What is the best Key Lime pie recipe? While the question is sure to spark plenty of animated discussions among Floridians, a more critical question for Jacksonville homeowners is, What is the best residential roofing material? Most property owners choose from four residential roofing materials.
1. Wood Shakes or Wood Shingles
Perhaps you own a historically significant home, run a tourist attraction recreating the Spanish Colonial era, or just have a desire for an authentic centuries-old look to your roof. Wood shakes or wood shingles may be appropriate for you.
Know the difference between these two roofing options:
- Wood shingles are machine-cut, smooth, and expensive to install
- Wood shakes, by contrast, are roughly textured, appear to be hand-split, and are costly to install
While providing a lovely initial appearance evoking a nostalgic past, wood shakes and wood shingles have four principal disadvantages:
- Enormously expensive to install
- Enormously expensive to maintain
- Easily discolored, attacked by moss and algae, and inviting to insect pests
- Wood shakes and shingles both burn easily
2. Concrete or Ceramic Tile
Authentic barrel or plate tiles are fitting for the Spanish residential architecture seen throughout Florida. Made of heavy concrete or brittle ceramic, these tiles evoke a warmth and elegance many homeowners find appealing.
Less appealing is the weight, expense at installation, and constant maintenance this roofing material requires.
Tile is durable. While some Florida tile roofs may last 50 to 100 years, many will succumb to the natural brittleness and vulnerability of the material. Tile cracks readily and causes roof leaks.
3. Metal Roofing
Roughly equivalent in durability and installation cost to tile roofing, metal roofing can be an attractive alternative for some Florida homeowners. The recent craze for residential metal roofing has attracted inexperienced and unskilled roofers to tackle this challenging, specialized type of roof.
Florida homeowners considering metal roofing need to investigate prospective roofers carefully, and consider the substantial initial cash outlay required. They need to determine if the half-century life span will really be of value to them.
4. Asphalt Shingles
For most homeowners in the Jacksonville area, asphalt shingles are the ideal roofing material. These sturdy, economical products are widely manufactured, easily installed, and able to provide decades of reliable resistance to Mother Nature’s worst weather.
Some benefits of asphalt shingles:
- Low up-front costs for both materials and installation
- North America’s #1 most popular residential roofing material
- A stunningly wide range of color choices, including cool roofing options like Arctic White
- Unitized construction—Shingles can be readily applied to all roof configurations and shapes
- Fire resistance—Unlike wood shakes and wood shingles, asphalt shingles are Class A fire rated for maximum protection
- Wind resistance—Most shingles sold in the Florida market are wind-rated up to 130 miles per hour, handling even the roughest hurricane winds handily
- Curb appeal—Most prospective homebuyers expect to see a neat, tidy roof free of discoloration, cracks, corrosion, or damage; asphalt shingle roofs weather extremely well
- Easy maintenance—Your local residential roofer can provide an annual inspection and cleaning to keep your asphalt shingles in prime shape
Metal and tile roofing is a specialty trade. Many roofers claim to have experience in these products but often void the roof warranties through faulty installation. Asphalt shingles are popular, so many roofers can draw on years of installation experience.
Selecting a roofer for your Jacksonville-area home, then, falls to looking past the material and checking out the contractor carefully.
- Does your contractor have the proper state licensing? —StormForce proudly holds Florida License # CCC1330458
- Does your contractor partner with well-known, world-class manufacturers such as GAF?
- Will your contractor work with unbiased reviewers and inspectors, such as HAAG and the Better Business Bureau?
- Is your contractor open and honest about the entire roofing process?
- Does your contractor provide easy financing?
Material selection is only part of the formula for roofing success. Good roofers can install the most modest, inexpensive three-tab shingle so that you will be happy and get a good 20 years of service from your new roof. Reputable roofers may need only a day or two to complete your total roof replacement.
Unscrupulous roofers can ruin the most expensive roofing materials in as little as a day. Cutting corners, overlooking mistakes, refusing to return for callbacks on problems, and using “leftover” materials are typical hallmarks of contractors who are more interested in money than craftsmanship.
When selecting your ideal roofing material—asphalt shingles are most homeowners’ choice—you also need to choose the ideal residential roofing contractor.
Combine durable, economical asphalt shingles with a highly-skilled, experienced roofer and you have a formula for a great roof, one that will give you peace of mind without breaking the bank. Jacksonville homeowners who partner with StormForce for their roofing needs gain peace of mind and the ultimate protection of their homes. Contact us today to learn more about our full range of roofing services, from emergency repairs to complete roof replacement.