Steep Roofs, What are steep roofs, Why steep roofs

Steep Roofs speaks to what are steep roofs, why use steep roofs and explain steep roofs.

These are roofs with a pitch of 2:12 or 17 percent or greater are referred to as a steep type. Roof coverings for a these roofs fall into three general categories, thatch,, shingles and architectural sheet metal.

Thatch is an attractive and effective roofing consisting of bundles of reeds, grasses or leaves, is highly labour intensive and is rarely used today.

Shingle and Sheet Metal roofs of many types are common to every type of building and range in price from the most economical roof coverings to the most expensive.


The insulation and vapour retarder in most of these roofs are installed below the roof sheathing or deck. Typical details of this practice well documented. Where the underside of the deck is to be left exposed as a finish surface,, a vapour retarder and rigid insulation boards are applied above the deck, just below the roofing.

A layer of plywood or OSB is then nailed over the insulation boards as a nail base for fastening the shingles or sheet metal, or special composite insulation boards with an integral nail base layer can be used.

In cold climates these roofs may have a tendency to form ice dams at the eaves under wintertime conditions. Where the risk of such ice damming is high, building codes require installation of a rubberized underlayment or other ice barrier material along the eaves to prevent trapped water from entering the building.

Roof materials shingles, slates, tiles and sheet metal come from a variety of sources with different environmental impacts.

Asphalt shingles consist mostly of petroleum.

The environmental impact of wood shingles is much the same of other wood products.

Slates are quarried stone, and concrete tiles are of course concrete.

Copper, stainless steel, aluminum, terne and lead roofing materials originate as ores that must be mined, refined and manufactured into finished form all at varying environmental costs.

Metal roofing materials can be recycled. There is little recycling of the other roof materials. There are available, however, proprietary shingles made almost entirely of recycled tires or other recycled materials.


The word shingle is used in a generic sense to include wood shingles, shakes, asphalt shingles, slates, clay tiles and concrete tiles. What these materials have in common is that they are applied to the roof in small units and in overlapping layers with staggered vertical joints.

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