4 things you need to know about roofing

While  the roofers  of Pinnacle  towers -Africa  tallest building in Nairobi at  300 meters – will have to    worry  about getting  the  helipad-roof right , most   roofers of other buildings will   content with worrying more,  about common  but  critical design elements  like  how well the roof will protect   building occupants  from  the weather and  fire ,how it should provide  stability to the walls(for without the  roof the  top of the wall is  weak) and finally how it will reduce  heat  loss  and  noise . In other words  roofing requires great skillfulness and nerves  of steel    because it is neither    for persons who do things by half measures nor those who are jittery about heights. This  bring me to thrust of the matter-that is  the   the four things about roofing that will leave you looking at your house in new light.

Number one, the   support structure is constructed   using softwood and consist of the ridge, rafters, ceiling joists, struts, collars and ladder frames. By the way, the term soft wood can be misleading -it does not necessary refer to the strength of the wood in question. Now once this  support structure  is  secured on the wall plate, it is then covered  by  one of the following  roofing materials: sheet metal, clay tiles, concrete tiles, stones(such as  slate), wood(such as  cedar shingles),mineral  felt or polyester  or grass ( like  reeds, straw or needle grass).

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Number two, roofs are either classified as pitched or flat and further   given names   according to their shapes as follows:

a). Pitch roof

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This is any roof having a sloping surface in excess of 10 degree pitch. Those   with a single sloping surface are known as mono pitch and those with two opposite slopping surfaces are called double pitched roofs.

b). Gable roof


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This a double pitched roof with one or more gable ends. A gable is the triangular part of the end wall of the building with a pitched roof.

c). Hipped roof

A hipped  roof  is a  double pitched roof  where  the roof slope is  turned around on the shorter sides of the  building  to form a  sloping triangular end(that is to say, has four sloping  sides).


Number three, the roof  rafters  are nailed  to the  wall plate  or in area  notorious   for  high winds framing anchors  or truss  clips    can be  used. The  wall plate  must  be  secured  to the  wall  with  straps at  two meters  centers. The  rafters and  ceiling joist  near  to  gable end   should  also  be  tied  into the  wall  with  metal  restraint straps  at  two  meters  centers.

And last, number four, heat insulation in pitched  roofs  is  done  by  placing  insulation materials  between the  ceiling  joist  and  roof cover. Expert recommend that the roof void must remain ventilated; hence make sure the eaves are not blocked with the insulation material   .

©Copyright 2017 East Africa Little Hardware ltd

Sources: Site carpentry and Joinery by peter Brett


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