Types of Roofs, What Kind Are There?
There are some things that every roofing system has in common. All of them are designed to provide buildings with an initial layer of protection against the elements, and every roof needs occasional repairs or replacements. Beyond that, though, the roofing systems available to Houston property owners begin to diverge significantly. Read on to find out about different types of roofs and when each of them is most appropriate.
Common Types of Roof Designs
The design of a building’s roof can help to determine which materials will be the best fit. While most commercial roofs are very similar, residential properties are more likely to feature different types of roof designs. There are hundreds of alterations, but the general types of residential roofing designs are:
Gable roofs feature two slopes that meet at a peak. The slopes vary significantly in pitch depending on the building and the local climate. This popular roof type is easy to build and maintain, but it’s less energy-efficient than some designs. Gable roofs can support just about any type of common roofing material.
Like gable roofs, gambrel roofs have two slopes on each side. The difference is that the peak is placed in the middle, creating an impression similar to that of an inverted gable roof. Gambrel roofs offer more space and are less likely to fail during severe inclement weather events. The trade-off is that they are harder to build and maintain. However, gambrel roofs can also support almost any residential roofing material.
Mansard roofs feature two slopes on each side that peak in the middle. They’re best suited for areas that see a lot of snow, so mansard roofs aren’t very popular in Houston. The primary advantage of this type of roof is that it can make buildings look bigger. Mansard roofs are difficult to build, though, and they only support certain types of roofing materials.
Hip roofs feature four slopes instead of two. They offer greater design flexibility than other roofing types and require fewer materials thanks to their gentle slopes. Hip roofs can support most of the common roofing materials.
Shed roofs aren’t usually found on traditional homes, but they’re gaining traction among modernist architects. The problem is that while this type of roof is simple to build, it’s not a good fit for larger homes. Modern homes that feature shed roofs often have multiple surfaces, each of which features a single slope that ascends from the side to the peak. They offer great flexibility in terms of roofing materials.
Types of Roofing Materials
Here comes the fun part. Now it’s time to discuss the different types of roofing materials. Unless homeowners are looking for historic roof repair, which requires maintaining a very specific style, there are plenty of options to fit any roof design.
Most shingles are actually a form of asphalt roofing. Technically, they’re referred to as asphalt fiberglass shingles because they feature fiberglass mats embedded into their surfaces to provide extra strength and tear resistance. Shingle roofing is the most common type of roofing for any sloped roof design. Asphalt shingles are available in a variety of colors, some of which mimic the appearance of heavier and more expensive wood or slate roofs, and they’re generally quite affordable.
Historically, tile roofing was strongly associated with Spanish-style architecture. Now, though, this popular roofing type is being used with other architectural styles to great effect. Typically made from clay or concrete, tile roofs are well-suited to hot climates that see little rain, so it should come as no surprise that they’re growing in popularity in the Houston area. The downside of tile roofs is that they tend to be more expensive, and the weight of the roofing materials can’t always be supported by a home’s existing sub-roof.
Until just a few decades ago, metal roofing was used almost exclusively on commercial buildings and it was rare to see homes with any sloped roof design that featured metal tiles, slates, or panels. Some homeowners assumed erroneously that they wouldn’t be energy-efficient, while others felt that it was better to stick to traditional materials. Now, metal roofs are common and they come in all shapes and colors. Metal roofing is appropriate for any roof design, even those with very low slopes.
Wood Shake Roofs
Wood shake roofs are very uncommon in Texas. They’re hand-crafted from cedar, which provides natural insect and rot resistance, but don’t always provide the level of fire resistance required to comply with modern building codes. Because wood shake roofs are very difficult to install and maintain, they’re best reserved for historic homes.
Like wood shake roofs, slate roofs are made from natural materials. The stone roofing tiles stand up well to the elements and provide excellent fire resistance, but they’re very heavy and difficult to install. Installing a slate roof is very expensive because it usually requires reinforcing the roof deck and shipping in stone tiles from slate deposits found in Pennsylvania and Vermont. This roofing material isn’t appropriate for all roof styles, either, so property owners interested in slate roofing may want to inquire about imitation slate asphalt shingles, instead.
Special Concerns for Flat Roofs
Large commercial buildings and some modern homes with unique architectural styles feature what are known as flat roofs. Technically, the roofs are very slightly sloped to allow for drainage, but they’re flat enough to walk on or store equipment on. Flat roofing materials are very different from the ones used on sloped roofs. They are usually painted or rolled on and consist of waterproof membranes and UV-resistant coatings rather than tiles, slates, or panels.
Professional Roofers That Can Do It All
Not every Houston roofer has experience working on both residential and commercial roofs. No matter what roof style and material property owners have, Precision Roof Crafters can work with them to maintain, repair, and replace it with ease. Fill out a contact form or call your above and beyond team at Precision Roof Crafters to discuss an upcoming roofing project with dedicated industry experts. How can we earn your business, today?