What Is The Best Roofing Material For Inclement Weather?

What Is The Best Roofing Material For Inclement Weather?

Do you live in a four-season area or an area with inclement and harsh weather? Bad weather can really do some serious damage to your roof, and nobody likes having to shell out more money than they have to on something like a roof! If you’re a person who lives in a location that has as harsh of weather as, say, Wisconsin, then you may be asking yourself the following questions. What is the best roofing material for inclement weather?

In this article, we’re going to talk about just that. Whether you’re updating your roof, need a replacement roof, or a just curious, we’ve got you covered on what the best roofing materials are for inclement weather. So grab your favorite refreshment and hang out while we discuss what roofing materials are best for inclement weather.

What Is Inclement Weather?

If you know, you know. But if you don’t know, inclement weather is when the weather becomes too severe and harsh, especially when it’s too cold or wet for people to be in.

This type of weather often occurs during North America’s winter season, and can often result in large amounts of snow, rain, or hail. Inclement weather can cause serious damage to roofs. If you live in this type of area and you want a roof that will last you a long time, you will want one of the following types of roofs!

Related Articles: 7 Tips for Picking the Right Contractor

What Do You Need To Watch Out For?

Inclement weather can be quite nasty, but there are a handful of obstacles that you need to be aware of when dealing with it.

Ice Build Up

Something you may not have considered during your roof improvement project is how to deal with ice dams. Ice dams are common during winter times, and occur when ice builds up on a roof. This ice then creates a wall that warmed water cannot pass over when other snow melts. The problem can exacerbate itself and the pool of water can become large and cause huge problems for you.

These can be avoided by making sure that your gutters are clean of any debris, using a roof rake to remove snow from the top of your home, and removing ice formation from your roof and/or gutters. You, or your local roofing expert, should also ensure that your attic insulation has at least an R-value of 30 and that your ridge & soffit vents are working properly so heat doesn’t rise through the sheathing and melt snow faster.

Water Damage

Water damage is something that you will need to keep in mind when looking to upgrade your roofing material in preparation for inclement weather conditions. If you’re experiencing large amounts of ice build-up, the backflow of water can seep through the sheathing and enter your home. Once the water is in your home, it will continuously spread throughout your home. This is why it’s important to use roofing materials that have great water-resistant characteristics.


Weight is another important factor to consider when looking to upgrade the materials that your roof is made out of. You will want your roof to be built strong enough to withstand the pressure that snow, ice, and water can put on it. For instance, a cubic foot of light & fluffy snow will weigh about 5.2 pounds, a cubic foot of compact snow can weigh 20 pounds or more, and a cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds.

That’s a lot of weight! This statistic should reinforce the fact that you will either need to get an incredibly strong roof, constantly rake your roof after each snowfall, or do both to reduce the chances of ice building up on your roof!

Related: Roofing Inspection Checklist


Types Of Roofing Material That Is Best For Inclement Weather

There are many different types of roofing materials out there. However, only some of the choices are hardy enough to withstand a terrible winter, let alone decades’ worth of terrible winters. So without going through every single type of roof out there, some of which might fair well in different weather conditions, we’re only going to be talking about those that stand out in inclement weather.

Slate Roofing

Slate is a fantastic roofing material for those looking to keep their home, themselves, and their family safe during sustained inclement weather. When slate roofing is properly installed, slate roofing can withstand winds that exceed 160 mph and last for more than 100 years!

There are two common cons that are associated with slate roofing. The first is that they are expensive when compared to other materials. The second is that the slate is very heavy, which will require a very experienced roofer to install your new slate roof.

Asphalt Roofing

This is one of the most common roofs around, and it’s because it’s inexpensive and easy to install. It’s also a good roof to have as it’ll do well in most climates, regardless of where you are around the world, as the typical asphalt roof can last anywhere between 25-30 years. If you’d like to learn more about what asphalt roofing is, we have a perfect article for you that explains what asphalt roofing is! However, this inexpensive roofing material does have some drawbacks.

The first drawback is that these shingles are prone to becoming worn and damaged over a shorter period of time than some of the other solutions we have on this list. Asphalt roofing shingles are susceptible to blowing away during high winds and can even crack during cold weather. While this is one of the least expensive options you can get for a roof, if you live in an area that has inclement weather, it might be wise of you to spend a little more upfront on stronger roofing material as asphalt roofing can leave you with a bigger repair bill that you might have to pay in the future.

Synthetic Roofing

Synthetic shingles are a great roofing material for those who live in areas that have inclement weather. They are about twice as expensive as their close relative, the asphalt shingle, but have more than twice the durability. They’re considered a class 4 shingle, the highest of shingle classes, which means that it will take quite a bit for them to break apart.

