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Roofing Styles

Many people mistake roof types to roofing styles. The style of the roof is a factor insofar as pitch or slope is concerned. Flat roofs call for roofing that will prevent water from accumulating at the same time preventing wind from carrying off the roof. Steeper roofs, on the other hand, eat up more roofing area and demand more roofing material. The five main types of roofing styles are Gable, hip, gambrel, shed, and Mansard. Gable roof The gable roof is the most common. It has a high point, or ridge, at or near the center of the house or wing that extends from one end wall to the other. The roof slopes downward from the ridge in both directions. This roof style gets its name from the gable, which is the triangular section of end wall between the rafter plate and the roof ridge. It can be built with either a low or steep pitch roof. Hip roof A hip roof also has a ridge, but the ridge does not extend from one end of the roof to the other. The lower edge of the roof, or eave, is at a constant height and the roof slopes downward to the eaves on all sides. The point where two roof surfaces meet at an outside corner is called a hip. The junction where two roof surfaces meet at an inside corner is called a valley. Shed Roof A shed roof slopes in only one direction, like half a gable roof. The roof has no ridge and the walls that support the rafters are different heights. The shed roof has several variations. One is the butterfly roof, where two shed roofs slope toward a low point in the middle of the house. In another variation, two shed roofs slope upward from the eaves but do not meet at a ridge. The wall between the two roofs is called a clerestory and is often filled with windows to let light into the interior of the house. Most shed roofs provide little space for insulation and ventilation. Gambrel roof A gambrel, or barn roof, has double slopes: one pair of gentle slopes and one pair of steep slopes. Like a gable roof, the gambrel roof slopes in both directions from a center ridge. At a point about halfway between ridge and eave, however, the roof slope becomes much steeper. In effect, the lower slope replaces the upper exterior walls of a two-story house. It is common to add projections through the roof, called dormers, for light and ventilation. Mansard roof A mansard roof is like a hip roof. From a shorter ridge, the roof drops in two distinct slopes to eaves that are the same height all the way around the structure. Up to 40 percent of a building is roofed with the mansard roof design. In addition to typical residential applications, mansard roofs are often used for apartment complexes, commercial buildings, and even institutions such as schools.

Flat Roofs. Flat roofs are an ancient style mostly used in arid areas. They have a slope of about 10 degrees and hence dont require much roofing material. This makes them cost friendly as a roofing style. They are normally waterproofed to prevent seepage of water into the house using bitumen layers, PVC or EPDM rubber.

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