Homeowners in the process of selecting the ideal material for a River Oaks roofing project will discover there is a running debate over which is the lowest maintenance roofing option. While initial cost, energy efficiency, total life span and aesthetic appeal are all important factors, a low maintenance option tends to be a big draw.
One of the most maintenance free roofing materials is metal. Metal roofs come in various forms, but almost all of them tend to minimize maintenance tasks. Baked on finishes counteract rust with steel roofs, and aluminum is naturally rustproof. Unlike asphalt shingles, metal roofs won't crack, have pieces blow off or fill the gutters with granules. Standing seam panels, tightly fit overlapping, and concealed fasteners guard against leaks in many metal roof types.
Concrete tiles resist damage from almost everything: hail, wind, moisture, fire and insects. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that concrete typically comes with a lifetime warranty and outlasts the life of the house it covers. The caveat is that an engineer will need to inspect the house to see if it can bear the extra weight.
Slate and clay tiles are much like concrete in that they are highly resistant, long lasting and relatively heavy. Many find the nostalgic look of clay tiling and the natural colors of slate slabs to outclass concrete.
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On the other hand, slate and clay are more prone to breakage when walking on the roof's surface for a repair.
Composition shingles, though requiring a bit more maintenance than the above options, are relatively durable and trouble free. They do not damage as easily as lower grade asphalt shingles when walked upon, and they often mimic the look of slate and wood.
Thermoplastics, such as TPO and PVC, rank easily among the lowest maintenance options. They resist staining, denting, cracking and UV light. They do not rot, rust, blow off or become infested with termites. Water shedding is their forte, but the roofing membrane must be installed at an angle sufficient for proper drainage. Otherwise, puddling could occur, and the puddles would weigh down debris and keep it on the roof. Leaks are highly unlikely with thermoplastics, however, since the seams are welded shut.
The particular roof type will determine in part which low maintenance roofing material is best, but several options are usually available. A final observation, however, should be noted: proper installation can greatly lessen maintenance and repair needs on any type of roof.