California Roofing Repair and Installation
When you think of California roofing, the iconic Spanish-style terracotta roof tiles probably come to mind first. While tile roofs provide great protection against fire, they can also be quite pricey. Unless you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association that restricts the type of roof that you can put on your home, there are a wide array of choices that can meet your needs in terms of the appearance of your home, your budget, and increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency.
What to Consider When Selecting a Roof in California
There are several factors beyond aesthetics to consider when choosing a new roof for your home. First, you’ll want to determine your budget and how long you expect to live in your home. Some types of roofing like wood shingles are more affordable up front, but may not last the lifetime of your home. Options like slate or clay tiles are much more costly up front, but can last up to 100 years. You’ll also want to consider your climate and which roofing style will most efficiently keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter–keeping your monthly utility bills low and your home comfortable.
Climate is also an important consideration in terms of which type of material you select for your roof. Will your new roof be able to withstand heavy snowfall, rain, and severe heat? The material from which your roof is built is also a big factor in your home’s overall safety, especially as it relates to fire. If your home is struck by lightning or fireworks land on your roof, for instance a metal roof is going to protect the rest of your home from fire much more effectively than asphalt shingles. Because of the preponderance of wildfires in California, all roofs must be fire rated Class A, B, C, and unrated, Class A being the best. Look for Class A products to provide the best protection for your home–it may even help you get a break on your homeowner’s insurance.
Finally, your choice in roofing can have a big impact on your local environment. If you have to tear off your existing roof to put on your new roof, you’ll not only incur the additional labor cost, but you’ll also be sending a ton of waste to the landfill. Traditional roofing products contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills on an annual basis. Several roofing products can be applied directly over your existing roof, providing significant savings on the cost of the installation and diverting tons of waste from your local landfill.
Popular Roofing Choices in California
There are a wide array of roofing choices to meet your budget and compliment your home’s style. There have also been incredible advances in synthetic materials that protect your roof while emulating the look of more expensive roofing products like slate or cedar shakes. Some options you may want to investigate include:
Tar and Gravel Roofing: Sometimes referred to as Conventional Built Up Roofing or BUR, tar and gravel roofing is a system of flat roofing protection that is budget-friendly and with proper maintenance can last up to 30 years. Tar and gravel roofing is not normally recommended in areas with lots of snow or rain.
Shingles: Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing in North America as they are budget-friendly, lightweight, durable, and come in a variety of styles. The most common type of shingle is the traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle. But there are also architectural (or dimensional) shingles, which are thicker and add more contour to your roof, for greater overall curb appeal. Shingles typically carry a 30 year warranty.
Tile Roof: Concrete and Clay tile roofs are built to last a lifetime. They are non-combustible so they are safe against fires, and they are resistant to rotting and insects. Tile roofs have the lowest life cycle cost of any other roofing material as they are intended to last the life of the structure it protects. In terms of maintenance, you won’t incur costs related to mold, stains, or color loss. You may also be eligible for state or federal tax credits for upgrading to an energy efficient tile roof.
Foam Roofing: Foam roofs have gained a reputation for being dependable, long lasting, and very affordable. They provide excellent water resistance and thermal insulation because when sprayed on a roof deck it is seamless, leaving no joints for rainwater to leak through to your interior or for air conditioning to escape from your home. Experts believe that your foam roof should be able to last indefinitely as long as it is properly maintained through recoating.
Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is popular among homeowners for its aesthetic appeal, relatively low cost (depending on metal choice-copper is more expensive than tin, for example), and durability. Resistant to cracking, shrinking and eroding, metal roofing can withstand extreme weather conditions including heavy snow, hail, and wildfires. Metal roofing is also a more eco-friendly roofing option as it is made from 30-60% recycled material and can be installed over an existing roof, eliminating the cost, as well as the environmental impact of taking off and disposing of an old roof. Additionally, most metal roofing products make use of reflective pigment technology, making your home more energy efficient and decreasing your monthly utility bills by up to 40%.
Rubber Roofing: Rubber roofing is durable, eco-friendly, and comes in a variety of styles to compliment any home. Rubber roofing can be designed to look like slate, asphalt, or cedar at a fraction of the cost. Rubber roofing is budget-friendly as it is made of affordable recycled materials. It is also very durable–most manufacturers provide at least a thirty-year warranty. Also, if your rubber roof starts to leak, repairs are typically simple, just apply a fresh coat of a strong sealant or replace a few rubber shingles.
Slate Roofing: Slate is one of the most beautiful construction materials, but because of its high cost and heavy weight it is rare to see it on residential structures. If slate is within your budget and your home can withstand the weight, slate shingles can create a stunning roof that will last a lifetime. Slate is naturally resistant to fire, strong enough to withstand severe weather, and immune to pests and mold.
Consider Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof in California
Solar power is booming in California thanks in large part to a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which requires that 33% of California’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2020, and 50% by 2030. The RPS means that consumers can receive a wide array of incentives to install solar panels on their roofs, making solar technology more affordable than ever.
Additionally, while hydroelectric power is popular in California, the ongoing drought conditions in California have also prompted more homeowners to invest in solar. California currently ranks first in the country in terms of installed solar capacity. Installing solar panels on your roof can significantly decrease your monthly utility bills, while reducing your overall carbon footprint.