Types Roofing Materials

Types Roofing Materials

The roof is an essential element of any building and structure. It is designed to protect the home from the effects of precipitation and to keep heat indoors. Since ancient times, people have learned to close the roof with various natural materials. With the development of science and industry, many new substances were invented, which became the basis for modern roofing. Roofing materials: types and properties, pros and cons, installation methods you need to know before deciding whether to purchase any of them.

Types roofing materials

Today, it is customary to classify all roofing materials into three main types:

  • sheet roofing materials ;
  • flexible roofing;
  • piece materials.

Already from the name it is clear what they are. All sheet materials are in the form of sheets of various sizes. They are mounted on the roof with self-tapping screws or nails. They can be flat or more often profiled. Such products are very convenient to install and do not require additional equipment other than hand tools.

Flexible roofing is made from materials that are flexible and soft. They can easily be mounted on roofs of any complexity. Such materials may be piece or roll, self-adhesive or weld-in using burners. For installation on a wooden roof, a continuous crate is required.

Piece roofing materials, the types and properties of which will be described below, are made in the form of separate small-sized elements. They are made from natural raw materials according to ancient technology with firing. Therefore, they have a high cost.

In order to better understand the technical characteristics of all roofing materials, the types and properties of each of them need to be considered in more detail.

Sheet materials

This type of material is represented by a wide variety of species that differ in physical properties, dimensions, installation method and cost. Sheet materials include:

  • metal tile;
  • corrugated board;
  • ondulin ;
  • slate;
  • folded metal coatings.

All these types are united by one sign – they have the form of rigid sheets that are laid on the roof with an overlap.

Metal tile

It is made of steel, which is coated with zinc. The galvanized sheet is rolled and stamped, after which it takes a shape that mimics natural tiles. Then the products are painted and coated with a thin polymer coating that protects against corrosion. The industry produces sheets up to 8 m long and 1180 mm wide. The thickness of the steel can vary from 0.4 to 0.6 mm. Thanks to these parameters, the weight of the finished product does not exceed 3 – 5 kg / m 2 . Therefore, such material does not require a powerful rafter system . The metal tile is with a different profile, both in size and in shape.

The sheets of metal are overlapped
The sheets of metal are overlapped

Installation of this material is carried out on roofs with a slope of at least 15 degrees. Sheets overlap, connecting on the waves. The metal tile is attached using self-tapping screws with rubber washers. This material is durable, reliably protects the roof from rain and wind, has a reasonable cost. He has only one drawback – noise during heavy rain, and especially hail.

Profiled flooring

Nothing special in technical characteristics does not differ from metal. It is made by the same technology. However, there is no stamping step. It remains only to hire. Unlike metal tiles, it does not have a stamped relief, and there are only longitudinal waves. They can also be of various shapes.

Useful advice!  Decking is easier to use on complex roofs. For him there is no need to “get” into the stamped steps during installation.


The installation of corrugated board on the roof is carried out according to a similar technology, the sheets have similar geometric dimensions. There are different types of metal thickness and rib height. This is one of the most common roofing materials. The types and properties of corrugated board determine such parameters as the thickness of the steel and the height of the profile. Sheets of this material can reach 0.9 mm in thickness, and the profile can rise to a height of 8 to 60 mm and have the shape of a triangle, rectangle, square or trapezoid. In some species, the edge is cut off not evenly, but by waves.

Arrangement of a roofing “pie” - inside view
Arrangement of a roofing “pie” – inside view

This roofing material has the same pros and cons as metal tiles, but inferior to it in design. For this reason, it is most often used to cover farm buildings, garages and industrial facilities.


It is a material from environmentally friendly raw materials – cellulose. For the production of sheets, the raw materials are pressed, given the desired wavy shape and heated to 120 degrees. After complete drying, a sheet is obtained that looks similar to slate, but with completely different properties. It is impregnated with polymers, bitumen and painted in the desired color. Ondulin is safe, environmentally friendly and does not pass water at all. This is a very lightweight material: a standard two-meter sheet with a width of 0.95 m weighs 6.5 kg. This allows you to do without massive elements of the rafter system.

Ondulin roof
Ondulin roof

Due to its flexibility, ondulin can be used on roofs of any complexity. For its installation, a continuous crate is used, and they nail it with nails to the very top of the wave. Two people can calmly cope with work. Of the shortcomings, some fragility should be noted. Improper stacking may damage sheets in large hail.

Useful advice!  You can not use ondulin in child care facilities. It is very combustible, and at high temperatures emits the smell of bitumen.


This is once the most popular and cheapest of all types of roofing materials. Its properties and characteristics are such that today it is everywhere ousted by new coatings. Slate sheets are made of asbestos-cement mixture (85% – cement, 15% – asbestos). There are several varieties that differ in thickness, number and height of waves, as well as sheet size. In the standard, wavy slate sheets weigh 10 to 15 kg. Their length is 1750 mm, width – 980 – 1130 mm. He has waves – 6, 7 and 8.

The modern industry has been producing slate in various colors.
The modern industry has been producing slate in various colors.

