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The 6 Best Materials For A New Roof in Houston

houston roofing professionals installing new roof materials

Hi there, if you’re in the Houston area researching roofing materials, chances are you could use some professional help.

Especially when the expertise costs you nothing, right?

But before taking such a direct and exciting step, why not wrap your mind around the basics. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in today’s article. We’ll walk through the 6 best roofing materials composing  the framework for a 21st-century GAF roofing system installed somewhere in the Houston area on nearly a daily basis.

Let’s go ahead and dive right in.

     1) Roof Shingles

What’s the #1 saying you read everywhere as you research shingle-based roofing materials for Houston-area roof replacement, or just what’s involved in a new roof in Houston?

“Your roofing system is much more than shingles!”

And while that’s true, it’s arguably the most critical part to consider for someone looking to invest in roofing systems. The lion’s share of homeowners, and we can speak for Houston area, are worried about three things:

  1. Cost / Value
  2. Performance (Including Aesthetics)
  3. Coverage

Within minutes of DIY research you realize that logically the best place to start (even with a professional roofing consultant standing next to you) is choosing the best roofing materials. This helps you determine your manufacturer, and your manufacturer helps you know what your installer options are.

In our neck of the woods Houston Roofing & Construction is your go-to reliable, certified, socially-vetted, and professional resource for GAF asphalt shingle roofing systems.

Since this is our blog, rather than looking at the less common luxury options (cedar/wooden, slate, asphalt blends, etc.) which are heavy, expensive, and more complicated in the coverage department, let’s look at well-known GAF materials.

Here are their core asphalt shingles.

Timberline® Asphalt Roofing Shingles

This goes without saying, there are a mindblowing amount of these shingles on roofs all over North America. We’ve all seen them countless times, even if we weren’t aware, from Houston to Hartford; from Huntsville to Hoboken, year after year their longer lifespan, installation standards, and cost-effectiveness continue driving demand.

GAF regularly pushes the performance envelope of their core shingles (HDZ line) making them more impressive to not just homeowners, but homebuilders and installers like us. When you choose your shingle, you want to put an emphasis on the manufacturer because this is the largest determining value-driving factor.

From there it’s a matter of installation expertise and precision.

Conventional 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

The upsides to classic 3-tab shingles are the lower upfront price tag costs, extremely rudimentary installation process due to ultrasimple roof protection, and you get plenty of styles to choose from.

They were the standard for a while, but have been long-since outdated. If you choose the lower-quality, or lower-end 3-tab shingles today you’re going to get inferior performance, low weather resistance, basically zero wind resistance, and so on. Essentially, they’re cheap, easy to throw on the house, and they require a good amount of maintenance despite minimal performance.

They also aren’t likely to show any ROI in increasing your home’s value, hence why they aren’t included in most lists of best roofing materials in the Houston Metro area.

GAF Upgraded 3-Tab: Royal Sovereign Shingles

Being the #1 roofing company in North America, of course GAF took the conventional 3-tab and dumped tons of innovation and resources into upgrading them. So far what they’ve come through with is the Royal Sovereign line.

  • Delivers more in terms of aesthetics; better styling value.
  • Well over 10Million have been installed, so they’ve been substantially tested in the field and come through with solid homeowner/roofer reviews.
  • Designed to have more strength, durability, and weather resistance for strip shingles.

That should give you a good basic rundown of the most common asphalt shingles you’re likely to run into in the Houston area – updated asphalt-based shingles, conventional 3-tab, and upgraded 3-tabs. Now let’s look at what other roofing materials you need for a new roof in Houston.

    2) Leak Barriers

As the name suggests, these are parts of your roofing system that protect against leaks, rain, moisture, all that liquidy stuff roofs are designed to keep out of your sanctuary. Houston is a pretty dry area for the most part, but in other parts of the country leak barriers are considered rain and ice dams.

Leak barriers are installed on breaks on the roofing plane, such as valleys, chimneys and where the roof meets a wall. When installed on a GAF roofing system, it is also installed under the drip edges and over the fascia, creating an impenetrable sheath under the shingles.

With GAF we’re going to have two options, a film-surfaced or mineral-surfaced.

