The Main Roof Types and What to Expect from Installing Them

the detailed image of a roof

Ever since man moved out of the caves and began making huts, the roof has been of enormous importance. Through the thousands of years that passed since that happened, the technology and construction techniques of roofs have developed greatly, achieving incredible lengths. Today, there are many roof types and styles that people can choose from. The choice between different types of roofs depends on three factors: Functionality, cost, and appearance. Ultimately, a good roof is one that complements the building it’s a part of. The following guide will go over the main roof types and their characteristics. Additionally, it will let you know what to expect from installing them.

What Is a Roof?

With the purpose of providing protection and shelter, a roof is the covering of the superior part of a building. It is designed to create a barrier from animals, weather, sunlight and other elements. The characteristics of a roof depend on various factors, including architectural standards, the objective of the building it covers and the type of materials available. Additionally, there may be regulations implemented by local governmental institutions. Some roof types also provide additional living space that one can use for various purposes.

Functionality aside, many different aesthetic approaches have been taken towards roofing. This resulted in hundreds of different styles that have continued to develop until the present day.

The Most Prevalent Roofing Styles

a partially-thatched roof

Gable Roof: Gable roofs have an inverted V shape that makes them practical. We don’t really recommend them for windy places since they offer too much resistance to strong winds.

Gambrel Roof: People use it mostly for barns. However, contractors used it for residential construction too.

Hip Roof: A common style of residential roof with four sloping sides.

Flat Roof: The most simple roof type, flat roofs are very popular for commercial buildings.

Types of Roofs

a house with a gambrel roof

According to the material they are made of, experts classify roofs within certain types. Additionally, different types of roofing materials demand certain construction procedures that one should also are also taken into account for classification purposes. Additionally, different levels of slope on roofs exclude the use of certain materials. According to this aspect, roofs can have no slope, a low slope or a steep slope. Although there are many others, the main types of roof are the following:

1. Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Mostly used on steep roofs, asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of roofing products. There are asphalt shingles of various proportions, styles, and qualities. One of the most versatile types of roofing, asphalt shingles are available in a wide array of colors and textures.

2. Wood Shake Roofs

Wood shake shingles are a more primitive version of the modern asphalt shingles. Very much like them, they overlap each other in order to make the roof weatherproof. Because they are a natural material, they have a rustic look that can be a great advantage. However, for this very reason, they need maintenance more often than synthetic materials.

3. Slate Shingle Roofs

Put simply, slate roofing is formed from shingles made out of a special kind of layered rock. Specialists consider slate shingles to be the roofing material with the highest quality available. They are extremely durable, damage resistant, fire resistant and waterproof. A downside of slate is that it’s very heavy, making its installation more difficult.

4. Metal Roofs

There are many types of metal roofing systems. The most common types of metal used are zinc, steel, copper, aluminum, and tin.

5. Tile Roofs

One of the most expensive materials for roofing, for many people tile roofing is a symbol of class and status. While clay tiles are the most common, there are others made of synthetic compositions of various types.

6. Membrane Material Roofs

As technology keeps advancing, manufacturers create new and more advanced types of rubber roofing. Membrane roofing materials take advantage of technological advancements to offer increased performance, added durability and reduced costs. The base materials used to create them include modified bitumen, thermoplastic membrane, single ply, EPDM, and others. Most contractors use membrane roofing materials for flat roofs.

What to Expect from Installing a New Roof

a detail of a slate roof

Installing a roof is a difficult and hazardous process. However, it’s also an essential and indispensable aspect of construction, making it highly important that it’s carried out correctly. In order to do that, one needs to hire a professional contractor or roofing company. Additionally, you need to take care of other issues before installation can start. These issues include permits, structural repairs, and others.

Without a doubt, one of the most important decisions a person has to make when installing a roof is choosing among different roof types. Variables such as the duration, difficulty, and cost of the installation will change according to the chosen type or roof. Of course, all roof types have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, despite their particular characteristics, all the main types of roof are designed to provide effective protection and shelter. This includes the creation of a healthy, pleasant and functional interior environment without moisture and other possible problems. Additionally, all roof types have the function of drainage in order to avoid the problems caused by water accumulation. Although installing a roof is not inexpensive, it’s a worthwhile investment that improves the quality of life.

As a conclusion, we can state that, even though its purposes are always the same, a roof needs to adapt itself to the conditions of the building it covers. All the design elements should align with the overall purpose of the building, allowing an effective performance, extending lifespan and facilitating human activity. Different roof types will have an effect on the overall durability, weather resistance, aesthetic identity and overall value of a building. In short, because of all the previously mentioned reasons, high-quality roofing is an important investment that will lead to a better quality of life.

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