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What homeowners should look for in a roof

(StatePoint) For most homeowners today, durability and longevity are the two key aspects that will influence the type of roof they purchase for their homes in the future. According to a 2011 nationwide consumer study conducted by Harris Interactive, 88 percent of respondents said that the durability of a roofing product will have "a lot of influence" on their selection when it comes time to replace their roof.

"If you're in the market for a new, durable roof, look for a product that has achieved the highest standards for wind, fire, and impact, including the highest ratings for straight line wind testing," says Ray Rosewall with DaVinci Roofscapes.

Both severe weather and everyday conditions can take a toll on your roof over time, so be sure to choose roofing products that are designed to resist curling, cracking, fading, mold, algae, fungus, insects and water absorption, which eliminates freeze-thaw issues and allows for installation in all weather conditions.

Look for a low-maintenance product that has completed a battery of third party tests and certifications.

As important as durability is, a roof can make or break the beauty of a home, so don't sacrifice on style or taste. New products can help you simulate the appearance of a real slate or natural roughhewn wood shake roof with slanted sawn edges and staggered lengths.

Homeowners and contractors now can consult with online tools to find colors that match the rest of their homes' exteriors.

"Everyone is cost conscious these days, but a roof is a long-term investment. Those who understand the importance of durability will get more long-term value from a quality roof versus a lower cost bargain-basement priced roof," says Rosewall.

These days, it's easy to see why homeowners are putting more value on the inherent quality and durability of roofing tiles and supplies before taking the plunge to invest in a new roof for their home.

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