Roofing Materials

Providing Protection

A roof is the covering on the uppermost part of a building or shelter which provides protection from the elements, such as rain, snow, heat, wind and sunlight, as well as animals.

Characteristics of a Roof

The characteristics of a roof are dependent upon the purpose of the building that it covers, the available roofing materials, local traditions of construction, as well as wider concepts of architectural design and practice.

Types of Roofing Materials




The supporting structure of a roof usually comprises of beams that are long and of strong, fairly rigid material such as timber, cast iron or steel. Timber lends itself to a great variety of roof shapes. The timber structure can fulfil an aesthetic, as well as practical function when left exposed to view.


The insulating properties of a roof are a consideration in its structure and the choice of roofing material, because the purpose of a roof is to protect people and their possessions from climatic elements. Areas prone to heavy snow benefit from a metal roof as their smooth surfaces shed the weight of snow more easily and resist the force of wind better than a wood shingle or a concrete tile roof.

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