What Types of Roofing Systems Are There?

If your home or commercial property needs a new roof, you may be wondering what different types of roofing are available. Here, we’re going to discuss the different types of roofing systems that are available. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each roof type will help you make a smarter choice when it’s finally time to move forward.

Types of roofing: steep slope vs. low slope

There are two main classifications of roof systems: steep slope and low slope. The official distinction between the two is that low slope roofs won’t exceed 14 degrees; steep slopes, in contrast, are greater than 14 degrees.

Low slope roofs are also typically more common with commercial buildings, while steep slope roofs are seen more on residential properties. Each brings its own features, which we’ll explain.

Features of low-slope designs

Low-slope roofs, or “flat roofs” are becoming popular with homeowners as well as construction professionals building new homes. These roofs have varying prices and often come with a 10 to 20-year warranty, sometimes longer if they are maintained well and installed correctly from the get go.

Flat roofs bring different methods of repair and other considerations before you decide to replace it. They are more prone to leaks than traditional roofs, so it is important that you pinpoint leaks and use the right foundational materials to repair them.

Low slope roofs are basically weather-proof, which is definitely an advantage here in Vancouver and other parts of Washington.

Low slope designs come in a grouping of subcategories:

Built-up Roof: One of the main benefits is it being fire retardant, as it consists of gravel. It is also the most inexpensive type of roof. These are composed of three or more types of waterproof material. These are heavy roofs and often require strengthened joists, so be sure that your roofing professional takes a close look at your home’s structure before you decide to install this type of roof.

Modified Bitumen: This is a single-ply rolled roof that is made of a peel and stick material. It is lightly colored and thus reflects heat well, which can help cut utility bills over time. It is priced mid-range, and it’s both safe and easy to install.

Rubber Membrane: This durable material looks like an inner tube and is built to resist sunlight damage. It is usually mechanically anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone, or glued together. The material is light and holds up well against tears and scuffs. If there are any leaks, they are easy to patch. Given the strength of material, this is a higher priced flat roof option.

Features of Steep-Slope Roofing

Just like low slope roofs, there are also a variety of subcategories for steep slope types of roofing. Each type of roofing brings its own features:

Asphalt: Asphalt is traditionally the most common material used, as it’s quite durable and relatively inexpensive
Slate: Slate is incredibly durable, as it’s life expectancy can extend up to 100 years. Homeowners appreciate it as it gives an elegant look to the home.
Shakes/shingles: These are popular for reasons similar to asphalt, as they are durable and, most especially, resistant to decay
Metal: Metal roofs bring a range of benefits, namely the fact that they are environmentally-friendly, have a long life expectancy and bring relatively minimal maintenance. Within this category comes many different kinds of roofs.

With so many options available, homeowners or business owners are able to get the exact look and features they need.

Pros and Cons of Low and Steep-Slope Roofs

Steep slope roofs

+ Steep slope designs are simpler to maintain, as debris rolls off easily
+ Steep slope roofs are perfect for homes with a traditional look
+ Allow the room under the roof to be used as an alternative use of space

Need water-shedding features to reduce the risk of water permeation
Sometimes more expensive than flat roofs, since they require more construction materials

Low slope roofs

+ Low slope roofs are waterproof
+ Can use the roof space for things like rooftop gardens, terraces or leisure areas
+ Allow for more use of available utility space below (which is why they’re so popular with commercial buildings)

Debris can collect up top, and are more expensive to maintain
Not always eligible to be constructed in certain areas

Shop for a New Roof in Vancouver

Now that you know more about the different types of roofing systems and what they have to offer, you will be able to decide which style is right for your needs. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons, considering aesthetic preferences, and then comparing different designs in the low slope or steep slope category.

It’s pretty easy to research roofing materials online. Once you’ve found the right design, contact Warner Roofing or call (360) 694-0249 for the professional installation you are looking for.

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