Roofing material have come a long way in the last few decades. And nowhere has been more impacted than in the Puget Sound area because of its weather. Although it doesn’t get below freezing so often in your Kirkland or Redmond neighborhoods, the almost constant dampness through a good half of the year takes its toll on the average roof. In a place like southern California, they might have different environmental challenges, such as a baking sun, but in Kirkland or Bellevue, it’s about moisture and cold mostly.
Roofing materials for all seasons and all locations
Not all roofs are equal. Your house might be a south-facing, unshaded one, where your roof can expect at least good daylight all year long, or it could be a north-facing shaded home in a cold value, receiving little direct sunlight at almost any time of the year. The latter will have more issues when it comes to the effects of water on roofing materials, so a good choice is advised.
Synthetic roofing materials are better than ever
A few short decades ago, most roofs in the Pacific Northwest were covered with wood shakes, or shingles. They would be treated with some kind of preservative, of course, which would make them last significantly longer, but wood is a natural product, made by Mother Nature to break down in its real environment.
Today, you can buy shingles in the roofing materials market which truly look like the real thing, but have some remarkable qualities which were not available a generation ago. Let’s look at some of these new advantages:
Algae resistant. Algae and all manner of critters, bugs, pests and plants love natural wood roofs. They can burrow their way through them, or grip them with their roots. Some insects will drill holes and build a colony inside a single cedar wood shake, raising their family just like you are raising yours, but they’re not paying any rest for the privilege of course. Synthetic roofing tiles are impervious to everything short of a thermo-nuclear war.
Tolerant of huge temperature differences. Synthetic shakes are not “made from plastic”. They are finely-tuned compounds of multiple ingredients that produce a specific performance. They are made to withstand the depths of a freezing winter in the northern reaches of Alaska, as well as the blistering heat of an Albuquerque summer. Wet, cold and dark up north; hot, dry and sunny down south, and everything in between. Seattle, Kirkland and Bellevue, therefore should have no problem for these new materials.
Uniform behavior across all roof tiles. Have you ever noticed in a bathroom tiling pattern – perhaps your very own one – the tile pattern ‘repeats’ every so often? So, even though each tile looks unique, there are only about six actual ‘unique’ designs. That’s because the tile pattern made to look different, but all they need is simply some variation to give the impression each tile is unique. That’s how they make these synthetic roof tiles. They look unique, but there is only about a half dozen unique variations on the pattern of what you see, but underneath, each tile is identical. That way, they snap together and can be fastened in place in a consistent, predictable and reliable way. With the old natural variety, each piece of shake was a unique piece of wood. Every now and then, an unforeseen weakness or weak point might produce a product in the roof years later. Not so with synthetic tiles. They snap together consistently, and produce a roof that requires less maintenance.
Lasts much longer than natural products. For all of the above reasons and more, such roofs simply last longer. They can withstand the temperature and general weather extremes year after year, season through season. With the minimum amount of maintenance, you might install a roof that outlives you!
Huge variety of colors, designs and more. Because they are designed an manufactured, the sky’s the limit when it comes to form and design. And every year, there are new ones on the market. Check with your local homeowners association before investing in those purple roof tiles, but you should be able to get exactly the kind of roof you prefer.
Check back next week for more!