Choosing the right roofing materials for Northern Virginia can seem like a hassle. Much of the area has a unique subtropical climate that can pose numerous problems when it comes to improperly installed roofs or poorly chosen roofing materials.
Analyzing the unique qualities and options you get with each roofing material is your best choice to not only find the right one for the local climate, but also minimize your costs and efforts when it comes down to installing them.
Why North Virginia’s Climate Is Difficult
Virginia’s subtropical climate tends to be a little cooler in the north, which also means more precipitation and tougher weather after the months of September and October. Because the state is more than 5,000 feet above sea level and because of the high variations of relief between different areas of Virginia tend to differ significantly in their yearly weather and temperature conditions. As a result, choosing one type of roof that would work well for the entire state is usually impractical.
The climate in Virginia is humid continental and humid subtropical, and it is mainly defined by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The high precipitation, high humidity and significant temperature changes throughout the year lead to Virginia and especially its northern part being places where low quality roofing doesn’t do well, and there is a greater need for durable roofs that can be weatherproofed properly.
Selecting the Right Roofing Material
While choosing the correct roofing material for your new roof is not all that easy, most of the time your options will be narrowed down to the following:
- Those interested in cheaper roofing solutions can typically opt for a high quality asphalt shingle or composite roof. Asphalt shingle roofing might be less durable than most other materials, but it can be adapted quite well to cool weather, and it also does well in areas of moderate to high precipitation and humidity, which are characteristic to Northern Virginia.
- Thunderstorms are frequently considered a problem in the North of Virginia, and that means wood shakes and some types of metal roofing can be a bad choice. However, durable steel roofing is considered to be a better idea since it’s not prone to fire, not easily damaged, and also doesn’t conduct electricity as easily as other types of roofing, such as copper. Also, steel is great as a relatively cheap material with flexible properties, so you can use it just as well in the mountainous areas as in the valleys.
- Your best choice for tackling the tricky and problematic climate of Virginia is natural slate and concrete. Both these materials are a little more expensive and harder to install than most types of roofing, but their level of resilience, durability, fireproof qualities and insulation far exceed that of most roofing materials. With a little yearly maintenance, you can expect a concrete roof to last for more than 75 years and a slate roof to still stand after more than a century. With slate, you can even expect some impressive designs to be available, so you will be able to add a little curb appeal to your roof as well.
Choosing the right roof should be based on a knowledge of the local climate and of the types of upgrades and weatherproof coatings that each roof can have. To get the best results, consider asking your local Gaithersburg roofing contractors for help in deciding which roof to go with.