When researching different roofing materials, you will discover roofs can be very heavy or they can be very low weight. The difference can be like parking three fully loaded dump trucks on top of your home, or half of a Mini Cooper. Depending on the type of material you choose, the roof on a 2500 square foot home may be as little as 1750 pounds or as much as 50,000 pounds. It seems hard to believe, but it’s true! So, does it make any difference what your roof weighs? Actually, yes it does. Here are some factors to consider.
First of all, some roofs are heavy largely because weight and gravity are what holds the roof securely to the house. Many roofing materials have no interlocking features and have few fasteners securing them to your home’s structure. Those materials need to be heavy or else they will not hold in high winds. Other materials, however, which feature interlocks between the panels or shingles and are secured to the roof deck, can be very wind resistant while also being very low weight.
Structural Integrity of the Home
Next, as a home ages, its structural materials often weaken. This can be a factor with most engineered woods and even with dimensional lumber. It is often a huge factor with fire-treated woods. Lower strength means that the home is more likely to shift or move under the weight of heavy roofing materials. Taking some of the weight off of the home can help preserve the home’s life, as well as its structural integrity in the event of severe weather.
Risk of Collapse
A lower weight roof also lessens the risk of a roof collapse if there is a fire inside of the home. In fact, with many heavy roofs, fire fighters often will not enter a home that is on fire if it has a very heavy roof on top, as it poses a great risk.
Common Roofing Material Weights
To give you a better idea of how much your roof weighs, here is a sample list of roofing materials and their weight, per 100 square feet:
- Aluminum Shingles – 45 pounds
- Steel Shingles – 80 pounds
- Wood Shingles – 400 pounds
- Clay Tile – 1,500 pounds
- Asphalt/Fiberglass Shingles – 325 pounds
It’s important to note the lightest roofing material is not always the best option. At Swita Metal Roofing, our steel roofs are strong, resistant to dents and scratches, and are lightweight. Although aluminum is lightweight and highly malleable, it doesn’t even compare to the strength of a steel roof. Just think of how easily you can crush an aluminum can!
Swita Metal Roofing believes that a homeowner’s best option is a low weight roof that features secure fastening to the roof deck and interlocking panels with the strength of metal. Homeowners that work with us get all the benefits of a lightweight roof without sacrificing any of the durability. Contact us today to get started with a free estimate!