Basic Types of Roof

Not known to us is that our roofs have science behind their construction. Every minute detail is considered when building our roofs. Roofing materials are selected in consideration of the location of the house, the climate, and a lot more. One thing more that surprises me is that the shape of the roof is also a very important thing to consider in its construction.

Roofers construct the roof in a specific shape according to what our homes need. Here are some examples of common roof shapes to further educate us.

Types of Roofs

Gabled Type Roof

This kind of roof shape is the most common roof that roofing contractors put up. It has two roof surfaces of the same size that are pitched at the same angle back to back, making a ridge at the top and forming a triangular roof. Its simple design makes it popular among homeowners because it is cheap and easy to build. It effectively sheds water, allows for good ventilation, and typically provides the most ceiling space. But it is not recommended for high wind areas.

Flat Roofs

In contrast to the sloped form of a roof, a flat roof is horizontal or nearly horizontal. A flat roof is the most cost-efficient roof shape as all room space can be used fully. Materials that cover flat roofs should allow the water to run off freely from a very slight inclination, or else water will pool on the roof, which can eventually lead to leaks.

Hip Type Roof

Roofing contractors find this type of roof harder to construct than gabled-type roofs. It does not have flat sides like the gable roof. Instead, all sides of the roof slope down to meet the walls of the house. Also, unlike gabled-type roofs, hip roofs are very good for homes in high wind or hurricane areas as they offer better internal bracing and are less likely to be peeled from the house as a gable end.

Skillion or Shed roof

A skillion or shed roof is normally a single sloping roof surface, not attached to another roof surface. It is generally the cheapest and easiest roof to build that you won’t even have to get Roofing Contractor to construct your roof. This roof type is associated with home additions, sheds, and porches.

What Kind of Material is on Your Roof 

You want to know specifically what kind of roof material you have because you need to confirm and verify that the company you are hiring is an expert with that specific material. Not all low-slope roofing materials are alike. The same applies to steep pitch and standing seam metal roof systems.

Flat roof membranes installed in the Edmonton area are typically one of the following:

  • Tar and Gravel: Built-up – the one with small pea gravel on top – not river rock size FYI, if larger like river rock, that means it is ballasted.
  • SBS Modified: Torch On – many people describe it as rolls with shingle-type material on top – granules – it comes in many colors but is most often grey
  • TPO (Thermal Plastic) – it’s kind of like a raincoat material and typically white but not always
  • PVC (Poly Vinyl) – it looks like TPO
  • EPDM – rubber membrane rolls typically black
  • Liquid Applied Rubberized Asphalt, or a coating such as Liquid Rubber. 

Steep pitch roofs are typical: shingles, cedar, pine, metal shingles, metal panels (standing seam or not), concrete or clay tile, composite plastic tile, rubber tile, or any other. 

Low slope metal roofs are normally found on commercial and especially industrial buildings. They are typically one of three types or categories; agricultural grade (nonlocking with exposed fasteners), snap-lock type, or standing seam of one form or another.

The above is a simplified list of available roofing material types, but it should give you an idea of how to start the conversation with each company you call if you don’t already know specifically what type of material is on your roof. 

These are just some roof shapes to get us into the basics of roof construction. So next time you need your roof to be done, you can now understand some of the basics, making you less naive and harder to be fooled by roofers.

Author Aaron Walker

Written by: Aaron Walker

I have extensive construction knowledge and I always stay up to date on current events and new technologies and hope to share my knowledge and expertise here. I am focused on green technologies and home improvements that include green living ideas.