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The Best Roofing Materials for Longevity in Florida

Florida has tropical weather known for warm sunny days but also endures extreme weather. The intense weather conditions demand durable and resilient roofing. As a coastal peninsula surrounded by warm ocean waters, Florida experiences more hurricane impacts than any other state. So, it is essential to select a strong and dependable roofing material. This article lists the best roofing materials for longevity in Florida. 

Clay Barrel Tiles 

Clay barrel tiles are a popular roofing choice for their beauty, durability, and water runoff capabilities. The clay is molded and fired into semi-cylinders laid in overlapping rows. Beyond the architectural style, the curved shape allows airflow over the surface, promoting cooling. The interlocking design also enables exceptional water drainage even through heavy rainfall.

These roofs have a lifespan of upward of 100 years. Clay’s resilience also withstands winds up to 125 miles per hour, providing critical protection in storms. The thick tiles resist impacts while their weight provides stability through turbulent weather. 

Clay tiles have natural waterproofing abilities through the dense clay and interlaced pattern. The clay composition deters rot, mold, mildew, and even termite infestations. A properly installed clay tile roof requires little maintenance while shielding homes for generations.

The tiles do require sturdy underlying roof decking to support their hefty weight. Batten systems help secure the tiles in high winds. Clay’s composition can also prove slippery and fragile to walk across during repairs. You need trained roofing contractors to handle any work involving the clay tiles.

While clay barrel tiles demand a more significant upfront investment over other roofing materials, their exceptional longevity delivers lasting value for homeowners. Properly installed and cared for, these beautiful clay roofs easily endure over a century through Florida’s most challenging weather conditions.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete roof tiles offer an affordable, durable alternative to natural clay tiles. They provide a similar barrel tile look but avoid fragility issues and some installation challenges facing clay. Concrete tiles replicate clay’s beauty and Mediterranean aesthetic while providing even tougher and longer-lasting protection.

Concrete tiles offer comparable density and thickness to clay tiles without their risk of breakage. Their hefty weight delivers stability but requires adequate roof support and reinforcement. The heavyweight concrete blocks are resistant to wind. These concrete tiles withstand winds of over 200 miles per hour, protecting homes even through devastating hurricanes.

Their composition resists moisture absorption, preventing leaks or interior water damage even through torrential tropical storms. The dense concrete also deters rot, mold growth, termites, and other Florida pests.

While more affordable than clay, concrete tiles still provide exceptional life spans between 70 and 100 years. Apart from periodic inspection and cleaning of accumulated debris, they only require a little maintenance. Quality concrete tile roofs are a cost-effective, durable, and resilient roofing material. Their strength and weatherproofing handle the state’s most extreme storms and conditions.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs represent one of the fastest-growing roofing options across Florida. The multipurpose panels create lightweight yet durable waterproof membranes over homes. Modern metal roofing exhibits innovative styles, including decorative designs, standing seam panels, or metal shingles that closely resemble asphalt, wood shake, clay tiles, or slate.

Metal roofing’s core layers involve a steel or aluminum substrate covered with protective zinc, stone-coated steel, or other coatings. It enhances durability, weatherproofing, and aesthetic appeal. The coated panels resist sun exposure, preventing UV damage and discoloration over a roof’s lifetime.  

Unlike fragile slate or tile, metal panels absorb roof impacts and remain intact through severe hail or storm debris. Their lightweight also eases installation while demanding minimal roof framing enhancements for support. Most metal roofs withstand winds between 120 to 160 miles per hour, enough to endure a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. 

The panel bonding and tight seams prevent moisture penetration or leaks through blustery rainstorms. Effective water runoff capabilities keep interiors dry year after year. In Florida’s extreme weather, a quality metal roof lasts 40 to 70 years when you perform routine debris clearing and damage inspections.

While more expensive than asphalt shingles, metal roofs offset long-term costs through exceptional durability and energy savings. Their reflective nature reduces solar heat gain, decreasing cooling demands substantially during Florida’s sweltering summers. Added insulation abilities also minimize heat transfer, creating a continuous protective barrier over homes.

Metal roofs represent wise investments for Florida homeowners. They offer resilient protection through ferocious storms while providing beauty and energy efficiency. Their lightweight composition, high strength, and weatherproofing abilities provide effective, low-maintenance protection against the elements for generations.  

Composite Roofing

Composite roofing has emerged as an innovative, durable, and sustainable option for modern homes. Manufacturers blend recycled plastics, synthetic fibers, inorganic fillers, and UV stabilizers to create lasting, lightweight synthetic roof tiles. These handsome composite roofs are available in slate, barrel tile, and cedar shake profiles and provide a beautiful aesthetic look and protection.

Unlike fragile natural slate or shake shingles prone to breaking, quality composite tiles resist damage from severe weather events, storm debris, and even fierce hail. Their durability originates from the tile composition and molding process, maximizing toughness and density. 

Their makeup absorbs less heat than alternatives like concrete or clay, which helps you reduce your energy costs. The tiles’ composition also prevents thermal degradation, moisture retention, and mold or mildew growth. They are fire-resistant as well.

Solar Roofs

Solar roofs present an emerging opportunity for Florida homeowners seeking durable and eco-friendly roofing. Integrated solar shingles like those from CertainTeed feature durable glass topped with a photovoltaic layer to generate solar power. Replacing just a section or an entire roof allows homes to produce emissions-free electricity from sunlight while maintaining waterproofing. 

Solar integrates seamlessly with roofing materials like non-solar clay tiles, synthetic slate shingles, metal panels, or asphalt shingles. Florida’s abundant sunlight fuels consistent solar harvesting to offset household energy costs. These hardy solar cells produce clean power for decades with minimal degradation or physical wear when appropriately installed by professional installers. 

As solar technology advances, integrated solar roofing promises an environmentally sustainable and increasingly affordable option for Florida homes to reduce emissions while protecting families from the elements.

Qualities of a Durable Roofing Material

When selecting roofing materials, durability should rank as your top priority. An ideal durable roof possesses resilience against high wind forces and impacts from storms, falling branches, or even hail. It should protect the interior of the house against heavy rainfall. The roof should prevent leaks, which can lead to structural issues or interior water damage over time. Reflectivity and heat resistance minimize energy usage, reducing costs over time.

A properly installed roof adds to its durability. Less durable materials might have a lower initial cost but are expensive in the long run. They require replacement every 10-20 years. These roofs also damage easily during extreme weather conditions. Weigh your options based on the total cost of ownership across the roof’s life, not just lower initial pricing. The roof that lasts for decades provides far more value than short-term savings. Take into consideration factors such as maintenance costs as well.

Choose a reputable, licensed installer like ProFormance Roofing. We will consider your budget preferences and provide the best roofing solution for your home. Our master installers have experience working with different roofing materials according to your budget and requirements. We adhere strictly to Florida’s stringent building codes to provide long-lasting protection. Contact ProFormance Roofing and Solar today to discuss the ideal roof for your home. Our customer service team will provide a no-obligation quote to help you decide better.