A roof covers the structural framework of a building. A variety of structures are used in the construction of roofs, including blocks, slabs, shingles, tiles, and green roofing. A roof also covers the outfacing portion of a structure. The roof structure is typically comprised of many different materials, such as slate, shingles, wood shakes, tile, plastic, metal, etc. Most of these materials are designed for thermal efficiency, but some may be designed for aesthetic function, such as the use of colors or decorative elements such as grasses, mosses, ivy, etc.
A roofing material that provides structural support is generally considered to be a solid roof. However, a roofing material such as tile, shingles, metal, or slate may provide overhanging eaves. Overhanging eaves is a condition where the overhanging edge of a roof structure extends above the roof surface and may result in water accumulation and possible leaks.
Roofing materials are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rainfall, strong winds, extreme heat, hurricanes, and blizzards. A roof’s strength depends largely on its composition. Metal roofing materials are typically used for hot-air homes, such as cabin homes and RVs. They are also used in roofs for commercial buildings. Common types of metals used in hot-air homes are aluminum, copper, and steel. Concrete block roofs, on the other hand, are commonly used for houses with limited roof space.
Flat roofs are roofs whose pitch is less than twenty percent. These roofs are more expensive than traditional pitched roofs. Flat roofs are frequently built using two-ply construction. For this type of roof, gravel or tile is used as roofing material, and the pitch is between one and twenty percent. In extreme cases, flat roofs are built without gravel or tile, but then they are termed as “open” roofs.
The term “slope” refers to the angle between a roof’s sloped surface and its slope. The greater the slope, the better the durability of the roof pitch. Roofing companies usually recommend that the slope of an urban sloped roof should be no more than three degrees; however, actual slope may vary based upon the underlying property characteristics. Another factor that affects the recommendation of slope is the amount of rain absorption.
Aside from increasing the life expectancy of your home, another benefit of having a low slope roof is cost savings. Roofing contractors often recommend installing a new roof on high pitch roofs only, because existing structures make use of low slope roofs. High pitch roofs, however, can be costlier to repair, which can make it a poor decision if there are significant financial savings to be gained from installing a new roof. In some cases, low slope roofs are used for both commercial and residential buildings in low-sloped areas.