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Important Roof StructuresTerms
There are a great variety of materials and designs that can be used for roof structures. Before deciding on a design, you should be aware of architectural terms, including the following:
Truss - A structure that provides support to a roof, using one or more triangle-shaped components, with straight sections that connect at nodes. Pitched trusses are often used for roof construction, while flat trusses are seen in floor construction.
Purlin - Horizontal part of a roof structure that supports the roof deck. Purlins are in turn supported by rafters, beams and other roofing components.
Corrugated - A type of metal roofing consisting of textured, ribbed surface and usually made of steel.
Metal - A low-cost type of roofing for all types of buildings. It can be made of steel, aluminum, copper and other metal blends.
Tile - One of the most common roofing materials. Roofing tiles can be made of terracotta, clay or other materials.
Rafter - Parallel wood components that support the tiles or other cladding material on the top of the roof.
Structural Insulated panels - A type of building panel made with insulation sandwiched between boards. They are manufactured in factories and made to fit a particular building design. The panels are used for roofs, floors and walls for an energy efficient building.
Green - An innovative type of roof design partially composed of living plant material and a growing medium. Green roofs insulate a building and retain water. They function to reduce energy costs and storm water runoff, making them an environmentally friendly option.
Flashing - A component, usually composed of sheet metal, which is fitted around penetrating roof objects to ensure a watertight seal. Flashing may be composed of silicone or aluminum when used for metal roofing. It is important to use flashing that matches the material and pitch of your roof.
The roof is one of the most important parts of any structure. In addition to helping stabilize the frame, it also helps insulate a structure's interior from rain and changes in temperature. From ancient examples made of local plant life and terracotta tile to more modern examples constructed from steel and concrete, the importance of roofs on buildings cannot be overstated.
Roofs are used to protect and insulate all kinds of structures, from homes and offices to garages and patios. The material that is used in the construction often depends on the size of the roof, the area in which the building is being erected, as well as the budget of the property owner. Shingle roofs which are trussed with timber beams and laid across a wooden frame are popular choices for residential constructions in areas with low rainfall. However, the frequency with which they must be repaired makes them unattractive to many commercial builders. Instead, metal roofing materials, like steel and corrugated aluminum offer greater durability, while their large sheet panels do well in allowing water to roll off their pitch. Slate, asphalt and clay tiles are other roof design options, which provide longevity and help to cool the interior of a building, but are expensive to install.
The size of the roofing job and the material that will be used may limited the contractors who are capable of doing the job. For some jobs, such as installing plastic roofing materials over a deck, non-specialized general contractors may be called. The installation of metal roofs or those that will need additional trussing, may require a roofing specialist. When this is the case, online estimates can help consumers choose the best company for the job.