Best Roofing Types for the Northwest

The type of roof you install on your home can make a difference in how well it fares in your local climate. Because the Pacific Northwest receives so much rain, it’s important to select a roof type that drains well and can handle the excessive moisture.

There are two factors that determine your roof type: the style of your roof, or how it was constructed, and the types of materials used to construct your roof. Following is a look at what roofing styles and materials work best for Portland roofing and other Northwest homes.

Northwest Roofing Styles

The roofing style refers to the shape of your roof. Changing the roof shape on an existing home is no easy task. However, a skilled Portland roofing contractor can advise you on the best course of action to ensure your roof can stand up under local weather.

As any experienced Portland, OR roofing contractor can attest, the most important thing when designing a Northwest roof is to choose one that is sloped, allowing water and debris to easily run off. A good rule of thumb is to avoid incorporating any flat sections in your roof, where water can pool and cause mold, mildew and water damage. Again, consult your Portland, OR roofing company if you are unsure whether the style you want is a good fit for the climate.

Common Portland roofing styles that slope include the gable roof and the hipped roof:

Gable. Gable roofing is V-shaped, with two surfaces pitched at the same angle that come together at the pinnacle. A variation on this style is the cross gabled roof, which has additional ridges.

Hipped. Hipped roofing resembles the gable, but it typically has four sides instead of two, with a lower pitch.

Best Northwest Roofing Materials

When it comes to roofing materials, Northwest homeowners have several options available. These include:

Asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material, as they offer flexibility (so they work on most roof shapes), low cost, easy access to replacement materials and a variety of color and texture options. Although they are made for durability and can last up to 20-30 years, they are also porous and can be susceptible to mold and mildew growth. To counteract these problems, ask your Portland roofing company about special treatments to make your asphalt shingles less absorbent and more resistant to mold growth.

Wood shingles. Wood shingles are another popular option, as they come in several different wood types whose texture and color can be matched to the style of your home or neighborhood. These shingles change color over time and can add character and style to a home; as a result, their appearance is considered desirable throughout the country. In the rainy Northwest, however, wood shingles require more maintenance than asphalt, such as regular cleanings and treatments to prevent mold and mildew.

Metal shingles. Metal shingles offer a high level of water resistance, and thanks to engineering advancements they now come in a variety of colors and styles designed to mimic other types of roofing materials, including cedar or slate. The actual life span of a metal roof can vary, but in general a properly installed metal roof can last for an estimated 50 years.

Choosing a new roofing type for your home can be a difficult decision. It’s important to balance style with climate and durability considerations. When it doubt, a skilled Portland, OR roofing company can help you determine the best roofing materials for your Northwest home.

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