With each passing year, the type and quantity of roofing materials grows. There are many reasons for that, including fire-proofing, new synthetics, and high tech solutions that can product an incredible variety of surfaces, strengths, and purposes.
Fire proofing a house with the right roofing materials
In the “good ol’ days”, houses in the Pacific Northwest were made almost entirely of wood. Most of the house still is, but a big change has taken place over the past several decades. New materials have been introduced to decrease significantly the chances that a fire will jump from one house to the next. Before, when your neighbor’s house is covered in the same flammable material (remember, shakes are made of wood and wood … well … burns) all it took was a spark from your burning to set your neighbor’s house on fire. Fires moved from house to house quickly, and all this presented an extra big problem for fire departments. By the time they arrived at a house on fire, they might actually be dealing with several on fire at the same time.
Today, there are several manufacturers out there that make piece of roofing that look like real wooden shakes, but they have several advantages over the original:
They resist fire far longer that wood shakes do. Everything, even metal, burns at some temperature, but what you’re talking about it buying some extra time. Your neighbor’s house might be in flames – and spitting sparks and embers onto your house down-wind of it – but your house does not catch fire, and buys the extra time for the fire department. By the time they do arrive, your house is still safe, and a simple dousing of water, if even needed, will prevent your house from catching fire at all.
Synthetic shakes are now as affordable as regular shakes, but the fire prevention quality of them is indispensable.
Synthetic materials can last much longer than the ‘real’ thing. Synthetic shakes are made to last. They’re far more resistant to the baking effects of the sun, freezing, rain and hail. They are also made to make the job of installation easier. Edges can be molded into the perfect form to allow hundreds of them to be ‘stitched’ together more seamlessly than wood shakes can be. That makes for a better seal between your house and the elements.
Impervious to insects and other animals. From the moment you install your wood based roof, nature begins to tear it all apart. Insects try to eat it, water tries to log it, and all manner and breed of rodents, birds and critter wants to make your roof its home. With synthetic roof materials, they have a much harder time.
Synthetic roofing materials are the way to go.
Reducing maintenance with synthetic roofing materials
I remember writing a check for a new roof on my house decades ago. I thought, when I heard that the roof would last another twenty years, I’d be fine. But the twenty years cam round quickly, and here I was writing a check for another roof.
This time, however, I opted for the synthetic materials. It did make a big different, and the new guarantee was longer than the time either I or the roofer expected to live. Consider that for your next roof.
All it takes is a big storm to compromise the roofing material itself. And you may not know if there is a problem until you see water seeping in through a ceiling. Roof damage can also occur in a very minor way, perhaps through a natural variation in real wood shake products, but you only notice it six months later because the leak was small enough never to reach your kitchen ceiling, but was eating away at the infrastructure of your roof for years. So, instead of replacing just a few shake tiles, you have to replace part of the roof’s infrastructure and the ceiling of your kitchen. That’s a great risk with natural wood products because of the infinite variation of the materials. But it doesn’t happen as much with synthetic materials because they are constructed more uniformly.
Composite roofing materials can last a long time and cost less
In the Seattle – Kirkland – Redmond area, composite materials are becoming more and more common. They are cheaper for sure, but they are far easier to work with, and it is easier to guarantee a solid leak-proof roof. They don’t look at nice, and many neighborhoods have covenants you must stick by to ensure a certain uniformity among houses in a neighborhood. But they are certainly not as nice looking. In more wealthy neighborhood like Kirkland and Bellevue, you won’t see composites used as often, but then, your house will probably be worth a lot more with good, natural looking synthetic materials.
Weather damage to different roofing materials
The sun, rain, snow and hail will all, in time wear down even the hardiest of roofing materials. Like everything in the universe, they don’t last forever. What you want, though, is to have a new roof that will last a reasonable length of time. If you pay more, certainly, you want it to last longer. If you have the money to do it right, go for the recognized, quality brand of synthetic roofing materials provider. Talk at depth with your roofing provider to get the right answer and get the job done right the first time.
See you all next week!