If you live in an area where high winds combined with heavy rain are common, a typical asphalt roof is probably not going to cut it -- unless you want to be calling your roofing company for repairs after every storm. While these other roofing options may cost a little more than asphalt upfront, they will save you a lot of time, money, and anguish when it comes to repairs. They're simply built to withstand the high winds and heavy rains more effectively than asphalt shingles.
If you're going for fast, inexpensive, and easy, then a metal roof will likely satisfy your needs. Metal roofing systems are easy to apply, since most consist of pre-made, interlocking panels. The way that these panels lock together keeps them from blowing off in high winds. Rain cannot work its way beneath them as it can with shingles.
Another advantage of metal roofs is that they have a really long lifespan. Many carry warranties of 40 years or more, and they will easily last 50 years if cared for properly. They do require some regular care. You'll need to have your metal roof sprayed with paint or a protective coating every few years to keep it from rusting or pitting, and this is especially important if you're in an area that receives heavy rain. The exact interval at which this will need to be done depends on the roof, but you can count on having to treat the roof every 5 - 10 years.
The most common metals used for roofs are galvanized steel, tin, and aluminum. Steel roofs last the longest, as long as they are properly sprayed with zinc treatments or rust-resistant paint on a regular basis. Aluminum roofs require less maintenance, but they do not last as long as steel. Tin roofs, which are actually made from a mixture of tin and lead, are durable, but often turned down by homeowners because of their overly metallic look.
Clay Tile Roofs
A clay tile roof may cost a little more up-front than a metal roof, but if you want to give your home that distinct, coastal look, clay tiles are a great option. They're actually not as expensive as some people assume. A good clay tile roof costs about three times what an asphalt roof would cost, but it will likely last for the life of your home, rather than needing to be replaced every couple of decades. Think of buying a clay tile roof as buying three roofs all at once, rather than over the course of 50 years.
Clay tiles interlock, so wind cannot blow them away. If one or two become cracked due to heavy hail, they can easily be replaced by your roofing company. Note that even in hail storms, less than 10% of all clay roofing tiles are typically damaged, whereas other types of roofs may need to be replaced entirely. You also won't have to worry about maintaining the clay tiles themselves (save replacing any that crack in the occasional violent storm). You will, however, have to maintain your gutters and vents as you would with any style of roof.
Clay roofs are made from natural materials and don't require treatment with sprays, so they are often seen as an eco-friendly choice. They do not attract pests and do not degrade when exposed to salt, as some metal roofs may in coastal environments.
Which is the better roofing choice for you: metal or clay tiles? If you're on a budget and don't mind a little maintenance, then metal is a durable, easy-to-implement choice. On the other hand, if style is important and you can afford to spend a little more, clay tiles will certainly weather the storm and keep your home looking its finest.
For more information about your roofing options, contact a local roofing contractor.