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Roof Selector Guide

Roof Selector Guide

Life span,
cost to install
Fire rating
(A = most resistant)
Appearance Weight Pros &
Cons
Built-up roof
10–20 years
$5,000 – $15,000
Varies. With 3 to 5 layers of fiberglass felt and gravel covering or mineral surface capsheet, should secure A rating The standardasphalt-and-g
ravel covering
for flat and
low-slope roofs.
Surface can be
rock, slag, or
colored
capsheet
3lbs. Inexpensive. But if poorly installed, may be messy-looking and may leak
Torch down
10–20 years
$5,000–$12,0 00
Two layers, with a modified fire-resistant base sheet, should secure an A rating Variation of built-up roof: an asphalt-and-g ravel roof laid down in one roll. Smooth or granular surface; white, grays, browns 2lbs Usually made in factories under controlled conditions, unlike standard built-up roofs. Reflective coatings are available that protect them from ultraviolet deterioration
Single Ply Lifetime Flat Roof
$7,000-$15,000
Class A Energy Star Effecient, Lightweight, Lifetime Guarantee 2lbs. Manufacturer Approved Installation only.
Foam
7–10 years
$7,000–$15,0 00
Class A Sprayed at least 2 inches thick. Must have protective coating. Appearance varies from slightly pocked (like orange peel) to bumpy (like popcorn) 3lbs. High insulation value. The coatings are highly reflective, which protects against UV deterioration. Must be recoated every 5 to 10 years if covered with acrylic. Fairly easy to damage. The most attractive and durable roofs use high-density foam and a more expensive coating
Standing- seam metal panel
20–40 years $10,000–$25, 000
Class A Painted metal panels with raised seams 18 to 24 inches apart. High-tech or industrial look 2lbs. Installation is simpler than with metal tiles, but also difficult to seal around perforations
Metal tile
20–40 years
$8,500–$15,000
Class A if old roof removed; B if installed with heavy roofing paper between old roof and new; C if applied directly over roof Designed to have a shake or tile like look. Wide color range 4lbs. Lightweight, durable. Difficult to seal around perforations. May require gypsum-board base
Wood shake pressure- treated
10–20 years
$7,500–$15,0 00
Class A only if you install a 72-pound mineral surface capsheet underneath Classic wood roof that many synthetics try to mimic 4lbs. Must be kept clean: Moss, mildew, and debris speed deterioration. In dry climates, untreated shakes (even those treated with spray-on coating) are essentially kindling
Fibrous cement shake
20–40 years
$9,000–$20,000
Class A (B if not installed over plywood; also may not meet seismic codes) These synthetics can often look like shake or slate 5.5lbs. Lightweight and durable; generally requires no roof reinforcement. In wet climates, rain can cause the fibers to expand and contract, causing premature failure
Fiberglass composition shingle 20–50 years
$4,000–$30,000
Class A Most common for moderate-slope to steep roofs. Crushed, uniform mineral surface 3lbs. Easy to apply and economical. Some homeowners’ associations won’t allow these roofs. Some now available thicker and more textured, considered more attractive
Concrete tile
50 years
$15,000–$25, 000
Class A Synthetic shakes, slate, Spanish tile look-alikes, in many colors, textures 5.5lbs. Same weight and framing challenges as clay tile; a bit less prone to breakage. New lightweight concrete becoming available
Clay tile
50–100 years
$15,000–$25, 000
Class A Classic red Spanish roof. Other colors available 5.5lbs. Long-lasting and attractive; meets same breakage strength requirements as concrete tile. Very heavy, but lightweight clay tile is also available

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