The most common roofs in Southern California

by | Sep 4, 2013 | Home Improvement


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Homes in Southern California are usually roofed with either asphalt shingles or tiles. Asphalt shingles are ideal for climates like that found in Sothern California, basically consistent, not too warm and not too cold. Asphalt shingles are best in climates that do not have wild temperature swings. The other popular roof that a Los Angeles roofing contractor is asked to install is tile. Tile roofs are architecturally pleasing in this part of the world where there is a Mediterranean influence.

Both asphalt and tile roofs are probably the most commonly used materials of any of the various materials that can be used. A roofing contractor in Los Angeles may be periodically asked to install a slate roof or even a copper roof, but these are far and few between, most often used on mansions and homes with historical value.

A roof of asphalt shingles can last up to 20 years, most manufactures warrant their product for that long. The warranty period is not really a good indicator of how long the product will last before it needs replacing, in many cases the roof can last considerably longer than the warranty period. Believe it or not, the color of the shingle can actually have an influence on the life expectancy, a dark colored shingle will fair sooner than a light colored one because the dark shingle absorbs heat rather than reflects it and elevated temperatures are the biggest problem with an asphalt shingle, they begin to break down in high heat environments.

A tile roof on the other hand will usually outlive the house, they can last at least 100 years, in many cases they can last a lot longer than that. Most tiles are terra cotta but concrete and ceramic are also available. Tiles are made flat so they can be installed similar to a common shingle and molded. Molded tiles are the most popular; not only for their looks but for the way they are overlapped to provide for excellent drainage.

The biggest problem with a tile roof is the weight, not every roof can bear the load. The roof structure is usually designed for the anticipated load that it will be expected to carry. If the home is originally built using asphalt shingles, it may not be possible for a roofing contractor in Los Angeles to change to terra cotta tiles without significant structural modifications to the rafters and other roof components.