Over the years, roofing has evolved with technology providing magnificent designs, texture, color, and finishes as desired. Traditionally, roofing was done using grass and reeds which seemed to work but for a limited period of time. Later, Iron sheets become the new normal for well of citizens while thatched houses trailed. Each of them had both advantages and disadvantages as people tried to adjust with time.
Iron sheets could be blamed for causing a lot of heat while dried grass roof could house pests as well as cause dampness in the house. Either way, a third and most advanced model of roofing was developed. Cray tile’s invention seemed to solve iron sheets heat problems. They had that cooling effect desired by the well of and certainly became a darling to many therefore reducing iron sheets as a middle-income earner product and thatched roofs for low-income earners.
Today, roofing business has attracted innovation that has resulted in different roofing materials based on customer needs. Below are 10 best roofing materials available for use in Kenya;
Clay tile is made from earthen clays molded into rolled or interlocking shapes and fired for hardness. It is often left unglazed, with the characteristic reddish-orange color; or it can be glazed and fired to form ceramic roofing tiles. Clay tile is a very good roofing material for hot climates or where salt air is present, which is why these roofs are seen so often in southern coastal regions or desert regions. One of their advantage it that Clay tile is a very long-lasting roofing material that can last more than a century.
Concrete tile is an alternative to clay tile, with similar installation techniques and similar advantages. Concrete tiles are molded from standard sand-mix concrete colored to whatever hues as desired. A variety of profiles are available, some of which resemble rolled clay tiles, others that are low-profile resembling wood shakes. Concrete tile is sometimes finished with a decorative coating. It is a very heavy roofing material, making it a good choice in high-wind regions.
Corrugated Iron Sheets
Corrugated (Super Aluzinc) Iron Sheet is a Colored and corrugated iron sheet with an effective cover width of 1 meter with a profile depth of 32mm. It’s mostly used to construct middle and low-income earners as well as structures around the home such as poultry, cows, and other domestic animal houses. Initially, they sold in silver-gray color but due to technology evolution, they can be painted any color before delivery during production or on request.
Metal roofing comes in vertical panels or shingles resembling slate, tile, and shake – and lasts about 60 years. Metal excels at sloughing off heavy snow and rain, won’t burn, and resists high winds. It is lightweight and can be installed over existing roofs. However, metal can be noisy during rainstorms and may dent from hail. Corrosion also varies by material.
Stone Coated Steel
For homeowners who do not like the look of standing seam metal roofs but want the advantages of metal, there are steel or aluminum shingles or shakes now available. Made from stamped metal and finished with either a high-quality baked-on coating or mineral granules, metal shingles can be fabricated to look very much like traditional asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, or even slate or clay tiles. They are an excellent choice where appearance is a critical concern. They’re an economical, effective choice for wet, windy regions or areas prone to wildfires. Some stone-coated steel roofs are warranted for the lifetime of the house.
Asphalt composite shingles
Asphalt composite shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America and gaining popularity here in Kenya. Made from a fiberglass base topped with asphalt and mineral granules, these three-tab shingles are an all-around good choice for most home roofing needs. They typically come with a 20- to 30-year warranty, and replacing individual shingles that are damaged is a fairly easy job. Virtually every roofing company is familiar with installing these singles. Composite shingles excel at flexing and adapting to a roof’s movements due to expansion and contraction.
Metal Shingles / Shakes
For homeowners who do not like the look of standing seam metal roofs but want the advantages of metal, there are steel or aluminum shingles or shakes now available. Made from stamped metal and finished with either a high-quality baked-on coating or mineral granules, metal shingles can be fabricated to look very much like traditional asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, or even slate or clay tiles. They are an excellent choice where appearance is a critical concern. Their lifespan ranges between 30 to 50 years when professionally installed.
A slate roof is perhaps the finest roofing material there is—a choice for the homeowner who will accept only the finest. There are slate roofs hundreds of years old that are still functioning. True slate roofing is just as it sounds: authentic, thin sheets of real stone. Because slate has a tendency to cleave off in thin sheets, it is easy to quarry, making it ideal for roofing. But installing slate is a very specialized skill, and qualified installers can be hard to find. Slate roofs typically cost $30 to $75 per square foot, installed. But it is very likely the only roofing you will ever install—a slate tile roof often lasts 75 to 200 years.
Synthetic Rubber Slate
Synthetic slate shingles are a surprisingly convincing stand-in for natural slate, but this material is constructed from engineered polymers combined with recycled plastic and rubber. From the ground, it can be virtually impossible to distinguish this engineered roofing from natural slate. And synthetic slate is quite lightweight, making it a viable option for houses that cannot support the heavyweight of natural slate. Although not as durable as true stone, synthetic slate usually comes with a very good warranty—up to 50 years.
Wood Shingles or Shakes
Wood roofs are very attractive, but they are also quite expensive and have limitations. They are not particularly long-lived, and they are a poor choice in areas that get lots of moisture or where wildfires are a danger. Still, they are among the most attractive of all roofing materials, which makes them a popular choice for luxury homes.
Although both are made from natural wood, usually cedar or redwood, there is a difference between wood shakes and shingles. Shingles are typically thin, wedge-shaped slabs of wood that are produced by precise sawing. Shakes are produced by splitting and are thicker wedges with a rougher texture. Longevity depends very much on circumstances and maintenance. In relatively dry climates, and wood shingle or shake roof can last 60 years; in damp conditions, you may only get 20 years from the roof.
Consequently, you’ll find a Fundi recommending certain roofing materials mainly because of field experience with the materials during construction or learning from homeowners. It’s therefore advisable to listen to them while you do thorough homework to ensure your roof is fact-checked and guaranteed.
At Dancom construction we ensure your roofing is leak-proof, elegant, and stylish.
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