Roofing shingles

5 Types of Roofs

If you’ve driven around anytime, we’re sure you’ve seen a variety of roof types and wondered about them. From brightly colored to asphalt or tile, depending on the home type, certain types of roofs might be a better choice to match the aesthetic and bring functionality.

5 Types of Roofs and a Bit About Each One

Flat Roof

The flat roof is one of the most common types of rooms for commercial buildings. Whether it’s housing offices, a warehouse, or something in between, the flat roof takes the least amount of materials and can be built upon to add a garden or terrace.

Shed Roof

The shed roof, or skillion roof, is a single, slanted roof plane. It’s typically low on one side, high on the other. It’s often considered an alternative to flat roofs where drainage is a concern. You typically find this on sheds because of the odd shape and sizes that come with building them.

Gable Roof

The gable roof, or pitched roof, is the most common residential roof across North America. It has a central ridge, surrounding by two sides that slope down. This design allows for attics and other storage space, along with increased ventilation and insulation for a home or building.

Hipped Roof

The hipped roof has two short sides and two long short sides slanting from a single ridge in the center of the roof. Most of the eaves on the long and short sides shade windows, doors, and more. This helps protect your home from the elements over time. Any area prone to rainstorms will find the hipped roof a great investment for their property.

Pyramid Roof

The pyramid roof is similar to a hipped roof in functionality but uses a sharp peak rather than a flat ridge for effect. It offers the same type of protection from rain as the hipped roof type does and gives more aesthetic to certain home and building designs.

Now, you know a little bit more about some of the most popular types of roofs out there.

Roofers on a roof

When Does a Flat Roof Need Repair

While flat roofs are mostly a commercial roofing system, sometimes you come across a residential property that’s different. Whether you own a residential or commercial property, here’s some things to look for to determine if your flat roof needs a repair or replacement. Let’s look at what to look for in this type of roofing system.

When Does a Flat Roof Need Fixing?

Some of the most common issues with flat roofs include:

  • Cracks
  • Dips
  • Melting
  • Warping

Each of these contributes to the overall degradation of the flat roof over time. Since flat roofs are taking the brunt of weather and sunlight, as opposed to a slope roof which isn’t constantly being hit by the above, it can be easy for cracks and warping to start causing larger issues, such as leaking and drafts.

Twice a year, flat roofs should be inspected by roofing professionals. While this may seem like a burden, it’s preventative and should be treated as such. By having a roofer come out and walk your flat roof, you can repair any issues that have popped up. If you opt not to, when you finally decide to take care of an issue, it may be too late and you’ll be forced to replace the roof as opposed to repair it.

If your building or home is in a storm-prone area, leaking with a flat roof should be a major concern. Even the smallest of cracks can cause the biggest leaks. This is another reason why you need to have a roofer walk the roof twice a year. Your flat roof may be leaking after a storm and because it hasn’t leaked inside the building yet, you may not notice it. The longer a leak goes on, the more likely it is you’ll have to replace the roofer sooner than you wanted to.

What is a Flat Roof?

There are two types of primary roofs used throughout the United States: Slanted roofs and flat roofs. Slanted roofs are what you see on most homes, apartment complexes and live-in buildings. Flat roofs are what you see on most businesses, warehouses and commercial buildings. These are the two most common roofs you’ll find in construction. Let’s look at what flat roofs are and what the pros and cons of having one are.

Defining a Flat Roof

A flat roof is, literally, flat. It is almost exclusively level throughout its surface. Generally, a flat roof has a slope called an itspitch which is approximately ten degrees. Flat roofs were developed out of arid climates in the ancient world and allowed those who lived in the building to use the roofs for everything from additional living space, outdoor markets and more.

In areas of the country where warmer climates are seen year-round, most flat roofs are made of concrete or basic masonry materials. This allows the roof to observe sunlight and keep a building cool. In areas where rain and snow occur, flat roofs aren’t as practical being built this way because the concrete and masonry can be blown out as water seeps into the concrete and eventually freezes.

Flat roofs are best used and cost-effective when the space can be used for more than just a roof over a building. Many commercial buildings opt for a flat roof so they can install and place solar panels to offset energy costs. Outdoor activities, such as gardening, can also be accomplished on a flat roof. When the roof is used for more than just being a roof, a commercial building can get more long-term out of the roof for their business or purpose.

Hotels, for example, use a flat roof to house helipads, outdoor courtyards, pools and more. Apartment buildings can use them to dry laundry, storage and get togethers. Businesses can use them for meetings, solar energy and storage. The possibilities for a flat roof are endless when you think outside the box.

If you have a flat roof or are interested in one, contract Roofcorp today and see what we can do for your next project.