal structure.
Concrete roofing is also very durable; you can expect a concrete roof to last around fifty years before you need to consider a roof replacement; however, be aware that the underlying materials may need maintenance and replacement before that fifty years is up.
While concrete roofs may not typically be as ornate as other types of roofing materials, they can still have a very modern and appealing look to them. There are a variety of styles nowadays that make concrete an attractive choice even for the homeowner.
If you’re not sure about the condition of your concrete roof, you can always call your neighborhood roofing experts at Elite Remodeling Services for a free inspection & estimate.
Wood shakes are common all up and down the Eastern Seaboard; they’re not as strong as, say, clay tiles, but they’re definitely an improvement over traditional asphalt shingles. And they can be absolutely gorgeous on a number of different types of structures.
Their biggest advantage, besides their attractive look, is that they hold up well against salt corrosion. They do better against the wind than shingles do, but they don’t really last any longer, in the long run, maxing out their lifespan after around 40 years.
Unfortunately, the attractive look and price of wood shakes comes with a cost; obviously, being wooden, they can be highly flammable. This means you’ll need to keep your roof treated, contributing to the cost of routine maintenance. Still, if you’re after that unmatched style, the extra expense will deliver you a quality roof that’ll make you proud of how your home looks.
If the time is coming for you to replace your roof, or even if you want to know that your own roof is in good repair, you’re safe hands with your friendly neighborhood roofing company, Elite Remodeling Services. Give us a call today to schedule your free inspection!