High up and often overlooked, roofs are either the crowning glory of a building, exposed and proud, or a utilitarian solution for keeping out the rain, which is hidden from view. Whatever the approach, many factors must be considered to ensure the roof will perform as expected.
Roofs have been constructed in a wide variety of forms, dictated by technical, regulatory, economic or aesthetic considerations. They can be flat, pitched, vaulted, conical, curved, domed, lantern, gabled, monopitch or shed, hipped mansard or in combinations.
A roof is the first line of defence against rain, hail, snow and wind entry.
Roof designs must be able to cope with expected rainfalls and wind pressure so that the drainage capacity of the roofing, gutters, downpipes and stormwater drains is not exceeded. Any backing up of water because of insufficient drainage or high wind pressures preventing water from draining will also result in leaks.
The selection of a roofing material, finish and profile is a balance involving aesthetic, functional, durability, regulatory, structural, cost and environmental issues, as well as supply, installation, safety requirements and ongoing maintenance.
Roofs can provide years of relatively trouble-free service when the correct roofing material for the expected use and environment is chosen, the roof itself has sufficient pitch and is well detailed and constructed and maintenance is performed as required.
The aim of this resource is to identify and discuss the myriad of factors that need to be considered as part of the design and material selection to achieve a successful roof.
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