While there are many materials and brands available on the market, one should pause and consider the following before making a decision to purchase. Every roof is different and requires an individual approach. Bohemia Roofing has the experience to help you make an informed decision about which roofing material is best for your roofing project.

Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material because of their quality and low cost relative to other materials.

Asphalt shingles are often warrantied between 20 and 30 years, but in Florida they have historically only lasted between 10 and 15. However, asphalt shingles have come a long way, performing significantly better in recent years because higher quality shingles are better able to stand up to Florida’s extreme weather.

Asphalt shingles can be used on many building types and are available in an array of colors and designs. More reflective lighter-colored shingles reduce UV damage and help to keep a roof cooler in hot temperatures, which makes for a longer-lasting roof. A cooler roof also keeps your house cooler during the summer, which means lower energy use on air conditioning.

Natural Slate and Clay Tile

Slate and tile roofs look great, are fire-resistant, and are more environmentally friendly than asphalt roofing. However, they are more expensive than asphalt shingles. In addition, slate and tile roofs are very heavy — an evaluation must be done to determine whether a home can support such a roof or not. In fact, new construction built to support a slate or tile roof is designed with this in mind with regard to its truss system.

Stone-coated metal tiles can be used in cases where you want the look of clay, but don’t want the heavy weight and high cost of tiles.

Slate and tile roofs work for coastal living because they will not deteriorate from salt spray, and if properly installed, a slate or tile roof can provide excellent wind resistance and hold up well to winds.

They usually carry a 30-year warranty, and when properly installed, it’s not uncommon for them to last as long as 50 or 100 years. Despite the high cost, slate and clay tile, when properly installed, may save you money over time.

Wood Shake

A wood shake roof is an attractive option can elevate the look of a home. As the wood ages, it develops desirable color characteristics and brings out more character from your home. Wood shake works great for coastal living because cedar is known to hold up well near salt water. Installation is fairly labor-intensive and in the strict code environment of Florida, that may be reason enough to choose another material when the alternatives are longer lasting, arguably more durable, and require less maintenance.

One advantage to wood is that wood shake shingles can last longer than asphalt shingles. However, their lifespan is still very dependent on the level of maintenance and the care put into your roof. Another factor is the quality of the wood—cedar shakes and shingles from young growth forests have a shorter lifespan than shingles manufactured years ago.

Wood shingles can also be more environmentally friendly than asphalt, but they can also be susceptible to moss, termite, and other pest damage and are highly flammable. To resist insect infestation and fire, the wood can be pre-treated, but this adds to the cost and ongoing maintenance of the wood. In heat, these shingles can crack and split.

In short, although cedar shingles can be a beautiful roofing material, they are expensive, have drawbacks, and require regular maintenance.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is extraordinarily durable, looks great, and is more energy efficient than other roofing materials. Metal roofing is an environmentally friendly roofing option since the material can be sourced from significantly recycled content and when the roof’s long life has ended, the metal can be recycled.

Other advantages to a metal roof include fire and insect resistance. In Florida, where salty air and water can cause corrosion, an aluminum-based roof or coating can further protect your investment. And a properly-designed and installed metal roof does wonders against extreme winds—another huge advantage in Florida.

Metal roofs come in any variety of finishes and colors, providing aesthetic beauty, energy savings, and durability that might offset the initial higher cost.