Buyer 101: The Valley’s 3 Most Common Roofing Types

In our newest series, Buyer 101 with Colby, we are taking a look at the three most common types of roofing in AZ.

A home’s roof is one of the main structural components you may have concerns about when making a purchase. As a buyer, you will need to consider the roofing age, material, cost to maintain, and with the help of a licensed inspector, identify potential issues. In the Valley we have many different types of roofing, you will likely run into most of them on a short afternoon of touring. In my first Buyer 101, I will touch on the three most common types of roofing in AZ.

Tile roofing is one of the most durable types of roofing you will find in the Southwest. It is often made of clay but can also be made of concrete or other lighter weight materials. The hard clay tiles will stand up to harsh conditions, such as extreme heat, severe storms, and monsoons. While the tile is the first line of defense from leaks entering your home, the underlayment is the second. The tile can last 30, 50 and sometimes over 60 years, while the underlayment is often a 20 year material. When a tile roof says, replaced in 2020- this often means only the underlayment. Traditional felt paper can last for at least two decades and other synthetic options will last even longer. The clay title will last for additional decades beyond the original underlayment and can be reused with new underlayment. 

Shingle roofing is also a very common type you will find here in Arizona, and it is attractive because it is much less expensive than a tile roof. That also means that maintenance costs for shingle roofing are more affordable. Shingle roofing is most often made of asphalt and will come in a wide range of shapes and colors. The lifespan of a shingle roof will be around 25 years, about the same as felt paper underlayment on a tile roof. There may also be a couple layers of shingle roofing, new roofing can be applied over old shingles, however, there is a limit and this layered approach should be evaluated by a licensed roofer.

Foam roofing is the another common type a buyer will see when looking for a home. Foam is often used on commercial buildings, but it can also be applied to homes with a variety of roof types, but often flat roofs. The foam is made of polyurethane that is sprayed on your home in a single layer. As it dries it will provide a strong and seamless roof and provide strong insulation/R-value. Foam with a higher “R” rating, will add additional insulation to your home and lower energy cost in those hot summer months. This type a roof is also inexpensive to install and maintain when compared to a tile roofing. 

If the home you have fallen in love with has a roof that is reaching the end of its life expectance, it is good to know ahead of time so you can plan for the future replacement. Work with your agent to create both an inspection plan and referrals for roofing contractors for your specific roofing needs.

Written by: Colby Schmeckpeper

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