Whether your home is a brand-new build or a 100-year-old Tudor, the roof is one of the most important structural elements of the house.
It’s a major source of insulation that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In short, your residential roofing protects your home and everything inside.
Damage to the roof system can cause damage to the walls, siding, insulation, and even your home’s foundation. If you want to keep this vital structure doing its excellent job, it must be installed correctly, taken care of regularly, and replaced when necessary.
Components of Residential Roof
Most residential roofs appear to be a simple covering on top of wood planks, but they are far more complex than most people think.
- Roofing Shingles – Shingles are the most commonly used residential roofing products on the market. There are several types of shingles such as asphalt, clay, tile roof, concrete, metal roof, and wood available depending on your geographic area, personal preference, and budget.
- Underlayment – This is the water-resistant layer that is underneath the shingles.
- Proper Attic Ventilation – Vents in residential roofing are required to provide adequate ventilation from the attic. Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continuous flow of outside air through the attic.
- Accessory Products – In addition to shingles and underlayment, there are various accessories necessary for a finished roof. These include hips, ridges, flashing, and fascia.
13 Roofing Systems and Styles
Listed below are some of the most common residential roofing systems and styles across the United States. When homes and neighborhoods are built, the roof design typically is chosen to match the style of neighboring homes in the area.
These types of roofing styles can improve the home’s aesthetic and add value to the property.
1. Gable – A basic triangular-pitched home with standard lines you see in most neighborhoods. This type of residential roofing is used nationwide in all climates.
2. Hip – Hip roofs have slopes on four sides, rather than just two (like a gable style). This makes them ideal for snowy regions and they look great with holiday lights.
3. Jerkinhead – Similar to a gable roof, with four sloped sides – but two sides are clipped, or shorter. This type of residential roofing provides more attic space and better wind resistance.
4. Mansard – This is a French-style roof with four double sloped sides that meet to form a low-pitched roof in the middle.
5. Gambrel – Commonly known as a barn-style roof, a gambrel roof has a lower slope that is almost vertical and a gentler upper slope, giving the classic barn look.
6. Saltbox– In its simplest form, a saltbox roof is a gable roof with asymmetrical planes, one long and one short side.
7. Butterfly – This residential roofing is a dramatic V-shaped roof that has two raised wings that meet in a valley.
8. Bonnet – A bonnet is like a reverse Mansard. They have a double slope, but the upper slope has less of a pitch on a bonnet roof. They are more common in the southern region of the United States.
9. Sawtooth – This is a more complicated design where multiple slopes are set at the same angle so that it holds the appearance of a serrated blade.
10. Pyramid – Pyramid roofs are shaped like a pyramid, commonly used in hurricane or windstorm-prone areas since they are extremely wind resistant.
11. Dome – A dome roof is an inverted bowl shape that is both striking and memorable in residential design.
12. Skillion – This is basically a sophisticated lean-to design with a single-angled sloped side.
13. Curved – A very contemporary design, curved residential roofing system feature an arch that can range from a low slope to a rounded peak
Common Types of Roofing Materials Used in Residential Roofs
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when there are so many options for materials, colors, styles, and patterns.
Whether you’re shopping for a brand-new build or a replacement for your current roof, it’s important to decide what’s best for your home and your wallet.
Shingle and Panel Products
- Asphalt– This is the most common residential roofing material. Asphalt shingle roof is affordable, easy to install, and can be repaired without replacing the entire roof.
- Slate – Natural slate roofing shingles are made from slivers of real rock and stone and are available in a wide range of patterns. Slate is impervious to moisture, insects, fire, weather, and can last for over 100 years.
- Metal – Metal roofing has recently spiked in popularity for both residential and commercial roofing due to its durability, longevity, and eco-friendly styles that are nearly indistinguishable from other residential roofing materials.
- Clay – Clay tiles are reinforced for strength and durability and have a natural thermal resistance which makes them a strong contender for eco-friendly building material.
- Concrete – Concrete tiles are manufactured with a special lightweight blend that maintains the strength of concrete but keeps them easy to work with. They can last for over 50 years and are very low-maintenance.
- Wood – You can find wood shingles or shakes in cedar, redwood, cypress, and pressure-treated pine. They each add a naturally beautiful touch to any roof. Wood actually lasts longer than asphalt shingles, but they are high maintenance and can be a fire hazard.
