Most homeowners don’t think about the roof above their heads until something goes wrong and water penetrates the inside of their home. The design of a typical roof is simple yet effective. The three main elements of roof architecture are the materials used, roof components, and the different types of roofs out there. Understanding these three factors will help you build the perfect roof suited for your New South Wales home.
Which components constitute a roof?
Before you are ready to build a roof, you need to understand all of the components that go into a typical roof. The roof’s ridge is the intersection line between two roof slopes at the highest section of the roof. “Pitch change” is the line that connects two slopes with different, yet not opposite slopes.
Further on, a valley constitutes a concave joint created by two sloping roof planes. This is the place where rainwater is channeled downwards into a gutter system bellow. The “hip” of the roof is a horizontal or in some cases, an inclined line that stands for the joint where two opposing slopes meet at an angle greater than 180°. The main role of the hip is to enable rainwater to flow away unobstructed.
The drip edge is the line that delimits the lower part of the roof slope. Water is then channeled into the gutter after it had been collected in the drip edge. Gables or rakes are inclination lines that delineate the side of the roof slope. Finally, the eave is the section of the roof that overhangs the walls of a residential structure.
Understanding roof pitch
Now that you have familiarized yourself with basic roofing terminology, we will explain that roof pitch is. It is important to determine the roof’s pitch right because it will prevent water from ponding on the roof. The more rainfall and snowfall your area get, the higher the pitch will be. That’s why chalets high in the mountains have steep proofs, while such a feature is less common in dry places, such as Australia.
In general, a roof is considered flat if the overall inclination is between 2and 3%. Such pitch is mild but enough for a slow flow of water and snow. The advantage of these types of roofs is the fact they are walkable, so you can have a rooftop wedding.
When it comes to pitched roofs, they are perched at an angle steeper than 5%. Of course, depending on the shape of the house and the roof, there could be several separate slopes set at different angles. The usual angle in residential slate roofing in Sydney and Australian cities is around 30°, while a home in the mountains could feature a roof with a pitch angle up to 150°.
Materials used in roofing
You can cover your house with pretty much any water-resistant material but concrete, timber, and steel are most frequently used.
A framed concrete structure is supported using beams placed on columns. Concrete roofs are sturdy, as they are built up with joists, hollow blocks, surface lining, and a concrete slab, flooring screed, and surface lining.
Apart from residential roofing, they are quite popular in industrial structures, such as hangars and warehouses. While installing a concrete roof, the chances of making mistakes and causing inadvertent damage are fairly low. In addition, these roofs are almost unaffected by atmospheric exposure. The only drawback of concrete are longer installation times.
Timber roofs are the most basic of all types of roofs and include frames, rafters, purlins, and trusses. The main structure of a timber roof is supported by a secondary structure made up of secondary joists sitting above the main structure.
Modern roofs made from timber are eco-sustainable, they are easily recycled once their life-cycle is over, and they are lightweight, making then ideal for interventions on existing structures. Finally, the high elasticity of timber offers excellent resistance to seismic actions.
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Finally, steel roofs are grouped in framed roofs, trussed roofs, and steel truss beams. Framed steel roofs are most common and they consist of beams and columns which support prefabricated roof panels. The main advantages of steel roofs include shorter commissioning times, lighter structural weight than concrete, elements compared to concrete, lower error margins, and durability (solid resistance to mold, corrosion, and termites).
In the end, we offer you a couple of tips about how to approach the roof build itself. Start by using roof slopes with identical inclination to save on material and building time. Further on, the eaves line should match the same horizontal plane. Try to reduce the use of hips, since every extra hip you install possess a greater risk to water infiltration and ponding. Finally, water disposal must always be positioned externally to the residential structure.
Building and designing a roof is an elaborate process but manageable if you follow a simple guideline: keep things simple. The more you read about roof structure, the better you will be at designing ad executing residential roofs builds.