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ResidentialCommercial Nov 12, 2019 Rugged Roofing  
ResidentialCommercial Nov 12, 2019 Rugged Roofing  

Keeping warm, dry and protected from the elements is critical to staying comfortable and safe. In severe weather conditions, our very survival depends on the roof over our heads. The right roof for the environment can maintain cooler – or warmer – indoor temperatures, lowering energy costs. Architects and contractors understand that choosing the ideal roofing material and installing it correctly can make the difference between managing moisture retention and drainage problems, versus keeping the structure intact and leak-free.

We’ve experienced unusual weather throughout the United States in recent years. Experts attribute the extremes to a new era in which climate change dictates what is now normal. We may never consider apocalyptic fires, flooding, and record hot and cold temperatures acceptable, but people have always found ways to survive, even in the harshest conditions. When wind blows your house down, you bring the lesson forward and build your next home out of brick.

U.S. climate regions are defined as the Northeast, the Southeast, the West, the Southwest, and the Midwest. Depending on your region, the weather varies widely, from sweltering, arid deserts to high-altitude mountain ranges, to rain-soaked sea sides. In a mild climate, a roof can last up to 40 years, even more, depending on the roofing material. In areas where hail and wind storms and frigid winter temperatures are frequent visitors, a roof rarely lasts 20 years.

Roofing starts with insulation, wedged between the roof’s surface and the roof deck. This extra layer of weatherproofing is always important; it’s even more critical if you live in a harsh weather environment. Insulation installed correctly prevents moisture build-up. It also keeps heat in during cold weather, and helps moderate cooler air in hot weather. Insulation reduces your building’s carbon footprint by saving energy, and optimizes operating costs by insuring your investment.

There are many different materials used for roofing. When it comes to weather extremes, the guidelines are pretty consistent. For regions where temperatures plummet into single digits and the wind and snow fly, experts suggest roofing with:

  • Shingles - The most affordable, but can crack in frigid temperatures. Heavier, higher-impact shingles can last longer than standard versions.
  • Slate –Extremely durable, resistant to wind, fire, and hail, it’s also an excellent electrical insulator. A correctly installed slate roof can last for 100 years. **For hot climates, too.
  • Metal can be installed over existing roof. It is wind-, fire-, and hail-resistant. Recommended for sloped roofs; in winter, ice and snow slide right off. Compared to cement tiles and other heavy roofing materials, metal is very lightweight. A metal roof has a 100-year life.

Materials best for hot climates:

  • Clay – Attractive, heat-resistant, keeps building cool. When properly cut and installed, spaces between tiles allow water and heat to circulate.
  • Slate – Great for both cold and hot climates; see above.
  • Cement and concrete tiles – very sturdy, fire- and wind-proof. Can last 100-plus years. * Structure has to be strong enough to support the weight.

Newscasts would indicate that some part of the country is always recovering from a destructive weather event, or rebuilding from the latest disaster. If you live in a particularly harsh environment, consult a trusted and experienced roofing company to steer you to the best roofing materials for your home. With the right roof over your head, you can weather whatever nature sends your way.

For more than 40 years, Arapahoe Roofing has worked – sometimes in grueling conditions – to quickly and exactingly repair and install the roofs of family homes and businesses. We’ll be there when you need us. Arapahoeroofing.com; 303.466.7386.