UK vs US Roofing – Understanding the 3 Key Differences

Whether it’s baking a cake or changing a car tyre, it’s become second nature to ask Google for advice and more information nowadays. The problem? Results from the US dominate a lot of searches.

Sure, that’s not an issue when you’re searching for recipes. But when it comes to roofing, there are several differences between UK and US roofing. It’s best to be aware of these differences so you can make an informed decision about your roof, rather than being misled.

1.   Materials

One of the most common things you’ll see online when reading about roofing is the use of ‘shingles’. So much so, in fact, it’s easy to assume this is just the US word for tiles. It’s not.

Shingles are an alternative to tiles which are made of felt with a bituminous ‘asphalt’ covering. They’re a lightweight material which makes it very cheap to cover a roof.

However, they’re also inferior to real clay or concrete tiles when it comes to protecting your home, which is why this system has never really taken off in the UK. Over here, felt roofing of this type  is pretty much restricted to garden sheds.

2.   Guttering

Another key difference between UK and US roofs is the choice of guttering and drainage. In the UK, it’s become common practice to use PVC for guttering. Why? It’s durable, flexible and relatively cheap. PVC is also available in different colours, so it can be matched to the roof or property.

In the US, they use a lot of metal in their gutters. Of course, this comes at a cost and isn’t as versatile in appearance as PVC. However, it’s not necessarily bad practice. There’s nothing wrong with metal gutters if you want something more heavy duty and potentially longer lasting than PVC, which is why it should probably be adopted by more people in the UK.

3.   Longevity

With natural slate and stone roofing, the UK has some of the longest lasting roofs in the world. Our roofs last for upwards of 50 years as standard, with some lasting two to three centuries.

In contrast, many US roofs will last a couple of decades. That’s not because of shoddy workmanship or faults, it’s simply the accepted lifespan when using materials like shingles.

This is probably the most important distinction between UK and US roofs, as highlights a fundamental difference in the roofing industry. US roofs are installed and replaced quite frequently. Over the course of a lifetime, you could expect to have two, three or even more roofs.

In the UK, roofs are built to last. If you have a new roof installed by a reputable roofing company, it’s not unrealistic to expect it to last a lifetime with the right care and maintenance.

Roofs built to last

If you’re looking for advice that’s specific to your roof, DPR Roofing can help. We’re a team of trusted roofing contractors in Wakefield with over three decades of experience. When it comes to roofing repairs or replacements, we work for the long-term rather than patching things up with quick fixes.

Whether it’s guttering, flat roofing or a repair on your home’s roof, we’re on hand to help throughout Wakefield and the surrounding areas.