5 New Roofing Alternatives for the 2023s and Beyond

By: Dustin | Date Posted: August 6, 2021

Not all roofs are created equal. An asphalt shingle roof for a non-commercial residence is a far cry from a flat, built-up roof that’s been specified for a commercial building, for instance.

But, says the writer of a recent article on the subject, the roofing market in the 2020s is said to have so many new options that you may want to consider an alternative roofing solution for either a brand new roof or a roof that has been seriously damaged. Some of these alternatives might even save you money in the long run. 

That said, before jumping into roof construction/repair, especially after you’ve experienced serious damage from a natural disaster or a heavy storm, you’ll want to consult with roofing professionals who can not only hook you up with the right contractors they can get you crucial information on pricing. 

The roofing professionals will not only walk you through the claims process with your insurance company, but they will take not so much as a single dollar for the service.

They will then collect multiple roof quotes from qualified contractors in your area and let you be the judge. You can begin this process right on your phone and/or laptop by Googling roofbids4u.com.  

You should further be aware that lots of lesser-known roofing options can long outlast your garden variety asphalt shingle and some other more conventional materials.

On the other hand, some will lower your energy bill. It all depends on the type of roof you need. For instance, you can’t utilize asphalt shingles on a low-sloping roof, meaning you need to go with an alternative material.  

Here are five alternative materials for you to consider

Stone-Coated Metal Roofing Material

Engineered to look like asphalt shingles, stone-coated metal roofing material, or what’s also known in the industry as stone-coated steel roofing, is said to possess “a deep architectural profile” and can also mimic the look of wood shakes.

Stone-coated metal is considered a premium roofing material warranted not for the standard 15 years but 50 years, which can translate into a lifetime for the homeowner.   

Highly resistant to natural calamities like fire, gale-force wind, and hail, its corrosion-resistant makeup is coated with crushed granite making it both durable and strong over the long haul. 

Built-Up Roofing Material

Highly popular with commercial building construction and design, built-up roofing material is used primarily on a low-sloping “flat roof.” Constructed of three or more layers of bitumen material, a built-up roof is finished off with a layer of tar upon which is laid gravel. 

Several varieties of built-up roofs can be utilized. These include a hot or cold smooth asphalt roof or a ballasted roof. They are typically constructed of four parts: metal decking, energy-saving rigid insulation panels, ply sheets for reinforcing, and other surfacing materials. The tar bonds the materials together, and the gravel fights off the elements like heavy rain and snowmelt.     

One of the biggest benefits of built-up roofing is that they offer a continuous sealed surface for low-sloped roofs. You can compare this to the traditional roof shingle, which requires a steeper slop to get rid of water more effectively.

These roofs can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years. The lifespan depends largely on the quality; some BURs can last upwards of 40 years. Because they are so low-maintenance, they’re an attractive option for many. 

On the downside, this type of roofing can take quite a while to install, and, depending on the type of materials used, the installation typically involves some hazardous fumes. 

Solar Shingle Roof Material

Solar shingles mimic the appearance of a traditional roof while upgrading the roof to a sun-powered vessel for the home. Green solar shingles are the newcomers to the roofing block.

True to its name, this roofing product doubles as a solar panel and a shingle. Early versions utilized a fragile material to produce solar energy that, in the end, proved largely ineffective. But the solar shingles being constructed in the 2020s use highly effective rigid glass and other durable materials.  

The biggest advantage of these shingles is that they work for you, producing electricity during the daylight hours. In this manner, your roof not only saves you money on energy, but it will also, given sufficient time, pay for itself. Think of solar shingles as one of the only building materials that offer you a return on investment (ROI). 

New Roofing Alternatives for the 2021s and Beyond

Single-Ply Roofing Material

Like built-up roofing, its single-ply cousin was designed for commercial structures and can be used on any roof no matter the slope. The two primary versions of single ply roofing are thermoplastic and thermoset. 

The latter is engineered with synthetic polymers like Neoprene and EPDM or what’s considered an “extremely durable rubber roofing membrane,” which can cover large areas of a roof without a lot of seams. The former is a single-ply membrane that’s hot-air welded together, forming unified laps. When it cools, it forms a long-lasting bond.     

The are several pros and cons of single-ply roofing. One of the biggest benefits of singly ply roofing is that they have a proven track record as a viable roofing option and have stood the test of time. In addition, there are several options available for insulation materials. Furthermore, it’s easy to install, and it’s lightweight and flexible. 

On the downside, depending on the type you choose, the membrane can be easily punctured, resulting in bigger issues later down the line. These single-ply options also need to custom fit any roofing accessories you might have, which will take more time and run a larger risk of not being as waterproof. 

Standing Seam Roofing Material

In essence, standing seam roofing is a metal roofing product constructed of vertical panels that contain two seams per panel “that stand up vertically.” This is a popular roofing choice due to its highly finished appearance, which comes in several colors, and its durability. 

The standing seam roof can be purchased in galvanized steel, copper, and even Galvalume. It’s installed directly over plywood decking and underlayment, including an ice-and-water shield.     

Thank you for reading!


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