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Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Orlando Home

Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Orlando Home

When it comes to your home in Orlando, Florida, your roof is one of the most important parts. Your roofing material protects your home from the hot sun, heavy rains, strong winds, and severe storms that are common in Central Florida. That’s why choosing the right roofing material is so crucial.

The roofing material you select impacts everything from your home’s energy efficiency and protection from the elements to the overall cost and curb appeal. With so many roofing options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for your Orlando home. This guide will help break down the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials so you can make an informed decision.

The Key Roofing Materials

There are three main types of roofing materials commonly used on homes in the Orlando area – asphalt shingles, metal roofing, and tile roofing. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable and popular roofing materials in Orlando and across the United States. These shingles are made of a fibreglass or organic mat that is coated with asphalt and topped with ceramic granules.

Asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing options. They come in a wide variety of colors to complement your home’s exterior. Asphalt shingles are also fairly simple for professional roofers to install.

However, asphalt shingles have some downsides too. They don’t last as long as tile or metal roofing materials, with an expected lifespan of 12-30 years depending on the quality. Asphalt shingles can also absorb more heat than paler roofing options, making your home’s interior warmer and increasing energy costs for cooling.

Metal Roofing 

Metal roofing has become an increasingly popular roofing material option for Orlando homeowners. It is made from steel, aluminium, copper or an alloy strip that is formed into sections at the factory. Common metal roofing profiles include standing seam, corrugated, and shingles or shakes that mimic other roofing materials.

The biggest advantages of metal roofing are its outstanding durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Metal roofs have an expected lifespan of 40-70 years and can withstand high winds, heavy rains, hail and other severe weather that frequently impacts Central Florida. The reflective surfaces of metal roofing can also lower energy costs by reflecting the hot Florida sunlight away from your home.

Metal roofing is significantly more expensive upfront than asphalt shingles. It also requires special skills and equipment for installation by professional roofing contractors. Some homeowners also prefer the more traditional look of asphalt or tile roofing over the industrial appearance of metal roofs.

Tile Roofing

When you picture Florida homes, tile roofing is likely one of the first roof types that comes to mind. Tile roofing is extremely popular in the Orlando area thanks to its classic Spanish-style aesthetics and superior longevity.

It is manufactured from clay, concrete or ceramics and can last anywhere from 50-100 years or more with proper installation and maintenance. These roofs are incredibly durable and stand up well to the harsh Florida climate, heavy rains, winds and other severe weather events. They are also naturally fire-resistant and energy efficient by deflecting the sun’s heat.

The downsides of tile roofing are the higher upfront costs compared to asphalt or even metal roofing options. Tile roofs are also extremely heavy, which requires a reinforced roof structure to support the weight. Tile roofs can also become damaged if walked on improperly during installation or maintenance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Roofing Materials

So how do you decide which of these popular roofing materials is right for your Orlando home? There are several key factors to take into account:

Climate and Weather Conditions

In the Orlando area, we experience hot and humid conditions year-round as well as heavy rains, thunderstorms, high winds and the potential for hurricanes and tornadoes. You’ll want a durable, water-resistant roofing material that can withstand these severe conditions like tile and metal roofing.

Roof’s Slope or Pitch

Flat roofs are more prone to leaks, so steeper-sloped roofs are recommended for Central Florida to properly shed water and debris. Tile and metal roofing may not be suitable options for very low-sloped roofs.

Energy Efficiency

Florida’s year-round heat and humidity mean high energy bills for cooling your home. An energy-efficient “cool roof” is a wise choice to reduce those costs. Light-colored tiles, metal roofs and certain asphalt shingles with special cooling granules can reflect more of the sun’s rays to keep your home cooler.

 

Durability and Lifespan

With Orlando’s severe weather risks, you need a durable roofing material with a long lifespan to protect your biggest investment – your home. Both tile and metal roofing have excellent longevity of 50+ years when properly installed and maintained.

While asphalt shingles are more affordable upfront, they have a much shorter lifespan of around 12-30 years. You’ll have to factor in the cost of replacing your roof more frequently compared to longer-lasting materials.

Cost and Budget

Of course, your budget is a major deciding factor when selecting a new roof for your Orlando home. Here’s a general cost comparison from most to least expensive materials and installation costs:

  • Tile Roofing: $10,000 – $24,000 for a 2,000 sq ft roof
  • Metal Roofing: $8,000 – $25,000 for a 2,000 sq ft roof
  • Asphalt Shingles: $4,000 – $10,000 for a 2,000 sq ft roof

While asphalt shingles have the lowest upfront costs, they will need to be replaced 2-3 times over the lifespan of a tile or metal roof. This recurring roof replacement cost can end up being more expensive over the long run.

Curb Appeal

How your new roof will look from the curb and complement your home’s architectural style is another key consideration. Tile roofing offers a classic Spanish, Mediterranean, or Tuscan villa aesthetic that many homeowners desire in Florida. Metal roofing provides a more modern, sleek, and energy-efficient look.

Asphalt shingles are fairly basic in appearance but can mimic the look of pricier materials like slate or wood shakes. They come in a wide variety of colors to match your home’s style.

Weight and Structure

The weight of your new roof is an important consideration. An asphalt shingle roof is the lightest at just 2-4 lbs per square foot. Metal roofing runs 1-3 lbs per square foot installed.

However, concrete or clay tile roofs weigh a whopping 8-18 lbs per square foot! This immense weight requires a reinforced roof frame to properly bear the load. Older homes are not built for the weight of tile roofs.

Insurance Discounts

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, insurance companies may offer discounts of up to 35% for installing impact-resistant roofing materials rated for high wind resistance like tile and metal roofs.

These roofs are specifically designed to withstand severe weather events and stay intact, preventing major damage and insurance claims to the rest of your home. So selecting one of these durable roofing options could save you money on your homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Roof Installation and Maintenance

When installing a new roof, it’s crucial to hire an experienced, licensed, and insured roofing contractor who specializes in that particular roofing material. Proper installation is key to the roof’s longevity, durability, and energy efficiency.

Metal and tile roofs require specialized skills and equipment to install correctly. Improper installation can lead to roof leaks, damage, and void manufacturer warranties.

Maintenance requirements also vary between roofing materials. Asphalt shingle roofs have very minimal maintenance needs beyond annual inspections and occasional repairs. Metal roofs need to be inspected for scratches that could lead to rust and repainting every 10-15 years.

Tile roofs require more hands-on maintenance like brushing and clearing debris to prevent moisture buildup, cracks, or damage. Loose, cracked, or broken tiles will need to be carefully repaired or replaced by roofing professionals.

The Bottom Line on Choosing Roofing Materials

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all “best” roofing material for every Orlando home. The right roofing option for you depends on weighing all the factors – climate conditions, energy efficiency needs, cost-effectiveness, durability preferences, weight capacity of your home, curb appeal goals, and long-term maintenance commitments.

Asphalt shingles make an affordable, low-maintenance option but have a shorter lifespan. Metal roofing offers excellent longevity, energy efficiency, and wind resistance albeit at higher upfront costs. The classic clay or concrete tile roofs provide unbeatable durability and Spanish-inspired aesthetics but require sturdy framing and consistent maintenance.

Do your research, understand the pros and cons of each roofing material option, and work closely with a reputable, experienced local roofer. With the right roofing material protecting your Orlando home, you can enjoy peace of mind for decades to come against Florida’s intense climate and severe weather threats.



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