Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Different Types of Roofing Materials
The roof of a building is as important as the rest of the structure. Choosing the roofing material goes beyond the beauty of the finished house; builders consider a number of factors in determining the kind of roofing materials to use. Some of these considerations include culture, climatic conditions, finance, and the design of the building.
Metals wrought into thin sheets can be used for roofing. Some come in plain sheets and others in corrugated sheets. Steel is used in roofing when coated with an alloy of zinc and aluminium. Galvanised steel is the most popular in developing regions.
The problem with untreated iron roofs is that they are bound to rust, which shortens their lifespan. For this reason, large industries use steel and copper for roofing because of their durability. It is estimated that copper roofs last for over a century. They are also easy for mechanical manipulation, suitable for sharp thermal variations, resistant to rust and require little or no maintenance at all. Metallic roofs are commonly used within the tropics for domestic purposes.
Thatched houses use plant materials that are dried and fostered into bundles which are then arranged in layers across the roof top. In Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, thatching is done using tall grass and papyrus reeds. In parts of America and Europe, thatching is done using Rye, sea grass and wheat straw. It should be noted that thatching has nothing to do with social class, but rather the availability of material and the design of the house. Thatched roofs need continuous maintenance.
The other type of roofing material is tiles. Tiles can last over a century if well designed and manufactured. Roofing tiles come in different shapes, sizes and colours. They form a much stronger roof than metal sheets and thatching. They require maintenance, and re-alignment of the tiles and repainting should be done once in ten years.
Some buildings are roofed using concrete slabs. This is common in storied buildings. You can even find a roof top garden or restaurant as the roof is as sturdy as the flooring.
There are roofs tailored for special structures and purposes, such as the roofing of a nuclear plant and other industrial applications. Synthetic tiles made from carbon compounds are common for such roofs. Synthetic roofs are actually fast becoming popular for commercial use. Using a combination of both natural and artificial materials is growing into a trend in a bid to reinforce roofs, provide variety and enhance aesthetics.