Well-designed roofs are an essential part of a sound home design. Not only do roofs protect the home from the elements, but they also help - or hinder - home efficiency. There are always ways to improve home efficiency with the right roof installation, but good efficiency begins with roof design. With the following suggestions, homeowners building new, or even just looking for ways to improve their existing roofs, can improve their home efficiency with a more functional roof.
Simple Roofs Are the Best Roofs
In terms of roof structure and design, the simpler, and more straightforward a roof design is, the more functional and efficient it is. The best and simplest roof over any home is a plain, pitched gable roof or hipped roof, which prevent a lot of the problems associated with roofs that have many angles. These roofs have sufficient angles to shed water and snow, and reduce ice damming and other moisture-related problems. Try to also avoid sudden changes in pitch, since a roof slope that suddenly levels out creates a place for moisture and snow to gather, rather than be shed easily.
Keep Roof Protrusions to A Minimum
Whenever possible, avoid things like valleys and dormers, both of which create more potential places for roofs to leak; they also require a more complicated roof installation. The same goes with skylights, which are especially prone to leaking. To avoid later problems, reduce the number of places that problems can occur. Plumbing and other roof vents should always come through the roof as close to the ridge as possible, since this is the driest place on the roof. Whenever roofs get wet or become snow-covered, the ridge dries first while the slope and the eaves remain wet longer.
Ventilate and Insulate for Greatest Function and Efficiency
All roofs need good ventilation to prevent moisture buildup underneath. Similarly, roofs also need insulation to improve home climate efficiency. The best way to keep any roof and attic space most functional is to insulate the attic floor while ensuring there is adequate ventilation. Ventilation and insulation are two things that should always be checked as part of good roof maintenance, and whenever a new roof installation is done. These two critical elements are what collectively function to not only keep the roof in good, functional condition but also improve home heating and cooling efficiency.
Always Pay Attention to the Details
Regardless of what roofing material is used, and what the shape and design of the roof is, roofers should always pay attention to the details like flashing and roof edging. Properly applied flashing is necessary to prevent leaking in roof angles and points, any valleys that cannot be avoided, and around anything that protrudes through the roof. Without neat, tight flashing with a roof installation, homeowners are sure to end up with leaks somewhere down the road. Additionally, proper roof edging that corresponds to the material type is also essential for a safe, dry roof. Proper edge treatment and guttering not only prevents roofs from the possibility of extensive water damage but in the case of metal roofs they can also keep a roof from blowing off in heavy winds. Never underestimate the value of good roof edging.
The best, most functional roofs are sloped, simple, and avoid the things that can make roofs more predisposed to experiencing leaks and other problems. Functional roof design should always take these points into consideration, and avoid them whenever possible. When these problem areas cannot be avoided, or it is not possible to change the existing design of a roof, homeowners must work with an experienced roofer that understands how to minimize the potential for problems and apply the most functional roof installation.
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