It’s time to think beyond colour and material and choose a roof customized to your weather region.

One key area of innovation has been dealing with weather extremes. A little up-front research and some questions for your contractor can go a long way in choosing the right roof for your home today, and avoiding repairs tomorrow. All roofs are not created equal. Technology and innovation in building materials, particularly in the last 20 years, means that beyond choosing shingle material, style, and color, you can also dial-in on products that meet your home’s specific needs.

Living in an area prone to hail? Shingles are generally manufactured using materials that will literally make objects bounce off of them, and are durable enough to protect against the rain, wind and sleet that often accompanying hail. Since hail damage has been on the rise in recent years, many homeowners’ insurance companies are requiring the use of an impact-resistant shingle, or are giving discounts if you have one installed.

Hot, Hot Heat

Blazing temps and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can wreak havoc on homes, and roofing gets the brunt of the sun’s rays. In addition to causing materials to degrade, this exposure is also heating up the home, putting a strain on cooling systems and sending your utility bill soaring. To combat damage from the sun, manufacturers have shingles that reflect a percentage of the sun’s rays, cutting down significantly on heat absorption.

Look for products that specify they are “solar reflective” and rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC). Many CRRC-rated products are also ENERGY STAR® rated to reduce energy costs.

Strike Out Streaks with Algae-Resistance

If you’re living in an area of North America that’s humid or damp, roof algae is probably a concern. The good news about algae, which presents as black streaking on your roof, is that while it doesn’t look great, it isn’t actually damaging your roof. Watch out though, this eyesore could do a number on your property value. You have options here as well, as most roofing manufacturers have products to combat algae growth. These shingles are usually copper-infused, meaning they have copper granules embedded in the asphalt, and copper prevents algae growth.

If you don’t think the look of algae would “grow on you,” seek out shingles that list algae-resistance specifically, many include “AR” in their names to make them easy to identify. All algae warranties aren’t created equal though, so familiarize yourself with the type of coverage provided when researching.

What’s Next?

A new roof isn’t an everyday occurrence and it’s a large investment. When it’s time, you owe it to yourself and your home to know what your options are. Taking time to do some research will help, and goes a long way toward making a confident decision. Also, working with a trusted contractor is crucial. A skilled and experienced tradesman will help you consider both aesthetics and performance, guiding you in your decision making and giving you peace of mind that you’ve chosen the best roof for your home.