Roofing 101 – Types and Materials

For those who do not know, a roof is the topmost layer of your house or building. It is the upper covering that protects the house from heat and other harsh weather conditions. Roofs provide protection against snow, rain, and strong blowing winds as well.

Roofs come in many different styles and designs, each serving a different purpose. Some are designed in a specific way to simply add beauty to the construction, whereas others may specifically be designed to resist winds of up to 150mph. It all depends on the requirement of the person.

These days, companies like Tesla are making power walls which are basically solar plates designed like chips or roofing materials. They cover the building and generate electricity from solar energy. The solar roofs are a new concept, but roofs have been serving functions of both insulation and drainage for a long time.

There are many different types of roofs depending on the design, material used as well as the function they serve. They all have pros and cons. We will now explore the different types of roofing options available:

Types of Roofs

Flat – Flat roof as the name suggests is completely flat. It is a good option for many reasons. It can be used if you plan on constructing another floor in the future. It is also a good way to increase the surface area and usability of the roof. Flat roofs can also be turned into balconies and roof-gardens.

Gable – These are the most common type of roofs. They look like a triangle or simply two slopes coming together at the top. The biggest advantage of gable roofs is that they prevent snow and ice from accumulating on your roof. The shape helps all of it to slide down from the sides.

Curves – Curved roofs are generally made of flexible materials like steel or thick PVC. They add a contemporary look to your accommodation. The curved shape helps reflect sunlight, making them ideal for hot regions.

Shed – Shed roofs simply have one long slope from one end to the other. They are simple and highly affordable to make. Their flat service also helps with solar panel installation. Other than that, they prevent snow buildup as well.

Pyramid – A pyramid roof is shaped like a pyramid, meaning it has four sides that join together at one point.

Cross Hipped – Cross hipped roof has two intersecting hip sections. It is used for complex designs where there may be turns in the design of the roof.

Domed – Domed rooftops are most commonly seen in Igloos, cathedrals and mosques and some other buildings. They are circular in shape and look very nice. They provide a cooling effect outside and an echoing effect inside. Domed roofs also prevent snow buildup which means they are great for both hot and cold regions.

Combination – Depending on the requirements, roofs can be made by combining the above types. One can mix and match as many types as needed to fulfill the needs.

Types of Roofing Materials

Wood Shake – Wood shake roofs provide a lovely rustic and natural look to houses. They are also very long lasting. If you choose a wood like cedar, you would not have to take much care of it as it is resistant to harsh weather conditions and fares well against pests as well. It is important to know that they can only be installed on sloping rooftops.

Metal – Metal is a great roofing material as it can last longer than a hundred years if you choose the right type of metal. Metal roofs actually last more than any other material, and the most resilient and long lasting of them all is copper. There are many benefits of metal roofs. First of all, despite being the most durable, they are not very expensive. They also do not make noise if proper insulation is in place. They can also be installed over your existing roof instead of scraping it off. This saves hassle, time and money. Despite what many people may say, metal roofs do not attract lightning either. Since metal roofs last more than other materials, in the long run, they are highly cost effective. They are also a good way to prevent fires or at least stop them from spreading. When you are done with your metal roofing, they are also recyclable.

Asphalt Shingles – Asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of material used for roofing purposed. Shingles come in small individual pieces that are joined together to form the covering of the roof. They come in many different shapes and colors, making them extremely versatile and suited to many different types of buildings and constructions. They come in wooden textures as well which help provide a wooden roof look without spending a lot of money on actual wood. They typically last between 20 to 30 years depending on the weather conditions of the area.

Slate – Slate roofs are an old but very durable material used for roofing. They consist of stone and are joined the same way as asphalt shingles. They are very resilient and can still be seen in houses that are a century old. They have many benefits. They provide a lovely rustic look. They are good for repelling heat and cooling down the interior. They are also recyclable. The only down-side is the weight. Due to the stone, slate roofs tend to be much heavier than other roofing materials. If you are thinking of slate roofing your house, make sure that the construction is strong enough to withstand the weight. If not, it may need reinforcing, or you may need to look for other alternatives.