Roof Construction Guide: Flat, Pitched, Cold & Warm Roofs

A great home requires a great roof. A roof is mainly considered to keep out rain and snow from a building. It can also prevent pest from entering roof construction. In these days of energy preservation, a roof can also contribute to preventing warmth being lost from a building.

A great and strong roof ensures no trouble during rain and strong winds for the residents. A good roof requires maintenance like any other part of home. People spend much time and money with money to ensure that their roof is maintained properly.

Most of the owners only have to consider mending or substituting their roof once in their lives so they will have to decide seriously about the cost of roofing or re-roofing. While appearance is a most important consideration in roofing or re-roofing, there are certain building regulation  that ensure that each roof is constructed in safe and secure way.

Roofs also come in different types and styles. In the United Kingdom two most popular types of roofs are :

  • Flat Roofs
  • Pitched or sloping roofs

Flat Roofs

If you’re worried about the security of your domestic extensions – whether they be garages, sheds, conservatories – you can always update and modernise these independent buildings by laying a brand new flat roof onto the original unit. Flat roofs are usually made of variations of bitumen felt, and function as durable, long-lasting roofs that are perfect for water run-off in wet weather and protect wood and cement from potential build-ups of damp and dry rot.

Pitched or Sloping Roof

A pitched or slanted roof has a terrain of at least 15° but it is often much more. A typical roof pitch in the UK for a traditional house will be 40°- 50° pitched roofbut at most it can go up to 70°. An architect makes the usual decision of the pitch.

Different materials are used in the construction of a roof but usually the finishing is done by using roof tiles. The pitch of the roof  is decided based on the weather conditions. For example in the areas of high snowfall and rainfall, the roof pitch can be significantly longer as this will allow the snow to fall off the roof the roof.

Low Pitched Roofs

Typically, roofs with terrains of 10° to 20° are often referred to as Low Pitched Roofs. If you don’t want a windblown rain penetrating through your roof, make sure to always hire a professional roofer for the construction, and much attention should be paid to the overlap between the tiles.

Most roofs that are above the liveable part of a household will be protected (insulated) to obey building regulations. In households, the protection (which is also known as insulation) is sometimes placed immediately above the ceiling. Preferably, it may be placed above the deck before it gets waterproofed.

Roofs are designed differently for industrial, commercial, and domestic buildings. In some cases, insulations can also be positioned over the waterproof, but this sort of construction is normally confined to profitable and industrial buildings, and has seldom been used on domestic buildings. In almost all cases where RBM (Reinforced Bituminous Membrane) has been fitted, the exterior of the waterproof will need guard, both from infrared light and from an event like wildfire.

The building regulations for new roofs laid down the degree of protection required in the case of a fire accident. This can be achieved by adding a layer of inorganic stones embedded in complex to the surface of the roof, or alternatively, by using an inorganic textured layer of RBM as the top layer, or ‘cap sheet’. Liquid material is applied, and single layer systems have this kind of protection built in. They at such, do not require additional protection.

Warm & Cold Roofs



Warm roofs have an insulation layer above the roof deck . This usually keeps the deck ‘WARM’. It is the most acceptable type of construction for domestic possessions and belongings, as it avoids the need for aeration of the roof construction.

Warm Roofs

In case of warm roofs they have an insulation above the roof deck, in this way it keeps the deck ‘WARM’. It is usually the most acceptable type of construction for domestic possessions and belongings as it avoids the need for aeration of the roof construction. The membrane is then attached to the insulation.

Cold Roofs

In the case of cold roofs, the residential flat roofs have the waterproof placed directly on the deck, and any insulation would be placed above the ceiling. This arrangement allows the deck to become ‘COLD’. In a cold weather, such roofs are inherently prone to condensation, which can cause material decay and deterioration. To decrease this danger, thorough aeration has to be provided to each and every space above the insulation, and this is often difficult to achieve. For example, if the roof borders the walls of a house, ventilation would not be achieved properly.

Roof needs certain kinds of protection. These include:

  • Protection from rain and snow
  • Protection from people
  • Protection from condensation
  • Protection from sun and frost
  • Protection from wind
  • Protection from fire.

With proper maintenance a correct roof can be constructed that will fulfil all the required standards. Hiring a professional is mandatory so that roof construction can be done in a proper way.

Roofs require maintenance and regular checks. Some recommendations according to the weather of UK include:

  • Limited entry unless the roof is intended for it. If occasional access is obligatory, e.g. for window scrubbing, make sure that provisional panels are used if the roof surface is designed to accept it.
  • Inspection twice a year: in march and November. Try to do one inspection soon after rain, to see how well the water is draining away.

With proper maintenance, a correct roof can be constructed that will fulfil all the required standards. Hiring a professional is mandatory, so that roof constructions can be done in a proper way.

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