Tracking Down Roofing Issues

The Best And Worst Roofing Materials For A Gambrel Roof

Gambrel roofs are the type commonly found on barns, cabins, and Dutch Colonial style homes. The roof's architecture features at least two separate sloping sections on two sides of the house. The highest sections also feature the steepest slopes, which makes most of the surface area visible from the ground.

Choosing new roofing material for a gambrel roof requires careful consideration of the style's strengths and weaknesses. Ready to meet with a roofing contractor? Here are a few of the best and worst gambrel materials to know going into the meeting.

Best: Metal Roofing

The high sloping section of the gambrel can allow heavy snow and rainfall to accumulate on the roof rather than funneling off to the gutters or ground. Waterproofing can prove one of the largest concerns for gambrel roofs in areas with wide temperature and weather shifts.

Metal roofing is a terrific material for waterproofing because the segments snap together to form a watertight seam. These standing seams also produce gullies that will further help whisk that moisture off the upper gambrel and down to the gutter or ground.

Worried that metal roofing will make your house look like a large shed? Metal roofing materials have advanced over the years to include a range of colors and design styles that can hide the fact that metal was used.

Best: Wood Shakes

While metal roofing technology has come a long way, you might still prefer the look of a more classically attractive roofing material. Slate tiles could be an option, but the weight of the tiles can put additional strain on the gambrel, which already requires careful bracing to support the roof itself. Wood tiles are the better option for a gambrel and can bring out the rustic appeal of the style.

Wood shakes do require maintenance when in an area with frequent temperature shifts. On the upside, the wood shakes are installed in a staggered way that allows water to drain between the textured shingles for better waterproofing.

Worst: Asphalt Shingles

Gambrel winds are vulnerable to rain and snow buildup – and to the impact of high winds that blow straight up the slope. The winds aren't a huge issue if you have wood or metal roofing as the weight of the material and installation method provides enough counterforce. But a lightweight material like asphalt could become damaged or come off completely in high wind situations.

Asphalt roofing might tempt you solely due to the lower price of the material. But unless your home has a natural windbreak, such as nearby tall trees or neighboring houses, an asphalt roof could end up costing you more through repairs in the long run. To learn more about your choices, speak with Marshall Roofing Ltd roofing specialists.


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