The only downside to synthetic roofing is that they’re relatively new and don’t have much history. With that said, they still might be a worthwhile investment over asphalt roofing if you have the budget to spare.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs might be one of the best performing and most cost-effective roofing materials for those living in areas that experience high amounts of inclement weather. Metal roofs are lightweight when compared to other styles of roof with the same durability, like slate roofs. They also have a smooth surface which is conducive for snow to slide right off of them, which will help negate any buildup of ice dams. You can also install snow guards and heating cables to reduce snow buildup even more.

However, without proper insulation, metal roofs can significantly increase your heating bill as they’re great at transferring heat and cold. If you do decide to install a metal roof onto your home, prepare to spend more on insulating your roof.

Final Thoughts On What Is The Best Roofing Material For Inclement Weather?

Regardless of what roofing material you choose, make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons of your choice so you can prepare yourself for any future events that can come. When you do call a roofing company, like Affordable Contracting Services, make sure you know which questions to ask before hiring a roofing contractor.

If you’re building a new roof isn’t in your future, and you just want to learn how to survive brutal winters with less trouble, then check out our article on the top four roofing tips for Wisconsin weather. If you would like to have your roof evaluated to see if upgrading your roofing material is right for you, then give us a call! Contact us at (920) 216-2243, check out our roofing services page, or visit our website at acsroofingsiding.com to learn more.


Further Reading:

11 Key Questions To Ask Your Roofing Contractor Before Hiring

11 Key Questions To Ask Your Roofing Contractor Before Hiring

Important Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor Before Hiring

As you have reviewed your roof inspection checklist, or are currently planning a roof replacement, you are likely thoroughly researching several of your local roofing companies. You may be wondering, “what questions should I be asking my roofer prior to hiring them?”

Here are 10 key questions you should ask your roofing contractor before hiring them on.

1. Are you licensed and insured?

As a general rule of thumb, make sure that your roofing contractor is both licensed and insured. Do your research and know what the local codes are. Ensure that the contractor you hire has all the appropriate paperwork and permits to perform work on your home.

  • Licensed: This means that your roofers are registered with the state of Wisconsin.
  • Insured: Every roofing contractor must be fully insured, with a company vehicle insurance policy, workman’s comp, and general liability.

Affordable Contracting Services is a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor, so you can rest assured that our roofing contractors are all appropriately licensed and insured.

2. How long have you been in business?

Be sure to look into how long the company has been in business. Usually a company that’s served their local clients for many years is committed to a quality job, with a respect for their property. The most reliable way of finding out the credibility of a business is to take a look at reviews online. A roofing contractor’s Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews will help give you a lot of insight into the quality of work they do.

For example, you’ll be able to pick up on people’s experiences with the company’s warranty, honesty, willingness to answer client questions, the team’s process from start to finish, timeliness, and their overall level of expertise.

3. Are you a local company?

Make sure you choose a roofing company that’s in your local area, with a physical office location and a local phone number. There’s clear advantages to hiring a local company. For example, a local company knows what local installation codes to follow, what paperwork is required, and anything else that complies with requirements of the state of Wisconsin.

We encourage you to avoid out-of-state companies that only come to your area after a major storm hits. More than likely they may or may not perform work that complies with Wisconsin requirements.

Also, these roofing contractors may simply be looking to get roofing projects for money and then move on to the next storm-stricken region of the country to do the same there.

Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractors

4. How do you ensure the project is on time?

Inquire how your roofing contractor plans to maintain the project’s timeline. Since unexpected challenges can affect the completion date, it’s important to know their strategies for overcoming potential delays. Ask if they have sufficient staff to manage unforeseen circumstances, and whether they have extra materials, tools, and supplies on hand.

Additionally, question their approach to handling adverse weather conditions. Check if their contracts feature a “no later than” clause that might void the agreement if the project exceeds a certain duration.

5. How does your company protect my property during the project?

Another important question to ask your roofing contractor is “how does your company protect my property during the project?” As a home or business owner, you’ll definitely want a peace of mind going into the project. One of the best ways to do that is by directly asking the contractor what steps they personally take to protect your property.

For example, what protocols do they follow to protect your lawn, landscape, or light fixtures? You don’t want a roofing contractor that states in the fine print that they’re not responsible for any roofing damage.

6. What is your roof warranty?

You should inquire with your roofing contractor about the kind of warranty they offer on their workmanship. You’ll find that the warranty ranges from company to company. A roof warranty can be one year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty-five years, or even a lifetime.

