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If you live in regions with cold climates, winter is when you will want to cozy up your interior space. However, it's important to note that this time of the year also has inherent problems, such as the blistering winds and piles of snow.

In most cases, you should trust your roof to withstand the weather conditions. However, if you plan to hire a professional roofer to help you setup a new roof, you might wonder what roofing is best for cold climates.

Different roofing materials are available on the market today, and it's essential that you know the ideal one to choose for the winter season. This article will take you through the best type of roofing for cold climates.

Type of Roofing for Cold Climates

Here's an overview of the different types of roofing for cold climates:

Metal roofing

Metal roofing is one of the most exceptional options to consider for cold climates, and this is because of its ability to withstand harsh winter climates. Ice and snow can slide off a metal roof, thereby preventing the formation of ice dams.

It's also an excellent option for its ability to resist damage caused by windstorms. Metal roofs offer an increased level of durability, unlike other roofing materials, and they are designed to last for up to 60 years with proper maintenance.

However, knowing the common problems associated with this type of roofing is essential before choosing metal roofing. First, you must install a snow guard so ice doesn't pool on the walkways below the metal roof.

Another common problem associated with metal roofs is rust, but this depends on the type of material you use for the construction. In addition, you'll need extra insulation if you choose a metal roof, especially for colder-than-average climates. Without this, your heating system will only work harder, causing spikes in your utility bill.

Slate roofing

The next type of roofing that is great for cold climates is slate roofing, and this comes with more robust insulation, which can withstand blizzard-like conditions while offering excellent durability. These roofs are popular in regions like Minnesota and Colorado, with a lot of snow.

Like metal roofs, slate roofs also have inherent problems, and it's essential to consider them before choosing a slate roof. The first thing to note is the extra weight of slate roofs, which most homes might not be able to handle effectively. You might need to perform extensive retrofitting, which is rather expensive.

However, it's a worthy investment because slate can last up to 100 years, which is impressive. The main thing to note is that it is prone to breaking and fragile underfoot. With that, it's advisable to call a professional if you ever need to perform repairs on your slate roof.

Synthetic slate shingles

This is an up-and-coming roofing option with all the benefits you'll enjoy if you get traditional slate tiles. It also offers some extra benefits you won't find in those options. Like with slate, synthetic slate is also designed to handle extreme temperature conditions, including blizzards and windstorms.

It is a more durable option compared to actual slate, even though you get similar aesthetics with both materials. In addition, synthetic slate shingles are an energy-efficient option to consider.

But what are the problems associated with synthetic slate roofing? The first thing to note is that it's still a new building material, and with that, it's not possible to tell much about its long-term performance.

However, most manufacturers are confident that the roofing material can last up to 50 years. Another thing you might not fancy is the artificial appearance of synthetic slate. With that, you might need to take time and pay attention to the appearance quality of the roofing material.

Asphalt shingles

This is a light roofing material, and it mostly comes in a 3-tab design with a lower-end wind rating. The wind rating is higher with a dimensional asphalt shingle, and the bonus type is more visually appealing.

Shingles are generally not waterproof and more susceptible to ice dams. This is why it's advisable to use water and ice shields when installing shingles in regions with cold climates.

The main downside of asphalt shingles is their requirement for frequent repairs. Another thing to note is that asphalt shingles are not great at handling blizzards and heavy winds because they can blow off easily when subjected to these conditions.

Clay tiles

This is an excellent insulator that can effectively withstand ice and snow. However, it's a relatively fragile material and may not be the best option for withstanding intense wind and hailstorms. Despite that, clay remains a great option in regions with colder climates.

Another problem with clay tiles is their weight, which may be heavy for some homes and require extensive retrofitting. The installation of this type of roofing material for cold climates is also tricky and requires professional skills. However, clay roofs are durable, and you can walk on them without fear of getting them damaged.

Concrete roofing

If you live in areas that experience extreme winters and rapid freeze-thaw cycles, this may not be the best option to consider. However, you should note that this roof is an excellent option if you live in moderately cold regions. You might want to consider consulting a local pro with experience in concrete roofing products.

The common problem with this type of roof material is that concrete tiles are heavy and have a higher chance of absorbing water, increasing their weight. This can ultimately cause the roof to crack, leading to structural damage on your property.

The Best Roofing Material for Cold Climates FAQs

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the best roofing material for cold climates:

What is the best roof for cold climates?

Choosing the best roof for a cold climate is tricky because there are many things you need to consider, including the price and performance of the roofing materials. Slate roofs generally perform better than other options available on a long-term basis.

However, metal roofs are also a great option to consider in terms of performance, and they are generally more affordable than slate. Asphalt shingles are also a great option, as they offer impressive performance and are inexpensive.

What angle is best for snow to slide off the roof?

Another common question is concerning the roof's ideal angle for snow and ice to slide off effectively. Houses in snowy climates usually have their slope range between 4/12 and 6/12 or 50%.

If the slope is less than 10%, snow won't effectively shed off the roof, and if the slope is too steep or too large, it can cause a large amount of snow to accumulate and fall off at once, causing more dangers to the ground.

How much snow can roofs handle?

The amount of snow a roof can handle depends on the weight of the snow and the strength of the roof. In general, wet snow has more weight than dry snow. Therefore, if you live in an area with heavy snow, the design of your house should be such that it allows between 30 to 50 pounds per square foot.

Consult a Professional Roofer

All the factors mentioned above are important considerations for your roofing system, especially if you live in regions with colder climates. Consider consulting with a professional roofer to help you choose the best type of roofing system for your building in cold climates.

Their expertise, knowledge, proper insulation and ventilation techniques, quality installation, long-term cost savings, and peace of mind make them invaluable in making informed decisions about your roofing system. So, if you need help choosing the best type of roofing for cold climates, contact a local roofing contractor with the experience for the job.

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