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!

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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!

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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 to learn more.


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