There comes a point in every homeowner’s life where they need to determine if it’s time to invest in a new roof. The roof is the first line of defense against the elements, and contributes greatly to the curb appeal of the home—and both of these considerations, among others, are what it makes it such an important home investment. Deciding on your new roofing material involves a lot more than just a consideration of the cost of the installation—although this is undoubtedly a very important factor as well. Aside from the cost, style, and other concerns, one of the biggest considerations to make involves the weather and the type of climate you live in.
Here in Kansas City, our stormy Midwestern weather means that we need strong, durable rooftops capable of handling tough conditions and severe winter storms. Another challenge to deal with is that we get all four seasons throughout the year, and our rooftops need to be pretty versatile to stand up against the intensity of the spring, summer, fall, and winter months.
From blizzards and golf ball-sized hail storms to searing summer heat and tornadoes, Kansas City homeowners need the best materials that are strong enough to make it through a typical year. In this guide to roofing solutions, Smart Exteriors walks you through some of the most common options for roof replacement among homeowners in Kansas City to help you choose the best one for your home in the Midwest.
Exploring the Best Roofing Materials
The secret to winning the battle against Midwest storms lies in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the most common roofing options available—and choosing the right one. The wrong choice can mean early replacement or the need for making expensive repairs after damage every year, while the right choice will mean a long-lasting and durable roof that holds up throughout the seasons and saves you money over the long run.
To help you recognize and explore your best options, here’s a list of the roofing materials most likely to withstand Kansas City weather.
By far, this is the roofing option you’ll see more than any other throughout the country. The Midwest is no different in this regard.
- Resists a wide range of weather patterns.
- Available in a number of shades and styles.
- Shingles are watertight.
- The most affordable and widely available option.
- Easy installation.
- Shingles only last 15-20 years before needing replacement.
- Cracks easily in freezing temperatures.
- Highly susceptible to damage in high winds.
- Not environmentally friendly.
Conclusion: Asphalt shingles are a great option for the homeowner who is budget-conscious, desires an easy installation, and is concerned with intense weather patterns that fall into the normal range. Asphalt can be fine on Midwest homes as long as the weather conditions aren’t too severe. If they are, asphalt will likely need to have regular repairs and maintenance performed to keep in good shape. In very severe circumstances, or after a bad installation or cheap materials, asphalt roofing will likely need to replaced completely sooner rather than later.
Known for its overall durability and resistance to environmental factors, metal roofing has grown in popularity over the last decade. Here are the pros and cons of metal roofing for homes in the Midwest.
- Last up to 70 years depending on the metal used.
- Can resist winds up to 140 miles per hour.
- Won’t corrode.
- Doesn’t crack.
- Impact-resistant (specific metals only).
- Fireproof and insect-proof.
- Environmentally friendly.
- More expensive than other roofing options.
- Noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms.
- Metal roofing expands and contracts.
- Performance drops severely if the roofing is compromised.
Conclusion: This option is a great one for homeowners less concerned with the budget. Metal roofing will protect you against nearly all weather. However, only seek this option if you’re willing to invest in the professional installation required for peak performance.
Slate is a beautiful and durable roofing option for homeowners. A traditional choice in homes all over the world, slate is more expensive than other options—however, its exceptional value cannot be denied.
- Classy and sophisticated appearance.
- Lasts longer than other roof options (in some cases up to 150 years or longer).
- Impervious to fire and insects.
- It can be expensive to install.
- Requires expert installation.
- The excess weight of slate may require reinforcement of the house roofing system.
- Fragile against impact.
- It can be an environmentally friendly option, however, it is not a renewable resource.
Conclusion: This is a beautiful option for many homeowners to choose from. However, high hailstorm potential in the Midwest makes this option less desirable, as slate is fragile against heavy impacts and can become damaged easily. In addition, this roof makes it mandatory to have a roofing contractor specifically trained and qualified in slate roof installation.
