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Specialty roofing materials are becoming an increasingly popular option for residential and commercial buildings. However, these materials come with their own set of challenges that need to be taken into consideration during the installation process. This article will discuss the various challenges posed by these new materials, as well as how to ensure economic, quality and functionality goals are met when using them.


Installation Cost

Installation of specialty roofing materials is usually more expensive than traditional materials due to the extra effort and care needed to correctly install them. They require specialized experience, tools and equipment which can add a significant amount cost to the installation process. Additionally, specialty materials often need to be cut on-site, which requires additional labor and cost.

Material Cost

Specialty materials can also be far more expensive than traditional materials due to their limited availability, complexity of manufacturing and specialized installation requirements. Many materials need to be purchased in bulk in order to get the best pricing and shipping rate, which also drives up the cost. Also, due to their uniqueness, many of these materials may not be covered by conventional warranties, making them a potentially risky purchase.

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Extremes in Temperature

Specialty roofing materials can be sensitive to extreme temperatures and precipitation. For example, metal roofing materials can expand and contract in the heat during the summer and contract in the cold during the winter, making them more prone to cracking and other forms of damage. Asphalt shingles are more prone to cracking and curling when exposed to constant temperatures, especially during the summer.

Puncture and Impact Damage

Specialty materials may also be more prone to puncture and impact damage than traditional materials. Single-ply membranes, for example, are highly susceptible to punctures from high winds, hail, and tree branches. Metal roofing can also be damaged from objects such as stones striking it during windy conditions.


Expertise Required

Due to the complexity of specialty materials, the installation process usually requires specialized expertise, experience and training. Proper installation of specialty materials often takes more time to complete than traditional materials, as the installer typically needs a deeper knowledge of the material’s characteristics. Additionally, a higher level of care is required to ensure the material’s integrity.

Tools and Equipment

Specialty materials may require a wide range of tools and equipment beyond the typical tools used for traditional materials. Specialty tools and equipment such as power tools, special cutters and modified ladders may be needed to get the job done correctly. In addition, many of these materials need to be cut on-site which requires extra time and added expense.

Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and Cleaning

Specialty materials require a higher level of maintenance and cleaning than traditional materials, as residue and dirt can build up and corrode the material over time. Additionally, these materials need to be kept clean to optimize their efficacy and extend their lifespan. Proper maintenance and cleaning can also prevent mold or mildew growth and ensure that the material is protected from water damage.

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Unlike traditional materials, specialty roofing materials can be difficult to repair. Many specialty materials require specialized knowledge and tools to be repaired, so only a certified professional should attempt any repairs. Asphalt shingles, for example, are very difficult to repair as they are prone to cracking and curling when exposed to temperature extremes.

People Also Ask

Which specialty roofing materials are the most durable?

It depends on the environment and specific roofing application. Metal roofing is usually regarded as the most durable, followed by asphalt shingles, single-ply membranes, and clay tile roofing materials.

Can specialty roofing materials be DIY-installed?

No, it is recommended that specialty roofing materials be installed by a certified professional due to the complexity and specialized skills needed. DIY installation may lead to improper installation and invalidate the material’s warranty.

Are specialty roofing materials more expensive than traditional materials?

Yes, specialty materials can be more expensive than traditional materials due to their limited availability, complex manufacturing process and the specialized installation processes usually required for them.

Do specialty roofing materials require more maintenance?

Yes, specialty materials tend to require more maintenance compared to traditional materials. It is important to properly maintain the material to ensure its integrity and longevity.

Final Words

Specialty roofing materials offer unique benefits that traditional materials can’t provide, but they also present unique challenges that need to be taken into consideration. Unlike traditional materials, specialty materials are more expensive and require a higher level of expertise, tools and equipment to install correctly. Additionally, they tend to be more susceptible to extremes in temperatures and puncture/impact damage and require more maintenance and care than traditional materials. Despite these challenges, using specialty roofing materials can still be a cost-effective solution for many residential and commercial applications.