Over the centuries, many different roofing materials have been used for dwellings. For centuries, thatch roofs were commonplace in many European countries although they were banned in Massachusetts in 1640, primarily because of the problems that thatch roofs had in coping with heavy snowfalls. Wood shakes have long been another popular choice in Europe and the United States, but many American communities have banned them due to the risk of fires. Ceramic tiles are still popular in many European countries as well as parts of Asia. Interestingly, none of these three roofing materials are good choices for homes in the Austin area. In Central Texas, the best choice will be either asphalt shingles or a metal roofing system that meets certain criteria that take into account specific factors.
Hail and Wind
Although damaging hail and high winds can occur in every state, Texas typically receives more than its fair share annually. One of the nation’s largest insurance companies, State Farm, reported that in 2012, Texas topped its list of the states with the most losses from wind and/or hail with 47,000 claims filed.
• Roofing materials can be rated with wind resistance of as little as 60 mph or as much as 130 mph. In the Austin area, you should choose materials that have a minimum wind resistance of 110 mph, meeting ASTM D 3161 standards. ASTM International, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, is one of the leading developers of standards designed to enhance safety, ensure consumer confidence and improve the quality of materials and techniques. Meeting the minimum of ASTM D 3161 is recommended by both the International Building Code and the International Residential Code.
• Impact resistance is rated by the Underwriters Laboratory for roofing products manufactured in the United States. In Central Texas, you should choose roofing materials that meet the requirements to be rated as UL 2218 Class 4 impact-resistant materials.
If there is one thing that Texans experience in greater abundance than wind and hail, it would be heat. Summers in Austin can be brutal. The type of the roofing materials can impact the heating and cooling of your home. So, too, can its color — dark colors absorb heat while light colors reflect it. This is not to say that you should choose a white roof, but if you are torn between two colors — one dark and one light — choosing the lighter color can help your air conditioning system perform more efficiently.
For More Help
Although it is possible to offer some generic guidelines for choosing the best roofing material for your home, there are many other factors that need to be evaluated by a roofing professional. At Alpha Roofing, we have been guiding homeowners in Austin and throughout much of Central Texas with their selection of roofing products for more than three decades. We have the experience and skills to help you select the perfect roofing system for your particular needs. We offer an extensive range of rooftop services, including repairs, moss removal, flashing replacement, gutters and skylight installations. Submit our online form to request your free estimate, or call us at (512) 777-1086.