A synthetic roof, also known as a composite roof, is a roof made up of synthetic materials such as rubber, plastic, bitumen, PVC, and more.
These roofing types are the least expensive and can be installed quickly, but they have the shortest lifespan.
- Rolled Roofing – This is typically used on low-slope residential and commercial roofing like outbuildings, shops, and sheds. This is a thin roofing material that is fast, convenient, and inexpensive to install. It lasts roughly 10 years, which is why it is often not used on large-scale structures.
- Built-Up Roofing (BUR) – This roof type uses a combination of bitumen and fabric to create layers of membrane referred to as plies. You can apply as many layers, or plies, as you need based on budget and preference. It is installed in self-adhering sheets and it is one of the oldest residential and commercial roofing systems still in use today because it is both cost-effective and durable.
- Membrane – These are sheets of rubber and other synthetics that can be chemically adhered to insulation or ballasted, creating a layer of protection on your residential and commercial roofing. Whereas, BUR uses modified asphalt, coal tar pitch, and a cold application adhesive. EPDM roofing membrane is durable, affordable, and easy to install. It is an ideal roofing membrane for both residential and commercial roofing.
10 Signs Your Roof Needs Urgent Repair
A damaged roof can lead to interior and structural damage in the home. Keeping your roof in good shape will extend its life and protect your home.
Spotting these signs early can save you a great deal of money.
1. Sagging Roof – A sagging residential roof is usually a sign of age or a problem in the rafters. Either way, this is a critical symptom that should be taken care off immediately.
2. Missing or Loose Shingles – Missing or loose shingles are often the result of wind, rain, or hail. If you get them repaired before they compromise the integrity of the entire system, it can be a relatively easy fix.
3. Higher Energy Bills – Because your roof is your biggest source of insulation, your HVAC system will work overtime if it isn’t sealed properly.
4. Shingle Granules in Gutters – Granules in the gutters are an easy way to spot residential roofing issues early. As shingles age, they’ll start to shed and you’ll need a roofing contractor to fix it.
5. Curled or Cracking Shingles – When shingles near the end of their lifespan, they often begin to crack or curl. A few deformed shingles can be replaced, but if too severe it may be time for a full roof replacement.
6. Internal Water Damage – Visible water damage, mold, and mildew are all possible signs of a roof leak.
7. Daylight Shining Through – Your roof should provide a tight seal on your home. If you can see daylight shining through the roof, this is a definite sign that you should have your roof looked at.
8. Discoloration – Dark stains on the surface are likely a sign of aging shingles that should be replaced. Dark patches may also signal moss or algae which can contribute significantly to damage if they aren’t cleaned off.
9. Damage Around Fixtures – The areas around fixtures, like pipes, chimneys, and vents are often susceptible to damage.
10. Storm Damage – Anytime you experience a strong storm in your area, it’s a good idea to have the roof inspected for damage like punctures and lifting.
4 Signs You Need a New Roof
No one wants to prematurely invest in a new roof. So how do you tell when it’s time to start fresh and when a patch job will do? Here’s how to tell if it’s time for a full roof replacement.
1. Old Roof – If your roof is pushing to the end of its lifespan and you know it has not been well maintained throughout the years, it’s probably time for a replacement.
2. Growing Mold and Mildew – This occurs over time and if it isn’t taken care of, it can require a complete replacement. If you’ve tried power washing your roof and the mold and mildew remain, it’s time to start fresh.
3. Rotting – A rotting roof is not only unsightly but also unsafe. The rot in a roof can quickly spread to other areas of the structure and cause more damage if left untreated.
4. Outdated Style – Maybe you are looking to freshen up the aesthetic of your home or add value when looking to resell. Updating your home with metal or slate roofing or even changing the color of your asphalt shingles will require a roof replacement.
6 Benefits of Installing a New Residential Roof
If your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan, don’t wait until it starts leaking or begins to crumble. Being proactive about replacing your roof is the best way to protect your home and family.
The sad news is many homeowners don’t realize the benefits that come with a new residential roof. If you’re among those who don’t know the advantages of a new roof, keep reading further.
