By Collin Kelley

Managing Editor

If you’re building or renovating a home or it’s just time to replace your existing roof, there are many options available, including those that are eco-friendly. Bell Roofing owner Charlie Bell said homeowners repairing and replacing roofs has not been affected by the recession. Recent heavy rains have meant more business for Bell as people discover new leaks.


Bell said a general rule of thumb is to have a certified roofer do an inspection to see how shingles are holding up. Here are some popular roofing options being used in Atlanta.


•Fiberglass shingles are lightweight and won’t break when you walk on them. They are also more fire retardant, hold up well in inclement weather and have a 30-year lifespan. These shingles are the easiest kind of roof for the do-it-yourselfer to maintain and repair. They also come in a variety of styles and price ranges. Bell said the more textural and architectural-style shingles are popular and look nicer. “New homes are using them,” he said.


•For a more Southwestern look, consider clay or concrete tiles. Both clay and concrete tiles are light, don’t rot and are fireproof and insect resistant. Concrete tiles are now being made that simulate wooden ones.


•Metal roofs made from aluminum or coated steel are fire-resistant and nearly maintenance-free. They also are energy-efficient, reflecting the sun’s heat and blocking its transfer into the attic, which can reduce air-conditioning bills. Steel roofs also resist mildew, insects and rot and many are made from recycled materials.


•Slate is durable, recyclable but one of the more expensive options. Since it’s a natural material, it comes in a variety of colors created by Mother Nature. “People are still using slate on expensive homes like you find in Buckhead,” Bell said, “but on the average home you don’t see it because of the cost.”


•If you like the look of slate or cedar but not the environmental impact, look at eco-friendly alternatives. Companies like EcoStar by Carlisle, Re-new Wood and Authentic Roof have produces made from recycled rubber and plastics. Bell said he wasn’t sold on these products yet because they are too new and haven’t been put through the test of time.


Bell advised homeowners to check their roofs often for leaf and debris buildup, which can rot a roof. Also make sure the ventilation in the attic space is appropriate. For more information, visit www.bellroofingco.com or call (404) 874-ROOF (7663).


Dixie HomeCrafters is offering a new roofing system that provides value and performance with a distinctive wood look. GAF-Elk Timberline Prestique 30 High Definition Roofing Shingles are architecturally stylish but practically priced, and feature GAF-Elk’s patented color blends and enhanced shadow effect.


“Homeowners are choosing Timberline shingles for their superior strength that resists cracking and splitting,” said Hugh Harris, CEO of Dixie HomeCrafters. “They also have UV blockers which protect against damaging sunlight and maintain the true color of the shingle longer.”


With a Class A fire listing from Underwriters Laboratories, the highest rating in the industry, the shingles also come with a 30-year transferable warranty. “This is a product that can save you significant amounts of money over time,” Harris says. “It is an investment in your home that will last for years to come.”


For more information, visit www.dixiehomecrafters.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.