6 Types of Roofs in Florida and the Pros and Cons of Each One

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  4 Comments

We’ve ascertained that roofs in Florida do not last as long as we expect. This is because of the extreme weather – heat, humidity and rain with an odd hurricane or two. In actual fact, although we’re told that roofs last for twenty years, most roofs last for about ten years and thereafter need fixing or re-roofing. And they always need maintenance!

So, when faced with the dilemma of re-roofing, which way do you turn. I did a ton of research. My roof was made up of shingles and I felt they looked good and had done a pretty good job for the previous homeowner. I stayed with shingles and am delighted with the result, but that doesn't mean you too have to go for shingles!

When looking for types of roofs in Florida you’re going to look at cost, maintenance and durability, as well as style. You want a roof that is not too expensive and does not require a lot of maintenance. You don’t need to do the research because I have done it for you!

Here are the 6 different types of roofs in Florida.

1. Shingled Roof

Shingle Roof Tiles look good and are an affordable tile. There are different types and different colors and there is a wide variety. They’re pretty durable, especially when made from asphalt or fiberglass, and they’re also easy to maintain. Saying that, like any tile, you do need to maintain them. The downside to shingle tiles is that they can blow off during an intense storm or

hurricane. The upside, you’ll always find the shingles that you need to replace them with.

2. Clay Roofing

Clay roofing would’ve been my second choice if I hadn’t gone with the shingles. It looks good and is a nice ‘finish’, giving a kind of Spanish contemporary feel. Clay lasts long and is durable, and it ages well. It cannot rot or burn. It’s also not badly priced. Like any tile, it needs some maintenance (not as much as wood, below) but not too often. The only con is that clay is heavy &

it’s also a little fragile so working with it can be tricky. It can be a little pricey too so you may want to shop around. Also, check that the color has been fired on properly, you don’t want your roof to lose color.

3. Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are really stylish in a very natural way and suit character homes or character people. They’re individual, beautiful and pretty environmentally friendly too. They can be energy saving as they allow a house to breathe and they circulate air easily and throughout the house. They also insulate an attic. Downside – they’re wood. You need to maintain them well. If you don't

have the time or money, don’t do it. You need to seal wood shakes properly and fairly regularly depending on the weather and you don’t want them to be moist or too dry as to start a fire! There are many varieties, some fire resistant, so do your homework.

4. Fibre Enforced Concrete Tiles

You may not know that roofing tiles are now also made out of concrete. You can find shingles, simulated wood shakes and a lightweight concrete tile, all made out of fibre reinforced concrete. They’re durable, have a good life span and do not need a lot of maintenance at all. And whereas a real wood shake may not always be fire resistant, a simulated concrete wood shake is.

They can also approximate the look of a clay tile or slate and all in all, are a great option. They’re often coated with a plastic or enamel so maybe not the best tile from a point of the environment but they look good, are reasonably priced and low maintenance too. Again, shop around.

5. Slate Roofing

We’ve all seen slate roofing and it’s gorgeous. It’s a very stylish roof tile and you’ll find it on many upmarket Florida homes. Slate is pretty low maintenance as it can’t rot, it offers good water protection, it’s natural and does well with lots of water even at hurricane force and again, there are many different types and a variety of natural colors. A con is that it is both heavy and a bit

expensive, but if you have the budget, go for it. Being heavy, the roof may need some extra support, but you look at that at the time of building or re-roofing. It’s also fragile though, so when your gutters are being maintained, yell at anyone who dares walk all over the roof!

6. Metal Roofing

Metal Roofs were in vogue in the 1700s! If you look at famous historical buildings from that time, many had zinc, copper or lead roofs. Metal roofing has made quite a big return although it’s different to the olden days. Today metal roofing is made to resemble a shingled, clay or wood shake roof. The metal is styled to look like individual tiles and looks fantastic. It’s durable, fire resistance &

here’s the good news – low maintenance. It’s also expensive so if you’re on a limited budget, give it a miss. Talk to an architect about a metal roof, it’s a different process to any other type of roof. But not impossible!

So. If you’re looking for a new roof in Florida, do your homework (and be sure to make sure these 13 details are in your estimate before making a deposit). Are there tons of hurricanes in your neighborhood? How are the humidity and the heat and how much time do you have to work on maintenance. Also, take a look at your neighborhood. If everyone has a metal roof, do the same. I quite like continuity in a neighborhood, it’s a nice aesthetic.

Of course, if you don’t feel like doing your homework, don’t. Send me a message below and I’ll be more than happy to chat to you about the various options.

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    • Thanks for the question Jenna. I don’t personally know any operations in 33901, but there are honest roofers everywhere. I suggest you look for contractors that 1. perform wth work in house (not just some company that subs and 2. has been around at least 20 years. For quotes I would recommend using a service like Homeadvisor because the contractors on there are generally more price competitive. Of course it is up to you to verify 1 & 2. Hope that helps. Here is the link to get quotes from the Homeadvisor network: http://www.homeadvisor.com/ext/34300631

  • Hello Kenneth, I’m in the process of building a home in SW Florida and would like your recommendation of a few good contractors who are reasonable .

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