Which Roof Material Is Right For You
What most people seek from their roofing material is a combination of long term durability, storm protection, fire resistance and all of this at a reasonable cost.
As with anything in life you will tend to get what you pay for with roofing and different materials suit different locations and climates, so there are no hard and fast rules. Here are a selection of the main materials to consider and their strengths and weaknesses.
Clay tiles are often associated with Spanish or Italian style houses. They are extremely durable and often outlast the building they are on top of but there are drawbacks. Tile by its nature is a brittle material that will break if you happen to stand on it. It can also be a fragile material to work with so it takes a certain amount of skill to lay clay tiles as well as a bit of strength when carrying them around. If you are looking for an economical material, clay tiles are probably not the best choice.
The benefits of slate are well known. It is another extremely durable roofing material. It has been on this earth for hundreds of millions of years so spending some time on the roof is not going to cause it too much distress. Slate is also low maintenance compared to other materials and offers good fire protection. The only disadvantage of using slate is the relative cost compared to other materials.
Concrete tiles come in a variety of colours and often incorporate other materials such as metal to add strength. Like the above roofing materials, concrete is low maintenance and fire resistant. Unfortunately concrete tiles are the least environmentally friendly option of the three.
Thatch roofs have been with us for many hundreds of years, but they tend to be a niche market for certain areas of the country. They remain in use due to the excellent natural insulating properties. Thatched roofs are expensive to put together and a lot of ongoing maintenance will be required to keep them in good condition. Damage from birds and sometimes fire can lead to costly repairs.