The Different Types of Roofing

A roof protects a home from rain, snow, sunlight, and temperature extremes. It is a critical part of the building envelope and should be constructed with care and consideration.


There are many options for roofing materials and a variety of ways to install them. Choosing a good one requires understanding fasteners’ expansion, contraction, and lifecycle. Contact Top Notch Roofing/Siding for professional help.

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one, it is important to understand the different types of roofs. The type of roof you choose can significantly impact your home’s style, energy efficiency, and functionality. You must also know what type of roof is best for your region and climate. A good roofing company will be able to guide you through the different options available.

A flat roof has a minimal slope and is covered with synthetic rubber or another durable material. It is easy to maintain and works well in regions with low rainfall. It is not as aesthetically pleasing as other roof types, and it can be more susceptible to water damage and insect infestations. However, it is a cost-effective option for homeowners who want to build sunrooms or other indoor/outdoor spaces on their rooftops.

Gable roofs have two sloping sides that meet at a ridge in the middle. This is the most common type of roof in the United States and can be crafted with a variety of materials, including asphalt shingles. It is very durable and can withstand high winds. Gable roofs are often used for garages and sheds.

Another popular roof style is the slanted butterfly roof, which has a V-shaped design that pairs well with large windows. It is eco-friendly and can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, wood and clay tile. However, it can be difficult to install and is not suitable for all homes.

Pitched roofs have a higher curve than flat roofs and allow for quick and easy water runoff. They are more stable than gable roofs and work well in areas that experience heavy rainfall or major storms. They can be made from a wide range of materials, including shingles (asphalt, composite and wood), cedar and slate.

Hip roofs have four equal-sloped sides that meet to form a ridge in the middle. They are very strong and can withstand extreme weather conditions, making them a good choice for homes in hurricane or tornado-prone areas. They can be crafted from a variety of materials, including shingles and standing seam metal.

Roofing Materials

As an important structural component of any building, the roof’s design must compliment the architecture and serve to protect the structure from exterior elements. There is a wide array of roofing materials expressly designed to meet these requirements. Some offer a distinctive look while others provide specific weatherproofing for extended periods of time. The type of roofing you select depends on a variety of factors, including your budget and climate.

Among the most popular choices for residential roofs are asphalt shingles. These come in a number of shapes, colors and textures to complement any home design. They are lightweight, inexpensive and have a lifespan of up to 30 years. Architectural asphalt shingles are thicker and have a more textured surface than three-tab shingles for improved weather resistance. However, they are more expensive and require a longer installation process.

There are also flat-roofing options, including single-membrane systems like EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), PVC and chlorinated polyethylene sheets. These are used on low-slope or flat roofs and can be applied over existing roofing. They are durable and have high impact and fire ratings, but do not provide as much thermal protection as a shingle roof.

Another option is concrete or clay tiles, which can enhance a traditional, colonial or Craftsman-style home and typically add to its value. They have a long life expectancy and come in many styles and finishes. However, they are expensive and are not ideal for all climates.

If you are concerned about environmental issues, a green roof may be a good fit. These have a layer of soil or plants that reduces stormwater runoff and helps with thermal insulation. There are a variety of these roofs available, including some that are made from recycled materials.

For a more elegant and luxurious look, there is slate. This is a natural material that is found in the form of thin sheets. It is often used on historic and luxury homes. This is one of the longest-lasting roofs, with some being hundreds of years old. It can be very expensive, though, and requires regular maintenance.

Roofing Installation

There’s no doubt that roofing is difficult work, and it’s a job best left to professionals. But even if you decide to DIY, it’s important to understand the process involved so that you can gauge your skill level and budget accordingly. To begin with, a professional will lay down underlayment, which is an asphalt-based sheet designed to protect the roof from moisture. Next, shingles are applied in an overlapping pattern and secured with nails. This is followed by a layer of granules, which protect the roof from UV rays and improve its appearance. Depending on the type of roof, additional elements may be added. For example, metal roofs have panels that are aligned and attached using screws, while shingle-style roofs feature ridge vents to allow for air circulation and maintain temperature balance.

As for the finishing touches, your contractor will apply flashing, which is a strip of metal designed to prevent water leaks around chimneys, windows, joints, and other areas that are likely to see more wear than the rest of the roof. This is usually done in conjunction with shingle application, and it can also be used around other roof penetrations, such as skylights and stack vents. Finally, the ridge of the roof will get a special kind of shingle or cap to add protection and to complete the look of the roof.

Before your roof is finished, you should prepare your house for the work to be done. This involves clearing toys and furniture from the patio, and putting outdoor items in storage or covering them with tarps. This is necessary because a lot of dust and debris will be kicked up during the roofing process, and these things could damage your belongings. You should also remove wall decorations, such as pictures and wreaths. This is because the vibrations from hammering can cause them to fall off.

In addition, you should arrange for children to stay at a friend’s or grandma’s house during the roofing process. This is because they won’t be able to sleep and might become frustrated or bored. Moreover, they might be injured by falling shingles or debris.

Roofing Maintenance

Roofing is an investment, and catching problems early through regular roof inspections will help to extend the life of your roof. A professional roofing contractor can create a maintenance checklist that is tailored to your roof. The inspection should include an assessment of all aspects of the roof including underlayment, flashing, shingles and fasteners. In addition, the inspector should look for signs of leaks and deterioration in the sheathing or decking that sits on top of the rafters.

Inspecting the condition of soffits and gutters should also be on your maintenance checklist. This will ensure that they are in good condition and are properly directing water away from the building. If you have trees near the house that overhang your roof, it is a good idea to get them trimmed regularly so they do not fall onto the roof during heavy storms.

One of the most common causes of roof leaks is in the flashings, which are metal coverings around chimneys, skylights and vents. These areas are prone to leaks because of the crevices between them and the shingles. Regularly replacing these flashings will prevent them from leaking and causing damage to the shingles.

The underlayment is another area that should be checked, and it is recommended to replace this material if you see it starting to rot in places. This is particularly important if you have a wood roof, because the rotting sheathing can cause structural damage to your home. The underlayment is typically made of a waterproof paper, although some buildings require an underlayment with a fire rating to comply with local building codes.

A routine general inspection is recommended for all types of roofs, as this will help to spot potential problems before they escalate and cost you more money in repair costs or a full re-roofing. Most manufacturers and roofing contractors have stipulations on their warranties that depend on proper general maintenance, and failure to keep up with this will likely void your warranty altogether.