1. Enhances Energy Efficiency – As soon as your new residential roofing is installed, you can expect your heating and cooling bills to drop. The increased insulation provides relief to your HVAC system keeping your temperature comfortable and your energy bills low.
2. Improves Your Curb Appeal – Visible damage like water spots, buckling, cracks, and missing shingles give off the appearance that your home is in poor condition. A new roof can make a home look brand new and add value.
3. Higher Resale Value – Every home sale requires a thorough assessment. If there is any roof damage, you’ll either have to lower your price or repair it on your own before the sale goes through. On the other hand, if you can advertise a new one – your home may sell for even more than estimated.
4. Excellent Warranty Coverage – Today’s residential roofing materials carry significant warranty benefits and extended coverage that you don’t have on an existing one. This protects you for up to 50 years from unexpected damage or repairs.
5. Ensures Long Term Safety – Old roofs present some serious safety hazards. Not only are they a liability to the entire structure, but mold or mildew on the roof can seep into the home and be harmful to your health.
6. Improved Feeling of Stability – There is real peace of mind that comes with having a roof over your head that is safe and reliable. Good roofs often go unnoticed, but bad ones can wreak havoc.
Residential Roof Repair and Installation Cost
The roof is typically one of the most expensive components of residential construction. The cost of replacement or repair is made up of several factors including materials, labor, accessories, location, accessibility, etc.
- Repair Estimate – Typically, a roof repair may cost anywhere between $200 and $4000. If your roof repair gets to be more than 50% of the cost of a full replacement, it’s time to consider installing a new roof.
- Residential Installation – The average new roof costs between $7,000 and $15,000. Depending on the material, size of your roof, and geographic location it can be double or even triple the average.
Why Should You Hire a Professional Residential Contractor?
Unless you have the necessary experience, safety equipment, industry knowledge, and required licensing – you should not be replacing or repairing your own roof.
Most homeowners who attempt a DIY repair actually cause more harm than good. We often see the use of improper materials or injured homeowners making small problems much worse. So at the end of the day, it’s always best to hire a roofing company.
- Residential roofing contractors have the expertise to handle every aspect of the job. They are prepared for the unexpected and know how to handle any problem that may arise.
- Experienced roofers will often find issues you may not have known existed and save you significant time, money, and headache.
- Hiring professional roofing services will ensure that you’re getting excellent roof work utilizing the latest roofing techniques and the highest quality materials that you won’t find at the hardware store.
- A professional roofer always makes safety a top priority to protect your home and its employees.
- Most residential and commercial roofing projects require permits and adherence to building codes and city ordinances. A roofing company will obtain these permits for you as a part of roofing services and ensure the repair or installation meets the current requirements.
- A certified roofer can often provide basic roof maintenance advice and help homeowners to see signs of potential problems, saving them money in the long run.
- Typically, a full professional roof replacement is completed within one or two days. If you attempt this job on your own, you could spend a full week or longer on your roof.
What To Consider While Installing a New Roof?
Getting a new roof is like a facelift for your home. But oftentimes homeowners don’t know what to look for while installing a new roof.
Here’s what you should consider.
- Timeframe – Keep in mind the installation time. Asphalt shingles usually take one to two days and materials like slate can take up to a week. While you can stay in your home during the installation process, the noise can be a disruption. It is important to get a clear estimate from your roofing contractor so you can plan accordingly.
- Busy Season – The busy season for roofing contractors is in the summer. If you suspect you may need a new roof, get it inspected as early as you can to get on the schedule. Otherwise, you may be waiting months.
- Inspection – We recommend having a professional roofer perform an inspection once a year on your roof. Most of the time roof inspections are not free but some roofers may provide a free estimate. The national average is around $350. The right roofing company will give you the exact estimate depending on your roof. Make sure to contact your roofing company for an estimate.
- Choosing The Right Roof – There are several materials you can choose when installing a new residential roof. Discuss your options with a professional roofer to consider the cost, durability, material weight, and installation requirements of your new roof.
- Peeling Off or Layering On – Some roof materials require you to remove the old roof while others you can layer on top of an existing roof. To comply with the building code, you are not allowed to have more than two shingle layers on your roof. However, whether you choose to peel off or layer on is a decision that should be made with the help of a professional in the area
FAQs About Residential Roof