This option is most commonly seen in the Southwest, but the use of tile roofing is spreading throughout the country. The unique, long-lasting style of tile rooftops contributes to this roofing option’s growth in popularity.
- It lasts up to 50 years or longer.
- Withstands extreme temperatures.
- Fireproof and insect-proof.
- Resistant to most weather damage.
- Traditionally heavy (Lighter versions are being developed).
- Underlayment is susceptible to needing replacement after only 20 years.
- High costs in materials and installation.
Conclusion: This is a solid, all-around roofing option for homeowners to pursue if protection against inclement weather is a concern. You can maximize the performance of this roof with professional installation and regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that the underlayment lasts as long as possible.
Roofing Innovations: Smarter Materials to Consider
At this point, you know where to start when considering a roof that can handle Kansas City weather. However, that doesn’t mean recent innovations haven’t made themselves known in the roofing industry. That’s why we’ve put together some information regarding the latest roofing innovations to consider.
Chances are you’re wondering what rubber roofing is and how this could possibly be a good choice. Is rubber roofing a real option for Midwestern homeowners to consider? The short answer is yes; a rubber roof is now a possibility for homeowners.
The longer answer is that while it’s referred to as “rubber”, it’s actually a blend of materials and synthetic, environmentally friendly building materials known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roofing. This is an exceptional option that today’s most modern homes are choosing to use for their rooftops—due to its affordability, strength, and energy-efficient qualities.
- Highly affordable.
- Lightweight and easy to carry and install.
- Fast installation.
- Lasts up to 50 years (sometimes longer).
- Easy to repair and maintain.
- Resistant to fire, pests, moisture, mildew, and mold.
- Environmentally friendly, recyclable, and renewably sourced.
- Holds up strong against temperature changes and severe weather.
- Style options can be limited.
- Color can fade over time.
- Dry conditions needed for installation.
- Must be installed by a trained professional.
- It can be punctured.
Conclusion: A rubber roof is a great option for homeowners that desire an easy to install, affordable option that performs well across the board. However, the newness of this roofing material means that design elements are somewhat limited—although new styles are coming out on the market as the popularity increases. Another downside is that not every roofing contractor is trained to install these rooftops, which can make installation tricky to schedule if you can’t find the right expert for the job.
This roofing option was developed as a response to the desire to have all of the benefits from desired roofing materials such as slate or tile, without any of the drawbacks. While there is still no absolutely perfect roofing solution, the development of polymer roofing may just be the closest thing available.
- Material is made out of recycled materials making it highly sustainable.
- Extremely durable compared to most options.
- Easy to install and maintain.
- Resistant to severe weather.
- It can be engineered to closely resemble wood and other materials.
- Poor insulation (will require attic insulation to offset this negative).
- Although it can be made to resemble stone or wood, it can look “too perfect” to some.
- Unproven compared to other solutions.
- Requires expert installation.
- It can be difficult to find (compared to asphalt and other more traditional options).
Conclusion: The promises of polymer roofing are many. As a “smart” roofing technology and material, polymer solves many problems that wood and other materials present. Most of all, homeowners are in love with this choice for its affordability and energy-efficiency. However, compared to other popular options, this solution is untested so its long-term performance is yet to be seen. Even so, polymer roofing is becoming very popular and is an all-around, exceptional choice that homeowners in the Midwest can expect to feel very satisfied with.
Making the Decision for the Best Roofing Materials
In the Kansas City area, the most important consideration next to what is actually affordable is the weather when it comes to your next roof. While there are numerous options available, the best options are roofing solutions that can handle severe weather along with extreme temperature changes.
Based on those criteria alone, the following solutions are the best ones to consider:
- Metal roofing
- Tile roofing
- Rubber roofing
- Polymer roofing
As always, you should work with a qualified roofing contractor to determine the best roof for you and your needs. If you’re ready to explore roofing options, give us a call at Smart Exteriors to speak with one of our agents about our roof installation services, or fill out our online form to schedule your free, in-home assessment.