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When choosing a roof for your home, there are many factors to consider to ensure that your final choice is the right one. However, one of the most important among them all is weight. Heavy roofs are bound to put extra strain on your building's walls and foundation and might require additional structural support.
That's why lightweight roofing materials are an excellent choice for many homes. In this post, we'll look at types of roofing materials that are generally lightweight and ideal if your house cannot accommodate heavier options.
Types Of Lightweight Roofing Materials
Lightweight roofing materials have become increasingly popular in Australia in recent years due to their numerous benefits. These roof materials are typically lighter and easier to install than traditional roofing materials, making them a cost-effective option for both residential roofing and commercial roofing.
Metal roofing is made from materials such as steel, aluminium, or zinc and is a popular choice due to its durability and long lifespan. It is also resistant to fire, wind, and hail, making it a reliable choice if you live in areas that experience harsh weather conditions. Additionally, this roofing material is available in a wide range of colours and styles, making it a versatile choice for your building.
On the other hand, metal roofing will dent if struck hard enough, which, in turn, ruins its look. Leaks around seamed sections might also result from damage. Similarly, if not correctly installed, you might experience difficulties with water infiltration, and in strong wind circumstances, your roof could ultimately come off.
Asphalt shingles are generally offered in two varieties: organic and fibreglass. Organic roof shingles feature a base layer of waste paper, cellulose, or wood fibres infused with asphalt, followed by another asphalt coating. On the other hand, the base layer of fibreglass shingles is glued together with a urea-formaldehyde resin.
Asphalt shingles roofing materials are lightweight, affordable, and easy to install, making them a prevalent choice in many homes. However, asphalt shingle roofs might not be as durable as other lightweight roofing materials. Consequently, you might need to replace them more frequently.
Additionally, these roofing materials are available in various colours and designs, making them an eye-catching option. The fibreglass alternative is also very fire resistant, making them a great choice in fire-prone Australian regions.
Membrane roofs are generally lightweight compared to other types of roofing materials, such as concrete or clay tiles. Their lightweight nature is due to the fact that most membrane roofs are made from synthetic materials, such as PVC or EPDM, which are lightweight and flexible.
Consequently, the exact weight of a membrane roof will depend on the specific material used, the membrane's thickness, and the roof's size. In general, however, membrane roofs are relatively easy to install and handle compared to other types of roofing.
Advantages Of Lightweight Roofing Materials
Ease of installation
One of the main advantages of lightweight roofing materials is their ease of installation. These materials are generally easier to handle and transport, which reduces the amount of labour you'll need for your roofing project. This will, in turn, save you a significant amount of money on labour costs in the long run.
Need no additional structural support
The lighter weight of these roofing materials means they can often be installed without additional structural support. This, in turn, reduces the overall cost of roof installation projects. Adding structural support to a roof could be a significant expense. This is because it requires additional materials and labour.
Therefore, by choosing a roofing material that does not require additional structural support, you are guaranteed to save a significant portion of money on your roofing project. Concrete roof tile is an example of a heavyweight roofing material that will require you to have strong structural support for the roof.
Another benefit of some lightweight roofing materials is their durability. Many of these materials are made from strong, weather-resistant materials such as metal or composite materials, which can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions. If properly maintained, this means that your roof could last for many years without needing roof repairs or roof replacements, saving you money.
Lightweight roofing materials are also generally more energy efficient than traditional roofing materials. Many of these materials have high insulation values, which could help to reduce your energy costs.
This is realised as these roofing materials keep buildings cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter. Therefore, this is imperative in dry Australia, where energy costs would otherwise be extremely high due to the hot and sunny climate.
Lightweight roofing materials are available in various colours and styles, making them a highly versatile roofing option. Versatility is also essential when it comes to the appearance of your building.
Some roofing materials are only available in a limited range of colours or styles, which might be limiting when you want to achieve a specific look for your home. By choosing a versatile material, you will have more options regarding the appearance of your roof and matching it to your property's aesthetics.
Considerations When Choosing A Roofing Material
One of the most fundamental aspects of your house is its roof. It protects you, your family, and your valuable belongings from harsh external elements. That is why selecting the right roofing material for your property is critical. But with so many choices available, how do you decide which is best? Here are vital factors to remember when selecting the right roofing material for your home.
Most roofing materials have warranties that guarantee their durability for several years. Therefore, choosing a roofing material that offers a more extended warranty is advisable. This way, you can be sure that your roof will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it for years to come without needing constant repairs.
The climate in your locality in Australia will play a major role in determining which type of roofing material is best for your home. For example, if you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures or frequent hurricanes, then metal roofs might be the best option.
This is due to their durability and weather-resistant qualities. On the other hand, if you live in an area that doesn't experience extreme weather conditions, then asphalt shingles might be more suitable due to their affordability and ease of installation.
Cost is an essential factor when it comes to any home improvement project. Asphalt shingles are generally the most affordable roofing material on the market; however, they need to be replaced more frequently than other materials. Metal roofs are more expensive up front; however, they last much longer and require less maintenance over time.
When considering cost, consider the short-term and long-term costs associated with different materials to help you select an option that makes financial sense considering your budget.
Some types of roofs require specialised installation techniques and materials unavailable locally or too expensive to use in your area. Therefore, be sure to research the type of installation needed on the various roofing materials.
Once you are done with your research, you can determine whether your preferred roofing material is one you could use or whether you need to hire professionals to do it for you.
Some roofing materials require more roof maintenance than others, such as regular roof cleaning and roof resealing every few years. This is primarily influenced by exposure to weather or other external factors like pollution and debris accumulation due to the presence of trees near your home. Therefore, be sure to factor this into your decision-making process to save time and money down the line.
Finally, consider how the various roofing materials might look on your house from both inside and outside perspectives; some types of materials have unique designs that could add character and charm, while others might look bland or outdated after just a few years. Consequently, take some time to explore different options until you find one that looks good from all angles.
Need Help Choosing A Suitable Roofing Material?
As you have read in this post, lightweight roofing materials do exist, and they have their pros and cons. Therefore, when choosing roofing materials, selecting an option suitable for your specific needs is essential.
There are various roofing materials to choose from, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. If you need help deciding which roof type is right for you, feel free to seek expert help.
You can contact a professional roofing company near you to guide you through the process of choosing a roof type, taking into account your budget, the style of your home or business, and the local climate. Don't let the process of choosing a suitable lightweight roofing material overwhelm you.