Types of Roofs

The roof is the upper part of a building (building, house, shack, etc.), which has the function of covering and closing the various rooms of a building (for example, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and others), that is, It is the essential part of the building, since it fulfills the function of covering the rooms, protecting its interiors from the weather and the environment, being the part that is most exposed to the elements, such as rain or sun, for a longer time, preventing the elements from entering the interior.

These are built of various materials, depending on the type of construction that is being treated, the climate of the region, and the availability of this or that material. Roofs can have different shapes, depending on the design or architecture of the house or building, which is usually influenced by the local climate, or by the economic availability to obtain the materials.

From the earliest times in which the human being still continued to live in nomadism, shelters have been needed for protection against the weather, being that initially the first shelters had improvised roofs of branches, leaves and mud, which were accommodated, evolving later, thanks to the use of other materials such as skins or fabrics (as in the tipies of the North American Indians, the Mongol tents and the tents of the desert peoples, where the roof of the tent was made, weaving or sewing, skin or cloth.

In the case of primitive constructions, made with materials such as adobe, or branches with mud, the first roofs consisted of branches, straw and mud, sometimes being supported by the use of wooden beams.

The ceilings can be classified according to the material that is used for it, or by the way they have. It is noted that the roof of many buildings is usually ornate (as in the case of temples, churches, palaces and mansions).

Types of roofs according to the material from which they are made:

Branch and leaf roofs.- This is one of the types that have been used since archaic times, for the protection of dwellings or shelters, using materials found in nature, such as branches and leaves. They were used for millennia, and even today several indigenous peoples of America (Amazon, and Africa), still use this type of temporary protection against the weather.

Straw Roofs.- They are those that are made using straw and vegetable fibers, either by simply placing them above a “soul” or wooden support (or even branches), placing stones to support the straw (placing them on top), or in where appropriate, using mud and straw (mud and straw roofs). These are those that predominated in the huts of the ancient peoples, before the use of bricks and other construction methods and materials, especially with regard to lower social sectors, who could not obtain other materials.

Wood Ceilings.- These are ceilings made with this material. Being one of the most abundant and available materials, it has been used for the construction of houses for centuries, and the roofs are made of this material. Traditionally, both for traditional houses such as cabins, or “American-type” houses, German-type and country-type houses have been perpetuated.

Wood roof

Roofs of Skins.- These are the “roofs” of the stores that primitive peoples made in lithic times, mainly nomadic steppe peoples, a type of housing that has lasted in some villages, until recent times, which as a tradition, still make buildings ( “stores”), of that nature. Like the tipis of the American towns, and the yurts of the Mongols.

Stone or masonry ceilings.- These are those that are made of stone (masonry), being supported by wooden beams and recently by metal beams.

Tar and gravel roofs.- These are coatings for wooden and even straw roofs, this in order to waterproof the roof, preventing the entry of moisture and at the same time creating a thermal insulator, which prevents sudden changes in temperature and insulates from the cold.

Fabric Roofs.- They are those that are usually used in tents such as the already mentioned yurts, as well as in tents, such as those that are usually used in cases of emergency. For this, fabrics such as canvas and others are used, being supported by beams or wooden linings or tubular metal structures.

Tile roofs or roofs.- These are those that are made using clay tiles, which are superimposed to cover the surfaces corresponding to the roof (supported by beams and structures (generally wooden), or also stone.

House with a gabled tiled roof

Concrete Ceilings.- It is the material most currently used for the construction of houses and buildings, and the ceilings are made of this material, using metal support structures to “empty” the concrete.

Tiled Ceilings.- These are those ceilings that are covered with tiles, especially for ornamentation, in addition to the protection they provide from the rain. They are usually used in roofs of constructions such as some churches, to decorate them.

Sheet Roofs.- These are roofs that are made using sheets, whether they are metal sheets, cardboard, fiberglass, PVC or asbestos (on the latter, its use has declined, as it is a carcinogenic material) . They are lightweight roofs, which generally only resist the elements (wind, rain), but their resistance is minimal. They are usually used as roofs for “cheap” homes, due to their low cost compared to other materials such as concrete, wood or tile roofs. PVC ceilings are made with PVC sheets, which is a plastic material. Due to their lightness, they are usually used for terraces and half-roofs, as they do not withstand much weight.

Glass ceilings.- These are structures with a frame (generally metallic), in which glass structures are placed (usually glass domes). These are ceilings that allow the entry of greater light into the interior of the construction, allowing better lighting of the enclosure and saving electricity to illuminate the interior.

Interior of a glass roof (dome).

Flat roofs.- These are those that cover the buildings and are made in such a way that their surface is flat.

House with a flat roof.

Sloping ceilings.- These are those ceilings that are made with certain slopes, so that the rain or snow “runs” down, thus preventing moisture from filtering into the interior.

  • Gabled.- They are those that are made forming two slopes, which form a ridge or peak, configuring a shape similar to a triangle or the capital letter “A”.
  • Of several waters.- These are those that are made forming several inclinations, on the various sides of the construction, allowing it to be given an aerodynamic figure, which allows greater resistance to the effects of the wind, better resisting blizzards and storms.
House with a gabled roof.

Curved multi-pitch roof.- They are those that have a curved shape, either following the arches of the building or forming domes. This is the case of the roofs of various ancient and modern buildings, which have domes, such as churches, mosques and others. Another type of curved roof is the conical roof, like the one that can be seen in huts and traditional houses.

Domes are examples of curved roofs.

Prefabricated ceilings.- These are those that have already been modeled so that they can be quickly placed in place, without the need for whoever places them to be specialized in said work, giving great speed in the construction of houses and other constructions. . They can be made of wood, concrete or mixed materials.

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