Depending on your environment, budget, and personal preferences, it can be difficult to know how to choose between roofing options. Obviously, you’ll want to discuss roofing alternatives with your roofing professional, but these tips should serve as a guide to understanding your choices especially if you rooting an environment friendly option.
Roofing currently ranks sixth in the list of most popular construction projects in North America, surpassed only by interior remodeling, repainting, flooring, windows, doors, and landscaping. Worth $15 billion annually in material cost alone, the US roofing market is growing: the demand in US is expected to rise 3.5% annually to 268 million squares in 2017.
Popularity among two conventional roofing materials – cedar and asphalt – is decreasing, and for good reason: cedar has disappointed, as it is non-sustainable and very costly to maintain, while asphalt’s lifespan continues to decrease, leading to diminished aesthetics and the requirement for multiple re-roofs over the life of a home.
What’s wrong with Cedar or Asphalt?
While the most conventional roofing choice, natural cedar shingles are going out of style, fast. And there’s good reason for that.
Traditional cedar shingles are made from old-growth western cedar. Although it is very easy to produce cedar shingles, harvesting of old-growth cedar is neither simple, nor sustainable in the long run. Cedar is very expensive to replace, and old-growth cedar is no longer commercially available due to cutting restrictions.
Cedar is naturally combustible; it cannot be used in areas with a high risk of brush or forest fires. To improve its fire resistance, cedar shingles are pre-treated with chemical agents. In fact, regular treatments are necessary to reduce rotting, warping, moisture absorption and moss growth. Regular maintenance costs for a cedar shingles can run up to $3,400 per year for a typical roof. While life expectancy of a natural cedar roof is around 15-20 years, it actually starts to lose its aesthetic appeal after 5-10 years.
Enviroshake in Multi-tone
Because of the low cost and ease of installation, asphalt shingles have largely replaced cedar and currently dominate the residential market at 57%. Use of asphalt shingles initially skyrocketed in late 70s – early 80s, when fibreglass-based shingles were introduced instead of existing asbestos paper based asphalt. Today, nearly 97% of all asphalt shingles used in North America are fiber-glass based.
Although cost effective, asphalt roofs have many issues associated with them. By replacing a cedar shake roof with asphalt, the home value automatically decreases. Asphalt roofs do not provide the same aesthetic of cedar, which has become a status symbol over the years. Asphalt roofs do not withstand winds well, and have many issues with cupping, curling, cracking, and granule loss as they age. Additionally, when exposed to high winds, asphalt shingles can be torn right off of a roof. The lifespan of asphalt shingles has also become significantly reduced since the change to fiber-glass based shingles. Most asphalt shingles will need to be replaced after 10-15 years, making them quite costly over the life of a home.
It is also worth mentioning that fiberglass used in asphalt shingles is bonded with urea-formaldehyde resin, a highly adhesive but toxic material that …