Ask What Your Roof Can Do For You

Replacing a roof is a major investment for any homeowner. When considering such a significant home improvement project, it makes sense that you will have questions.

"Thoroughly researching roofing options should be a priority for any homeowner considering a new roof," says Tim Gentry, technical director of DaVinci Roofscapes®. "Many aspects should be considered, including a product's warranty, style and durability. A homeowner should ask the question 'what will this roof do for me' before making a decision."

According to Gentry, who served 20 years as a roofing installer and has been in the industry for 40 years, a roof should be carefully selected to complement a home's design and geographic weather conditions. It should also provide long-term comfort and safety for those who live in the home. Some of the most frequent questions Gentry receives from homeowners nationwide include the following:

Q: What are the pros and cons of different roofing materials?

A: Three-tab asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, inexpensive and look good on ordinary homes. However, they can be a poor environmental choice because they go to a landfill after 20 years, they perform only moderately well, and they don't add any special design appeal to a home.

Real wood shingles or shakes look good on some styles of homes and are moderately priced, however they have little or no resistance to fire or impact unless specially treated. They also attract insects, have relatively poor long-term performance and are generally considered a poor use of our natural resources.

Real slate shingles also provide a good look on some styles of homes and can be considered very long-lasting when installed properly. However, they are very expensive and extremely heavy. During installation you can have a significant amount of waste from cracking and breaking of slate tiles.

Metal roofs are perfect for some very specific home designs. They have a unique look to them, are lightweight and snow can easily slide off of them. Watch out when it rains or hails though ... these roofs are noisy on the inside of the home during storms.

Synthetic roofing tiles provide a high-performance option for homeowners. The tiles come in a variety of styles, including slate and shake, are lightweight and have long-term durability. These tiles are moderately priced and a good environmental choice. While the look complements many home styles, synthetic roofing tiles are moderately priced, so they're affordable for everyone.

Q: What are the life spans of different roofing materials?

A: Generally, real wood will wear out the fastest, followed by three-tab asphalt shingles. You can maybe get 15-20 years out of each of these. Some metal roofs can last up to 50 years, depending on their warranty. Synthetic roofing tiles last up to 50 years and require minimal maintenance attention. Real slate also lasts many years on a home ... some slate can last up to 100 years!

Q: Why would I consider synthetic roofing materials over traditional asphalt products?

A: Aesthetics and durability. Typical asphalt shingles look ordinary. Consider this: when you look at many homes, especially those with steep roofs, almost half of what you see is the roof. When selecting a roof, think about curb appeal and resale value. Synthetic tiles make an ordinary home look extraordinary. Additionally, they give you peace-of-mind because these roofing tiles will perform exceptionally well against fire, impact, wind and other weather conditions.

Q: What is the synthetic roofing material made of?

A: At DaVinci, we use an engineered polymer, which is impregnated with fire retardant and state-of-the-art advanced UV stabilizers specifically formulated for the tough conditions tiles are exposed to in all climates throughout the year. Our roof tiles use only 100 percent pure virgin resin in order to assure consistency, and are 100 percent recyclable.

Q: Do roofing tiles become more brittle over time?

A: That depends on the kind of roofing tiles. Asphalt and real wood roofing materials do become more brittle toward the end of their life cycles. DaVinci tiles do not have that problem. The engineered polymer used in synthetic tiles changes very little over time or when subjected to extreme temperature and weather conditions. Third party independent extended life testing has shown minimal degradation of the material's performance qualities.

Q: Which roofing tiles are consistent with their colors and won't fade over time?

A: Most synthetic roofing tiles have their color blended completely throughout their tiles. These products won't fade over time because UV protection has been built into each tile. When exposed to continual sunlight and UV rays, many other products, such as metal and asphalt roofing, will indeed fade over time, losing their original sharpness of color. However, synthetic roofing tiles maintain their sheen regardless of external factors or age, ensuring homeowners that their roofing tiles won't devolve into an eyesore over time.

For more information on roofs and synthetic roofing tiles, visit www.davinciroofscapes.com.

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