Choosing The Right Shingles For Your Climate: What You Need To Know

Posted on: 25 April 2023

With high-end architectural shingles lasting for as long as thirty years, roof replacement is something you'll rarely need to do more than once or twice on any home. However, your choices when installing a new roof can substantially impact its longevity. The right choices can help extend the life of your roof for many years, while the wrong choices can result in a drastically shortened lifespan.

Many factors can help you choose the best roof for your needs, but your climate is a major consideration. Since your roof's primary role is to stand up to all kinds of weather, choosing the right roof for your area's particular climate conditions can help minimize the long-term ownership costs of your new roof.

How Does Climate Affect Your Roof?

Your local climate affects your roof in several ways. First, and arguably most importantly, your local weather conditions will dictate how much durability you should expect from your home's roofing. If you live in an area that sees frequent thunderstorms, high winds, or even hurricanes, you'll want a roof that can withstand these hazards. Local building codes may also dictate minimum wind resistance ratings.

Surprisingly, the shape of your roof can also matter. Uplift forces are a significant threat in areas with high winds, and roofs with a higher pitch are more susceptible to these forces. Manufacturers rate their shingle products for uplift resistance, so you may want to consider going with higher-rated shingles if you live in an area where high winds are a threat or have a steeply pitched roof.

Temperature is another issue worth considering. A "cool roof" is a roofing system designed to reflect heat away from your home. In many cases, installing a cool roof may be as simple as choosing shingles with a lighter color. For areas with hot summers or many sunny days, a cool roof can be a good way to improve your home's efficiency and protect your roof shingles from the impacts of UV rays.

How Can You Choose the Right Shingles for Your Climate?

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines two standards for roofing materials: ASTM D3161 and ASTM D7158. These standards define several roofing classes, allowing manufacturers to rate their products for general wind resistance and resistance to uplift forces. Local building codes will typically use these standards to specify minimum roofing requirements.

If you're concerned about weather conditions in your area, start by working with your roofer to select shingles that meet your area's minimum code requirements. You can then consider shingles that exceed these requirements. Shingles with higher wind ratings will typically cost more, but they may be a worthwhile investment to prevent more costly damage to your home.

Fortunately, you don't need to choose between a roof that offers greater weather protection and a more efficient roof. Choosing shingles with a high wind rating and a lighter color is a great way to prepare for extreme weather events while keeping your roof cool and efficient, ultimately preparing your home for anything your local climate can throw at it.

For more information about shingle roofing, contact a local company