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What are the Best Materials for Patio Roofing?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are a variety of options for patio roofing materials including metal, wood, vinyl, and plastic. It is important for homeowners to carefully consider their needs as well as the region and climate to determine which option is best. Some materials are better suited to certain climates than others, and many homeowners rely on the expertise of a professional contractor or the local home improvement store staff to guide them in the best direction. The visual appearance of each of the roofing materials also plays a role in helping the homeowner chose which is best for his or her purposes. It is easy to view roofing options on home improvement websites or by visiting a local store before making a final decision.

One of the most popular options for patio roofing is metal. Metal roofing has several beneficial features, such as durability, fitting in with most patio styles, and wide availability at affordable prices. In most cases, metal roofs must be professionally installed to avoid incorrect installation, which may result in more expense to repair the roof itself, as well as money needed to replace other property damaged by water from a leaky roof. Metal roofs conduct heat very efficiently, and could make the patio underneath hot and uncomfortable for many people. When choosing a metal patio roof, it is also important to use only metal sheeting strong enough to support a person's weight for easy repair and maintenance.

Wood patio roofing has been used for generations to shelter patios, gazebos, and other outdoor structures. It is easy to work with, even for the novice builder, and is incredibly durable, especially when proper maintenance is performed. Wood roofs can be designed to provide shade coverage to the entire patio, or installed in a pergola design to allow sunlight through. This material may not be suitable for patios in wet, rainy climates due to risk of mildew and wood rot. Home improvement experts often suggest wood roofing for those regions with moderate climates.

Vinyl and plastic composite materials are also being used to create patio roofing options. The pros associated with vinyl are numerous, including availability in a wide range of colors and patterns, effective sun protection properties, and easy installation. These roofs are often sheets of vinyl or plastic specifically made to fit the dimensions of the patio or gazebo. High winds and storms are often a problem for this type of roofing, and are frequently lost or damaged by severe weather conditions. It is recommended that they be removed from the structure before storms if possible.

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Discussion Comments

By Terrificli — On Mar 18, 2014

Another problem people have with patio roofings pops up when "do it yourself" types don't take into account how important it is to build in enough slope so that water runs off the roof. It is all to common to see perfectly flat roofs and that invites water to pool on them and contributes to rotting wood and rusted metal. Odd that such a basic design feature is often overlooked.

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