How to Choose the Right Roofing Material for an Outdoor Area

23 March 2017
 Categories: , Blog

When building a patio or back deck in your yard, you might want to consider a roof over this space, to protect you from the hot summer sun and so that you can enjoy the space even during a light rain. Many roofs for such an area can be extended from the home and attached to the exterior siding or brick, if you don't want an actual pergola or arbour around the patio or deck. Note a few considerations for choosing the best material for a patio or outdoor area roof, and discuss these with a roofing contractor as needed.


Wood has a very aesthetically pleasing look and is easy to paint, so you can change the look of the outdoor roof yourself. Wood is also a good sound insulator, so it may be the quietest choice for when it's raining. However, wood does absorb moisture, so it can be prone to expanding and then shrinking over the years, causing eventual bowing and warping. This moisture can also lead to mould and mildew growth, and the need to have the roof professionally cleaned.


Vinyl is very durable and won't readily hold moisture, mould, mildew, or bacteria. It's easy to clean, as you can use a good scrub brush or even a power washer on a vinyl roof. The slick surface of vinyl can encourage snow to slide off the roof, which can mean less risk of the roof collapsing or getting damaged under the weight of snow. Vinyl can't be repainted by a homeowner, however, so you may be stuck with the colour you choose when it's installed, and the material may look a bit cheap and artificial and not as attractive as other options.


Metal is very durable and strong, and can be fabricated to resemble tile; it can also be powder coated virtually any colour, so if you want a nice russet red to match the cedar of the deck, or something slate grey to match blue vinyl siding of the home, metal is probably your best choice. Metal is also a poor host to bacteria, mould, and mildew, so it's very easy to clean on your own. You also don't need to worry about ants, termites, and other pests infesting a metal roof. An insulator board between metal skins can add insulation to the outdoor area, so your roof extension keeps the space cool in summer and then warmer during fall and winter months.