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Facts About Roofs - What are Roofs Made of

Updated on September 21, 2014

Types of Home Roofing Materials

Roofs are not only used for covering on the uppermost part of our building, but they are also used to protect the building and its content against rain, heat, wind, snow, cold, sunlight and the invasion of animals. There are two parts to a roof - the uppermost weatherproof layer (outer skin) and its supporting structure. In a minority of buildings, their outer layer of a roof is a self-supporting structure. A roof constitutes about 5% of the construction cost of a building but then it provides protection for about 95% of the balance of an owners investment

facts about roofs
facts about roofs

About 40% of heat in our house is lost through the roof. Although roofs are found in different shapes, slopes, color, and architectural styles, but the most important element is its material. Not all materials we use for our roof will be ideal for our home. The material used for making roofs can range from wheaten straw or seagrass to laminated glass, banana leaves, copper, alumunium sheeting and precast concrete. Ceramic tiles have been the predominant roofing material for centuries in many parts of the world. Today, many roofs are made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass, or wood shingles.

types of home roofs
types of home roofs

Traditional wood roofing is most often made of cedar. They have a typical life span of about 15 - 20 years. A cedar roof in need of replacement or repair will split and fall apart in dry climates. Wood roofing is lightweight and therefore makes them easy to install and not difficult to repair. If you have a roof with wooden shakes, then you need to watch out for damage from termites, carpenter ants or/and other wood-boring pests.

Composite roofing materials now have also become one of the favorite choices amongst homeowners and builders in every region of the country. Composite shingle roofs can be quite cheap, they are also very versatile and usually last between 18 - 30 years, depending on their thickness and the exact material used.

roof tiles
roof tiles

Clay tile is very common in Southwestern architecture, interlocking S-shape clay tile can often be found in many houses of Spanish and Italian-inspired design. The weight of the clay gives them durability but also necessitates strong support structures, making installation more difficult than wood or composite shingles. This roof material can last about half a century before needing replacement. Concrete is also good, as they seldom need replacing.

If you want a fire-proof roof then you might want something metal such as aluminum and steel (the most common metals used for roofing), but it can be very expensive. They are also lightweight and reflect the sun. We can also have our home properly insulated with eco-roofs but you need to know that they can also be prone to fire and easy deterioration. People can make use of solar panels but these may not be effective for those who live in a region or area that does not get a lot of sunlight. Using clay roofs is a good idea, but they are not suitable for those houses with weak structures


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