Of the positive qualities of this material can be noted: low cost and waterproof, as well as long, up to 40 years, service life. It has more negative properties: asbestos is unhealthy, the sheets are very fragile and break with little impact, the material has a large specific gravity. In addition, moss may appear on sheets in shaded areas during use.

Roofs with a slope slope of 12 to 60 degrees are closed with a slate. The lathing can be made of bars with a cross section of 50 mm in increments of 50 to 55 cm. Nail the sheets with special slate nails or make gaskets under ordinary nails. Today, this material is used to cover the roof in farm buildings and warehouses.

An example of arranging a roof from slate
An example of arranging a roof from slate

Rebate materials

These are metal strips with a flat surface. They have special locks called folds, which are standing and lying. Sheets are made of galvanized steel and can be coated with a polymer coating. Since the material is flat, it can freely bend in an arc, which allows it to sheathe a hangar-type roof.

Installation of folded sheets is carried out using a special machine that compresses the locks. Laying is done in parts. To do this, lay out several sheets on the ground and fasten them along the length of the standing folds, and lying on the width. The resulting “picture” is placed on the roof area and attached to the crate with narrow steel strips, which are called clamps. The slope of the roof should be at least 14 degrees. With a smaller slope, the base is solid.

The roof is made of sheet metal
The roof is made of sheet metal

Useful advice!  If during the construction of the house there are no financial restrictions, then copper or aluminum folded sheets can be used. They look very beautiful and rich, but have a high cost.

All basic sheet types of roofing materials are described. Their properties and characteristics are different. Which one to choose in a given situation depends on the preferences of the consumer and his financial capabilities.

Soft roofing

The main properties of a soft roof are clear from its name. Materials of this type are very soft and can bend at any angle. soft roofing can be made of roll type materials and soft roof tiles.

The roof of the house is covered with a soft roof.
The roof of the house is covered with a soft roof.

Roll materials

Roll materials, such as roofing, ruberoid, bitumen and polymer films of various types can be built-up or self-adhesive. It is possible to lay them only on a continuous crate or concrete surface. The deposited materials for their installation require the use of a torch or building hair dryer. For this, the surface is first treated with a mixture of bitumen and gasoline, and then the material itself is deposited, unwinding the roll. The roof should have a slight slope (from 11 degrees). Roll materials are often used as waterproofing.

Roll roofing for flat roofs
Roll roofing for flat roofs

Soft roof tiles

Soft roof tiles is a modern material made of fiberglass impregnated with bitumen and sprinkled with basalt chips. May take the form of various small geometric shapes. It comes in different colors. Lay soft tiles on a continuous crate, gluing with special glue and fastening with nails.

Soft tile is a roofing material with small dimensions. It is 1 m long and 33 cm wide. The lower side of the product is impregnated with bitumen mastic, which allows it to be glued to any flat surface. This is the only type of roofing materials, the properties and dimensions of which easily allow one to do the work. They install soft tiles on a continuous crate, which is arranged using plywood or OSB sheets . The permissible slope of the roof during installation is 11 degrees.

Soft roof tiles suitable for sheltering roofs of complex shapes
Soft roof tiles suitable for sheltering roofs of complex shapes

Soft tiles can be used for 70 years without noticeable changes. Of the advantages, it can be noted:

  • noiselessness in the rain;
  • presentable appearance;
  • lack of corrosion and condensation;
  • good flexibility;
  • acceptable price.

Minor disadvantages include the appearance of fragility at low temperatures, the appearance of odor in hot weather, and increased combustibility.

Piece materials

Piece roofing materials are presented: ceramic tiles and slate roofing.

Ceramic tile

The tile tiles have a beautiful brick red hue, which is achieved by high-temperature clay firing. The length of each tile is 30 cm. This beautiful material has different shapes of products. Each tile weighs about 4 kg, so for its device you need a strong rafter system. This type of roofing materials, the properties and characteristics of which have long been known. This roofing material is not cheap.

Ceramic tile
Ceramic tile

Installation of tiles is carried out on slopes with a slope of 25-60 degrees. Each product has holes through which the tiles are nailed to the crate with nails. They begin to stack it from the bottom row with an overlap. In this case, the top tile is placed on the bottom. The finished roof looks like scales. Tiles look best on brick and stone houses, some of which are over 150 years old.

There is a tile made of sand-cement mixture. It is slightly inferior to ceramic in appearance, but much cheaper.

Slate roof

Slate roofing is the most expensive of the listed types of roofing materials. Its properties and appearance are due to its natural origin. The material is in the form of flat slate plates. The processing of each plate is done manually, providing the required dimensions: the thickness is 4 mm, and the weight is 25 kgm 2 , the width is 15 and 30 cm, and the length is 20 and 60 cm.

Slate tiles - the most expensive type of roof
Slate tiles – the most expensive type of roof

Installation of such a roof is carried out on nails (2 to 3 pcs per tile). Roof slope is allowed more than 25 degrees. With the correct construction of such a roof, it will last about 200 years. High price is the only significant minus.

When deciding on the use of a particular type of roof, it is necessary to foresee the construction of a suitable rafter system for it.


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