We Roof Philly Blog: Types of Roofs
Updated: Apr 27
It may seem like a simple question, but do you know what type of roof you have? Or, perhaps just as importantly, have you considered what type of roof you'd like to have on your new home or investment property?
The roof on your property is essentially a lifetime investment, so it's important to understand what you have or what you should consider before choosing a property in the future. Here, we will outline some of the more common roofs found in the Philadelphia area.
By far the most common roofs you will find in Philadelphia, flat roofs, are just exactly what they sound like--flat. They should, however, have some pitch, or slope, to them so that water will drain. Problems can occur if debris is blocking water from draining off your roof or if age or damage has warped it to create pockets where water can sit. (Here, you can see a before and after of We Roof Philly fixing just such an issue.) These roofs are generally easier to maintain than some others, but their flat nature can make them prone to leaks.
Mansard roofs can also be found in Philadelphia pretty commonly. These roofs will have four sloping sides which gradually become steeper near the bottom. Mansard roofs can be very costly to install and, due to the near-flat nature of the top, can also often be prone to leaking.
The maintenance costs of these roofs is generally high, and the nature of the lower slope makes installing and maintaining the dormer windows you can see below a significant cost that must be considered as well. The look and sophistication of a mansard roof still speaks to many people, however, and for some, the cost of maintenance is worth it for the stately look the mansard roof gives their home.
Above, you can see an example of a mansard roof and dormer windows replaced and capped by We Roof Philly. This maintenance has significantly upgraded the outside appearance of the home as well as likely increased property value while also improving waterproofing and insulation.
A hip roof will have four equal, sloping sides which come together to meet at a point. This roof is very stable and good for high wind and very snowy areas. They can be expensive to build, though, and, especially if dormer windows are added to the roof, expensive to maintain as well.
Gable roofs are some of the most popular roofs you can find in the country. Due to their steep sides, they are very good at shedding snow and water, and their design is simple, so building them is often easier and cheaper than many other roof types. These roofs, however, can be problematic in high-wind areas. Strong storms can peel materials away from the roof, lift the roof up and away from its supports, or even collapse the roof if it is not correctly supported.
But that's not all
Of course there are many other types of roofs, and we can't cover every single one in this post, but this should get you started, both with better understanding your own home or future property and in communicating your needs with your roofer.
No matter what type of roof you have, you should expect your roofers to embrace an open dialogue with you as they work on your property, including answering any of your questions with patience and respect as well as providing photos and documentation of the state of your roof before and after the project. Be sure to always rely on roofers you trust, like those at We Roof Philly, who will work on your home with quality craftsmanship and show integrity in their work and communication alike.