Posted in: Water Damage Repair
The Dallas metroplex has been hit hard recently, with tornadoes and hail storms resulting in numerous roof damage claims. Insurance industry experts estimate that claims will likely exceed $500 million for the June hailstorm alone. In fact, many Dallas area neighborhoods are already displaying roofing companies’ promotional signs on their lawns.
If you have roof damage from storms or unpreventable acts of nature, most homeowners’ insurance companies would pay to have it replaced, as long as your roof was reasonably maintained. However, there are various factors that determine if and how much insurance will pay out. Some policies take into account your state of residence and geographical location. Moreover, some policies compensate based on the age and condition of the roof, so their reimbursement model is based on depreciation as well. Most insurance policies have a standard 1% deductible that is an out of pocket expense, but there are variations. Read your policy to know your specific terms and conditions.
Most homes in Dallas have composition, or asphalt roofs, and insurance companies usually pay for a replacement with a comparable roof. However, there are other materials to choose from when considering roof replacement due to storm damage or leaks. Homeowners should know the pros and cons to each option.
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material in Dallas and throughout the rest of the country. In fact, about 90% of homes in the US have this type of roof because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Asphalt shingles are either made from a combination of fiberglass, asphalt and ceramic bits or a combination of layered recycled paper or wood products and asphalt, topped by rock or ceramic fragments. Both types of asphalt shingles are waterproof and although they can withstand different weather conditions well, they seem to perform longer in cooler climates.
Asphalt shingles come in various grades, colors, styles and manufacturer warranties. The three-tab shingle is an industry standard, while the architectural shingle is the higher end asphalt shingle. It is heavier, more durable, more attractive and more expensive than the three tab asphalt shingle. However, within these types of shingles, there are more gradations and differences as to quality, thickness, manufacturing warranty, wind and fire resistance, durability, and price.
Metal roofs are environmentally friendly as they are made from partially recycled material. They also qualify for tax credits and lower insurance premiums due to being highly resilient during fires and natural disasters. Although these roofs are more affordable now than ever before, they are still substantially more expensive than composition roofs, which are derivatives of petroleum. Some types of metals roofs can be installed on top of existing asphalt shingles, eliminating the expense of tearing down the old roof and cutting down on the cost of labor significantly.
Metal roofs are lightweight, energy efficient and come in various colors and styles. They are also fire, wind and water resistant. Metal roofs are generally very durable and last longer than most composition roofs. However, as sturdy as metal roofs are, they can still be pummeled and cracked by extremely large hail. Smaller and less severe hail tends to damage metal only cosmetically. If you live in an area that is prone to hail storms, steel roofs are a good option. They are heavier and cheaper than aluminum roofs, but offer better protection against large hail. Contrary to popular belief, metal roofs do not attract lightning and are often quieter than other roofing options during hail and rainstorms.
Metals roofs are quite efficient. Various coatings can protect the roof from a variety of weather conditions and rust. Some coatings also inhibit dirt and debris from sticking to the roof. A specialized reflective coating helps rebound heat and, along with insulation, makes the roof more energy efficient and cool.
Clay tiles are quite attractive and come in a variety of styles, designs and colors to choose from. They are energy efficient as they form an effective barrier that maintains your home’s interior temperature. These roofs are eco friendly because the components are water, clay and glaze, just like ceramics were made throughout history. At the end of their service, they can be recycled to benefit another construction project.
On the down side, although durable in terms of being fire and insect resistant, clay tiles can be cracked in severe hailstorms. Clay tile roofs are also very heavy, so extra roof support is necessary during installation. Moreover, the complexity of the installation and costly quality materials make this roof naturally more expensive as a roofing option.
Concrete tile roofs are more expensive than composition roofs, but are not as pricey as clay tile roofs. The main components of concrete tiles are cement, sand and water. However, different manufacturers use additional ingredients in an attempt to make tiles lighter, more durable and more attractive. The lighter concrete tiles are more expensive than the regular weight tiles and are often not as sturdy. Concrete tiles are available in many colors and styles so there is quite a selection to choose from. Moreover, they come in styles that mimic clay tiles, slate and wood shake.
Although concrete tile roofs are generally a good roofing option due to their resistance to insect damage and fire hazards, these roofs are really only as good as their installation. In fact, concrete tile roofs are among the hardest to install correctly and require knowledgeable and experienced roofers. However, if installed properly, they are highly resistant to windstorms and hail.
Slate roofs are high quality, attractive and very expensive. The selection of colors and styles is quite impressive and the longevity of slate is a plus environmentally. The characteristics as a roofing option are similar to tile roofs in terms of durability, longevity and resistance to insects, rot, fire and a variety of weather conditions. However, just like clay and concrete roofs, slate roofing materials are heavy and require appropriate support infrastructure for proper installation.
Cedar shake roofs look natural, with each shake distinctly individual. If cedar is properly harvested, it is an excellent environmental roofing choice. Moreover, the wood can be shred into mulch at the end of its life cycle.
Maintenance can be a draw back to this type of roofing material. Cedar shake roofs need to be treated for mold, wood rot and insects every few years and these costs can add up over time. Moreover, fire retardant applications are not uniformly applied by all manufacturers. Some apply fire retardants as a coating on the wood rather than infuse them into the wood. As a result, this type of shake is not an effective long term choice for fire safety. However, there are high quality, durable and fire resistant cedar shakes available from various manufacturers and those, although expensive, make excellent roofing materials.