Film-Surfaced – StormGuard®

  • A poly-film-surfaced material that’s more tear resistant because it’s higher-value.
  • Designed for both shingle and metal (sheet) roofing systems with smooth surfaces.
  • More tear resistant, thicker, more durable and superior adhesive properties.

Mineral-Surfaced – WeatherWatch®

  • A granular surface designed for use on specifically asphalt shingle roofs.
  • Installers definitely like them because of their enhanced traction.

Ultimately your roofing consultant will walk you through the process of defining which would be ideal for your roof, but leak protection is a must. Speaking of which…

    3)Hip & Ridge Cap Shingles

The big difference between ‘regular’ shingles and what we’re about to look at, is that when you need to cover a hip or ridge the shingles must be thicker and manufactured in a different way. If you tried to bend a high-quality asphalt shingle to suit as a ridge cap, it would just crack and break.

As roofers, we can also attest to their ability to shed water and debris more effectively. Plus, who can argue the level of aesthetic value they add? With GAF we have a range to choose from depending on the specifics of your roof. While they refer to them as Standard and Premium, it’s really more situational.

Standard Options with GAF

  • Z®Ridge: To appear like thick, uniquely-styled, wooden or cedar shakes.
  • Seal-A-Ridge® ArmorShield™: SBS-modified
  • Seal-A-Ridge®: These are another option that match your core GAF shingle color.

Premium Options with GAF

  • Timbertex®: Designed to be 195% thicker than your conventional strip shingles.
  • Ridglass®: A more premium wood-shake design and styling features.
  • TimberCrest™: Features a distinct bullnose look that suits some situations.

Once again these are just the very basics involved in your core GAF roofing materials. Although isn’t it nice to know there’s a variety of options and they’re manufactured to work cohesively? The next underlayment step from here is your roof deck protection.

    4)Roof Deck Protection

Otherwise known as roofing felt, this protects your roof from the outermost layer of the asphalt shingle system. Long gone are the olden days of rudimentary underlayment, now we have modern synthetic and fiberglass options with far superior performance and features. 

Synthetic Options

  • Deck-Armor™: This is considered top-of-the-line GAF deck protection.
  • Tiger Paw™: A ‘premium UV-stabilized polypropylene’ option with optimal breathability.
  • Feltbuster®: This is what will often be paired with conventional 3-tab shingle projects.

Fiberglass-Reinforced Options

  • Shingle-Mate®: Reinforced with fiberglass, you can see the strength and durability here.

Fire-Resistant Options

  • Verashield®: Both fire and impact resistance, with strong UL Class A ratings to immediately upgrade your roof’s fire classification upon installation.

Now that we’ve talked a bit about the protective underlayment roofing materials we can choose from with GAF, let’s look at your start strip shingles.

    5) Starter Strip Shingles

During a roof replacement, starter strips are applied to the eave and rake edges of your home to prevent shingle blow off and moisture (many lower-quality contractors will use cut up cheap 3-tabs to save on their costs). This is a critical layer of protection where regular shingles can’t be overlapped.

The two core products here with GAF are their standard and premium options. 

Standard Option – Pro-Start®

These are designed for standard shingles, and because they cost less – have less material – you get less coverage per bundle. This equates into more material and more material waste if not installed by seasoned and experienced roofers like Houston Roofing & Construction.

Premium Option – WeatherBlocker™

Now we’re talking heavier-duty starter strips specifically engineered for GAF asphalt shingles with much more coverage per bundle, meaning smaller amounts of waste and less labor costs. 

“Using WeatherBlocker™ Premium Eave/Rake Starter Strip Shingles tightly locks your shingles in place and helps prevent shingle blow-off.”

    6) Ventilation & Attic Vents

Here you have a wide variety of Ventilation & Attic Vents: Exhaust, Intake, Power Vents, Gable Wall & Circular Louverse, and more including all the relevant accessories (storm collars, roof jacks, zinc moss & mildew prevention, etc.). We won’t bother trying to go through all these, but needless to say they play critical roles in roofing systems.

Wrapping Up

Well alright, there you have it folks. Those are your fundamental roofing materials. If you’re considering a new roof in Houston and you’ve never dealt with GAF before, go ahead and give Houston Roofing & Construction a call today. We can help you choose the best roofing materials they have to offer with industry-leading coverage combined with our guarantees. We look forward to hearing from you soon.