Contact Affordable Contracting Services for more info on our GAF warranty and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

7. Can you give me references?

Another tip we recommend is to ask your roofing contractor for a reference of a job performed in the last 3-6 months. Any reputable roofing company should be happy to provide you a reference upon request. If desired, you can verify past clients’ experience with the company by contacting them personally.

Specifically, some questions to ask include:

  • Did the roofing team complete the roof replacement on time?
  • During the project, how did the contractor protect your property?
  • How did the contractor clean up after the roofing project?
  • What kind of warranty did the contractor provide?

Good references help to establish trust with your roofing contractor. If the contractor is not willing to give you a reference, it’s a sure sign that you shouldn’t invest your money in that company.

Questions to Ask Your Roofing Company

8. What do you do with the debris during the project?

Make sure to ask your roofing contractor about their disposal methods for waste materials. To avoid the inconvenience of having your yard cluttered with debris from the roofing job, ensure the contractor has a plan for proper disposal of all refuse material.

Typically, professional contractors provide a large container, such as a dumpster, to collect and remove damaged materials, packaging, and other waste at the project’s conclusion. This ensures they handle the cleanup, sparing you the task.

9. How often do you suggest I replace my roof?

The frequency of roof replacement depends on the material used and environmental factors. Asphalt shingle roofs, the most common type, typically last 20 to 25 years. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years. Tile and slate roofs have a lifespan of 50+ years.

Regardless of the roofing material, regular maintenance and inspections can extend a roof’s life. If you notice sagging, missing shingles, or frequent leaks, it might be time to check with your local roofing contractor for a replacement.

10. Do you use roofing subcontractors?

Inquire with the roofing company about their practice of employing subcontractors for certain aspects of the project. Confirm whether these subcontractors are adequately insured and licensed to carry out the work. Additionally, you should request the subcontractors’ names and physical addresses.

Utilize resources like the Better Business Bureau and social media platforms to conduct a background check for any potential issues. A trustworthy roofing company should transparently clarify which specific tasks are delegated to subcontractors and provide a rationale for this decision.

11. Do you provide written estimates?

Ask the contractor if they offer detailed written estimates. To avoid unexpected expenses at the project’s end, ensure the estimate includes costs for labor, materials, and potential additional expenses.

Enhance the precision of the estimate by providing photographs of any damage, noting your roof’s dimensions, and monitoring the materials used throughout the project. At ACS Roofing, we always provide written estimates for your roofing project for your peace of mind.

Read more here for tips on picking the right roofing contractor.

For further reading, take a look at the article here about important questions to ask a roofing contractor before signing a contract.

Talk with Our Roofing Company

Ask a Roofing Contractor For Help With Your Roof!

Need help with roofing services in the Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kimberly, Oshkosh, and Fox Valley area? Look no further than our roofing contractors to get your new roof job done right!

We are skilled in roof installations, replacements, repairs, maintenance, siding, gutters, windows, doors, custom garages, and other home improvement services.

Contact Us

At ACS Roofing, we’ve proudly provided professional roofing services for asphalt, steel, and rubber roofs since our beginnings in 2003. Since then, we have only continued to grow as a team. Furthermore, each member of the Affordable Contracting Services team is GAF certified. This ensures that you can trust that our roofing contractors will always follow best installation practices.

In addition, we always provide a detailed written estimate and a timeframe that you can expect the roof job to be complete. We build relationships with our valued clients in the AppletonMenasha, Kimberly, Kaukauna, Oshkosh, and Fox Valley community, and are looking to serve you for many years to come!


Related Articles:

Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?

Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?

 Are you experiencing a leaky roof? Perhaps there is mold, hail damage, wet insulation, or rot forming? Or maybe it’s just a matter of age and your roof is getting too old, causing you to look for a new roof. If you are finding yourself in any of these situations, you may be asking yourself, should I repair or replace my roof?

In this article, we’ll provide answers to many of the questions that you might be concerned with. For instance, we’ll cover topics like what are the definitions of roof repair & roof replacement, the pros and cons of roof repair & roof replacement, reasons to consider a roof repair & roof replacement, and more. If you would like to speak to a professional about whether you should repair or replace your roof, please check out our roofing services page to find out more. Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Reasons & Conditions Require A Roof Repair Or Roof Replacement?

There are many situations that can cause a home & business owner to begin considering a roof repair or a roof replacement. Some of the most common reasons include water leaks, mold, rotting, severe storm damage, and the age of the roof. Here are our thoughts on how the winter season can affect your roof.

