The Ins and Outs of Texas Roofing Repair and Installation
Texas summers can be brutally hot. When it’s not scorchingly hot outside, Texas can be prone to torrential rainfall coupled with high winds. It’s important to have a roof that is tough enough to stand up to the elements–keeping your home dry, safe, and comfortable. A new roof can improve the aesthetic appeal of your home, as well as the overall value of your home. According to the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, you can expect a 71.6% rate of return on your investment in a new roof. A new roof can also make your home more energy efficient, decreasing your monthly utility bills by making it easier for you to control the temperature of your home. Depending on the type of material you choose, you just may help decrease your home’s carbon footprint, too.
Trends in Texas Roofing
As the economy has improved and the housing market has rebounded, the roofing industry has begun to grow in Texas. Some of the most recent trends we have seen include:
This type of roofing has seen a shift from fiberglass felts to the use of asphalt felts, which come in a variety of “premium” levels to protect your home.
These Energy Star rated roof systems reflect ultraviolet rays and help keep the building interior cooler in the summer, reducing cooling costs. They also eliminate tear off waste and cost by covering your existing roof with sustainable white thermoplastic roofing systems. Single-ply systems are also a cheaper roofing option, but with the high winds of Texas, they are also the most volatile if not properly installed. That said, single-ply systems are very common throughout Texas.
Metal roofing has become increasingly popular in Texas. In the past, metal roofing was more commonly seen on industrial buildings and garden sheds, but now with an attractive variety of color options, moderate cost, and great resistance to fire and other elements, more and more homeowners are choosing metal roofing. Just beware, many homeowners associations haven’t caught up with the trend and still prohibit metal roofing in neighborhoods.
What Type of Roof is Right for Your Home and Your Lifestyle in Texas?
There are a variety of factors to consider when selecting your new roof in Texas. How long do you plan to live in your home? Which type of roof will best complement the style of your home? Will your new roof be durable enough to stand up to your local climate? Are you concerned about your environmental footprint? If so, which roof will make your home more energy efficient and minimize the amount of waste that you are sending to landfills? Lastly, but certainly not unimportant, what is your budget? Once you answer these questions, some roofing options that you may want to investigate include:
Tar and Gravel Roofing
If you have a flat roof, you may want to consider a tar and gravel roofing system. Sometimes referred to as Conventional Built Up Roofing or BUR, tar and gravel roofing systems are some of the most inexpensive roofing systems to install. When properly maintained, tar and gravel roofing can last up to 30 years That said, don’t forget about the hidden cost of removing your existing roof. This process comes with high labor costs and a large impact to the environment. Traditional roofing products contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills on an annual basis. If you want to divert waste from your local landfill, look for a roofing system that can be applied directly over your existing roof.
There are so many different types of shingle options these days including: wood, rubber, plastic, slate, metal, solar, and cedar that you can emulate much more expensive looks for your home at a fraction of the price. The most common types of shingles seen in Texas though are asphalt and architectural shingles. Asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, durable, and come in a variety of styles as mentioned. Asphalt shingles are made up of either fiberglass or organic-mat. The fiberglass variety are thinner and more lightweight and have a better fire grade (and usually a longer warranty) than the organic variety.
Most often seen on homes in Florida and California, clay tiles can work with almost any style of home. These tiles are incredibly durable, but also very expensive because of the complicated manufacturing process. Clay tiles are created by shaping and firing clay consisting of aluminum, silica, carbonaceous material, magnesium, water, and other natural components. Since the tiles are made from all natural, non-endangered raw materials, clay tiles (along with most of their production waste) are nearly 100% recyclable.
Because clay tiles are created by extreme heat in a kiln, clay tiles are unaffected by the sun’s UV rays and have one of the longest life expectancies of any roofing system. If you plan to be in your home for a long time, the long lifespan and low maintenance of clay tiles can help offset the initial installation cost. If clay tiles are beyond your budget, concrete tiles are a great alternative. Concrete tiles have a long lifespan, are relatively low maintenance, offer great fire protection (Class A rated), and are resistant to problems that the humid Texas weather can have on roofing systems like mold, rot, and pests. Concrete tiles are also significantly lighter than clay, putting less stress on the structure of your home.
Like metal roofing, foam roofing is often disregarded by homeowners because it is most commonly found on commercial properties. Texans in-the-know are starting to explore foam roofing though because of its incredible durability and energy efficiency. Foam roofs are extremely water resistant and provide top notch thermal installation because when sprayed on a roof, it is seamless. There are no joints for rainwater to leak through to your interior or for air conditioning to escape from your home. Foam roofing is moderately priced, but the cost is offset by the savings you’ll experience on your monthly utility bills because of more efficient heating and cooling, as well as the lower cost of attic insulation.
Metal roofing is one of the hottest home improvement trends in Texas. Homeowners are choosing metal roofing because of its energy efficiency, durability, and modern aesthetic appeal. Metal roofing is also one of the most effective means of protecting your home from the elements. It is resistant to cracking, shrinking and eroding, and can also withstand extreme weather conditions including heavy snow, hail, and wildfires. Most manufacturers offer an impressive 30-50 year warranty.
Another benefit of metal roofing is that it can be applied directly over your existing roof–making it one of the most eco-friendly roofing systems and saving you the labor (not to mention the environmental) cost of removing your existing roof. The price of your metal roof can vary significantly based on the type of metal you choose. For example, a tin roof is relatively inexpensive, while copper roofing comes at a premium price.
Rubber roofing systems are budget-friendly, durable, eco-friendly, and come in a wide array of styles (including slate, asphalt, and cedar shingle looks) that work with any home design. Because of rubber’s insulating capacities, it can also help you save on your energy bill as heating and cooling your home becomes much more efficient. Rubber roofing systems typically carry a thirty-year warranty and are heralded for simple maintenance. If your rubber roof starts to leak, simply apply a fresh coat of a strong sealant or replace a few rubber shingles.
Slate is a beautiful construction material, but because of its high cost and heavy weight, it is most often seen on churches, government and university buildings, not on personal residences. If slate is within your budget and your home can withstand the weight, you can create a stunning roof that will last the lifetime of your home. Slate is a great choice for roofing as it is naturally resistant to fire, and strong enough to withstand severe weather. It is also immune to problems that plague traditional roofs like rot, mold, and pests.
A slate roof can last up to 100 years, significantly reducing your environmental footprint as compared to asphalt shingles which need to be replaced every 20 to 30 years. Additionally, slate is naturally occurring, contributing no toxic substances to the environment, and though slate will last the lifetime of your home, it is also 100% recyclable.
Whichever Roofing System You Choose, Consider Installing Solar Panels, Too!
Now is a great time to invest in solar technology for your home, and one of the simplest ways is to install solar panels on your roof. The cost of solar systems in Texas has decreased by 50% in the past five years in large part because of Texas’ ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Texas’ RPS requires 10,000 megawatts of renewables to be installed throughout the state by 2025, and at least 500 megawatts must come from non-wind sources, like solar.
To help encourage Texans to invest in solar panels, the state offers numerous incentives at the utility, county, state, and federal level. A licensed solar installer can help you maximize all of the incentives available to you, dramatically decreasing the cost of your solar system. Additionally, if your home value increases because of your solar panels (which is very likely), that increase is exempt from Texas property taxes.