What Are Your Best Roofing Options in a Humid Climate?

Posted on: 4 May 2016

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If you've recently relocated from the sunny Southwest to a much more rainy or humid climate, you may still be adjusting to the dramatic difference in temperature and relative humidity in your new location. Purchasing a home in this area can also present a number of new challenges and choices, particularly if your new home has a rapidly aging roof that needs to be replaced soon. Rather than choosing between flat clay tile roofs or reflective asphalt, you may find yourself debating between cedar shingles and metal roofing panels. What are the best roofing choices for a humid climate? Read on to learn more about some of the most long-lasting and inexpensive roofing options for even the wettest areas. 

Foam roof coating

For homes with roofs that may not quite be ready for replacement but need some additional reinforcement before the rainy season hits, polyurethane foam roof coating can be a great fail-safe measure that will extend the life of your current roof indefinitely. This waterproofing coating sprays on clear, fills in any cracks or small holes in your current roofing material, and quickly dries to a rubbery texture that repels water just like rubber tires do. Polyurethane foam roof coatings are also compatible with just about any type of roofing material used in humid areas, with the exception of clay or metal roofs, making it a choice with broad appeal.

Rubber roofing tiles

If your roof is in bad enough shape that it needs to be completely replaced sooner rather than later, you may want to opt for durable recycled rubber roofing tiles in place of asphalt shingles or cedar shake shingles. These tiles are composed of recycled rubber tires, road asphalt, asphalt shingles, and other crude oil-based products, and are melted together and flattened into a tile shape, then cut. The final product is available in a variety of different shades and textures to fit just about any home's look.

Not only are these tiles inexpensive, they're eco-friendly. The process to refine and reform rubber tires, asphalt shingles, and other crude products expends a fairly low amount of energy, and by recycling these products, you can keep them from going into a landfill and potentially polluting the nearby water supply. Once your recycled rubber roofing tiles have reached the end of their lengthy lifespan, you'll be able to recycle them yourself and the usable remainder will be used to create new rubber products. 

Composite polymer

A relatively new and eco-friendly addition to the roofing market, composite polymer can provide a number of the benefits inherent in other types of roofing—including the cedar shingles it often emulates—without many of the drawbacks. This roofing material is made from a mixture of adhered wood fibers and polymer particles that are stronger than they ever were prior to processing. The resulting roofing tiles or shingles are waterproof, shock proof, and often treated with an ultraviolet-resistant coating that helps them avoid fading or cracking in the sun.

While these roofing tiles were previously more expensive than their cedar counterparts, the price of each has flip-flopped in recent years as environmental regulations have put a stop to the harvesting of old growth cedar, one of the strongest and most durable natural roofing materials known. Without the availability of this cedar, manufacturers have resorted to less-expensive pine and new-growth cedar, which often isn't as durable or weatherproof as old-growth cedar. Meanwhile, composite polymer manufacturers have taken advantage of technological advances that make these materials stronger and cheaper to produce than ever before—particularly with the recent drop in crude oil prices.

Be sure to speak with a roofing contractor for more options.