Leaky Roof

A leaky roof can cause a large number of roofing problems for property owners. Unfortunately, you may not notice a leaky roof until the water has already done substantial damage to your home. Once you notice a problem, you may attempt to find the source and put a tarp over the area like you would a bandaid over a wound, but you will eventually want to get a professional to come over and evaluate the problem.


A little mold on your roof, when caught early on, shouldn’t cause too much concern as it can be removed and repaired. However, mold can travel quickly, be stubborn to get rid of, and can attract rodents into your home. If not corrected immediately, the mold may spread deeper into the home and be a potential cause for health problems for you and your family. In short, our advice is to remedy the problem immediately once you notice that there is a problem.


Rotting can occur when your roof deck, also called sheathing, is exposed to moisture. While a single event of exposure is unlikely to lead to rot, repeated exposures will most definitely result in a rotten roof deck. You can identify roof rot if you see or experience any bowing, bulging, mold, damp & musty smells, spongy feeling roof, discoloration, insulation damage, or rot on surrounding features.

Storm Damage

After a severe storm and when it is safe to do so, make sure to take a walk around your home and inspect your roof for any damage. Damage from storms is a massive contributor to creating leaky roofs, mold, and rotting situations as the natural elements can tear away your roof and expose the vulnerable roof deck, or sheathing, below. If you do spot damage to your roof, please call an expert right away so that they can evaluate the extent of the damage to your roof.

Old Age

Most roofs have a lifespan of up to 25 years. Roofs nearing, at, or exceeding that age will begin to experience failures in various forms. Make sure you check with your building permit, roof receipt, or previous owners to find out whether your roof might be in this situation.

Another way to estimate if your roof is of the 25-year age mark is to see what your neighbors are doing. Typically, buildings in close proximately were built in close succession to one another. If your neighbors are getting their roofs replaced, then it may be a sign that your roof should be replaced as well.

Read More: 7 Tips for Picking the Right Roofing Contractor


When Should You Repair and When Should You Replace Your Roof?

If you’ve experienced any of the above situations, then you are most likely in a position where you will be needing to either repair or replace your roof. The difference between the two all boils down to the extent of the damage involved. Below are a few points as to why you might want to repair and/or replace your roof.

Asphalt Roof on Home

When You Should Repair Your Roof

There are many situations that will only require you to repair your roof. For instance, if you have a small leak around a pipe or chimney, a small hole or puncture, insignificant tree or weather damage, poor maintenance, and minor ventilation problems. Repairing a roof is much more affordable than replacing a roof, and can help you gain more years onto your roof’s life. These are often activities that an adept homeowner can accomplish, but most often is best when handled by a professional.

There are some downsides to repairing your roof. For starters, new shingles that are placed next to old shingles may have a difference in color which can reduce curb appeal. Also, poor workmanship from unqualified workers can cause further damage to your roof, resulting in even more hassle for you in the future.

When You Should Replace Your Roof

Repairing your roof might be the best path for you if you are looking to extend your roof’s life for a few more years or if you are on a tight budget and can’t afford a new roof. However, there comes a time when you may not have that luxury and will have to replace your roof. This is the case when either your roof is nearing the end of its life, the materials that your roof is made out of are beginning to fail throughout the entire roof, and/or your roof had received extensive damage from extreme weather or other natural elements.

One benefit that a roof replacement can have for you is that it will increase the curb appeal of your home. If you are going to begin selling your home soon, you may want to consider replacing your roof, as all people looking to purchase a home love finding out that the home they are about to buy just had a new roof installed. A new roof will also give you peace and tranquility as you won’t have to continuously worry about all of the concerns that an old roof can bring you.

There are some downsides to a roof replacement though. Roof replacements can be very noisy and can cause you, your family, your pets, and your neighbors unneeded stress. They can also be quite messy and make your house look like a construction site for the duration of the project.

Asphalt Roof in Winter

Final Thoughts on Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?

Ultimately, you should try to repair your roof when you can according to building codes. New roofs can be very expensive, use a lot of raw material, and can cause a big and noisy mess for you and your neighbors. However, If your roof is beyond repair, then you will need to get a roof replacement from a trusted home improvement specialist. Here is our roofing inspection checklist to assist with what items to look for, to see if you need a roof repair or replacement.

Either way though, getting an expert’s opinion on whether you should repair or replace your roof should be the first step of your journey to bettering your roof. If you’re in need of an expert, read more here about choosing the right roofing contractor. Read our other roof articles here.

Please don’t hesitate to visit our website at acsroofingsiding.com or call us at (920) 216-2243

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