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Which Roofing Options Are Best for Cold & Snowy Climates?

Whether you are building a new home or having a new roof installation done, the type of roofing materials you choose is a critical decision. There are benefits and disadvantages to every type of roof, including a metal roofs, shingles, slate, and wood shakes. Be sure to consider the many cold climate roof conditions that it will need to withstand over the years.

When you live in cold climates which are known for their snow and ice, it is important that all aspects of your home and business can withstand strong winds, heavy snow, and ice accumulation. This most especially includes the roof of your building.

The roof is one of the most critical parts of the home because it is the first line of defense for everything on the interior of the building. It protects you from rain, powerful UV rays, wind, snow, and ice. If you live in a location that experiences severe weather during the winter months, it is important that you have a cold climate roof designed to endure all that Mother Nature can throw at it.

The type of roofing material that you opt for will also be the deciding factor when it comes to other things which need to be added to the roof. This could include additional insulation (especially for metal roofs) and an ice dam prevention system. At HotEdge, our team understands the potential damage that ice dams can cause, up to and including roof collapse if the ice dam becomes too heavy.

Conditions Your Roofing Materials Will Have to Withstand

When it comes to choosing cold climate roofing options, you will need to factor in all the different kinds of weather situations that colder climates may face. Extreme cold weather can bring heavy snow, inches of ice, and high winds. The best roofing materials will also have to handle a constant freezing and thawing cycle that could potentially damage less sturdy roof material and lead to structural damage.

Another major hurdle that your roof will have to deal with is the potential formation of ice dams. Ice dams form when the snow has melted due to warm air rising from the attic of a home or office and flowing down the roof. Once it reaches a part of the roof which is no longer warmed by the interior heat, it begins to refreeze.

For many roofs, this occurs in the roof eaves or the gutters. As the water freezes, it builds up a wall of ice called an ice dam. Over time, the ice dam grows larger and may cause the gutter to break or other severe damage to occur within the home. In snowy climates, this is a frequent occurrence on roofs without a proper ice dam prevention system.

When properly installed, certain types of roofing materials will maintain a proper room temperature, keep you and your family safe during the cold weather, and ensure that you will not be surprised when spring comes with a major roof repair. From sloped roofs to flat roofs, slate tile roofing to metal roofing, and every other combination possible, choosing the right roofing material is a vital decision in your new construction or new roof installation process.

Types of Roofing Materials for Cold Weather, Snow, and Ice

There are a variety of different roofing material options that you can choose depending on the building and your climate. Cold climates have fewer options than locations with consistently mild weather because the roof needs to be able to stand up to heavy snow, ice, severe wind, and the freezing cycle.

Here are a few of the best roofing material options for your Denver, Colorado, home or business:

Metal Roofing Materials

Metal roofing material is lightweight and easy to install. Snow and ice slide right off of the roof because there is nothing for it to catch on, so there is a lessened potential for damage to the roof or the interior of the home. A metal roof can last up to 40 years and may be able to withstand winds up to 140 miles per hour.

Because metal roofs have a zero R-value and cannot stop heat transfer, you will need to have additional insulation installed to prevent warm air leakage.

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass asphalt shingles are fairly cheap, easily installed, and widely available. Unlike metal roofing, they are able to insulate the house and retain heat which reduces your monthly heating bills. Unfortunately, they do require more maintenance than other roofing material options, have a shorter life expectancy, and may break in extreme temperatures or harsh weather.

Slate Tiles

With a potential lifespan of over 100 years and the ability to withstand heavy snowfall, you will certainly benefit from the higher price tag of slate roofing. These tiles will thoroughly insulate your building (reducing your heating costs) and can withstand winds up to 160 miles per hour. You will, however, need to install additional structural support for the weight of slate roofing.

Synthetic Shingles

Synthetic shingles may be the best roofing materials available because they are lightweight, resistant to all of the issues presented by cold climates, and have a Class 4 Impact Rating (highest possible). They provide great insulation and are aesthetically pleasing with their ability to look like stone or wood shingles.

Contact Us to Discuss Ice Dam Prevention on Metal Roofs and More

If you are a homeowner or a business owner in the Denver, Colorado, area and are in need of a new roof, be sure you consider the choices above to figure out what the best roofing material is for your building.

Once you have made your decision, contact HotEdge to discuss your ice dam prevention system options. We are able to install one of our ice dam systems on your roof and make sure that it is perfectly suited to the type of roof material you have chosen. From asphalt shingles to slate roofs, we have options for every roof.

Call now to learn more about the benefits of ice dam prevention systems!


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