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How Roof Shape Impacts Longevity

Mar 01, 2018

If you’re in the process of building a home, you may be considering your roofing options. There are numerous types of roofs available, and metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners realize their benefits. Increased energy efficiency, superior fire resistance, and unmatched longevity are a few reasons driving metal roof popularity.

There are several factors that will inform your roofing style, but one of the most important is geometry. The slope of your roof, among other things, can help impact your roofing material’s performance. Here’s what you need to know.

Your Roof’s Pitch

Your roof’s “pitch” affects its performance and durability. Pitch is another word for steepness and is a measure of its rise over run. For example, a roof may rise 6 inches vertically for every 12 inches it goes back. Your roof’s pitch determines what roofing materials you can use, and even the cost of labor. For example, a roof with a steep pitch cannot withstand heavy roofing materials like clay tiles or slate because they could damage the structure’s integrity.

Metal roofs are the most common on roofs with steep pitches for several reasons: first, metal is light and will not damage the home. Second, steeply pitched roofs are often visual features, and metal can provide a striking aesthetic. Lastly, metal roofs do not need much maintenance and do not need to be replaced as often as other roof types, so this helps protect the homeowner from intermittent costs.

Moderately sloped roofs and mildly sloped roofs also accommodate metal roofing styles well. People living in homes with a more modern design and flat roofs have other considerations, such as drainage, that might affect their roofs durability.

Types of Roofs

Everyone wants their roof to last as long as possible, sometimes aesthetics also play a role. Here’s what you can expect from the basic roof types:

  • Gable roofs are some of the most commonplace in the country. Their triangular design helps with drainage and looks good, but they are susceptible to high winds. Gable roofs, in the right climate, can last about 50 years with metal roofing.
  • A hip roof is another common option and has four sides. They tend to be a little shallower than gable roofs and can last 40 to 50 years with metal shingles.
  • A mansard roof is ideal for creating more living space, but the shallow slope does not make them a good option for places with lots of precipitation. In the right climate, a mansard roof made of metal can last as long as 100 years.

Your roofing materials and slope can greatly affect your structure’s longevity and aesthetic. Consider all of these aspects when designing and building your new home.

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