A residential roofing contractor has to be knowledgeable about many different building materials, roof replacement and roof repair. Since residential buildings come in different designs, the residential roofing contractor may have to work with pitched roofs or flat roofs, depending on the climate in a particular area. Pitched roofs are common in all climates in residential housing, but flat roofs are almost never found in climates that have more severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow.
Pitched roofs require different roofing materials than flat roofs and residential roofing contractors need to know how to work with both and when it is appropriate to use the various materials. Pitched roofs normally use composition shingles, which are made from asphalt material. The thinner shingles are made of organic blends and the more flexible and stronger ones are made from fiberglass. In addition, there are dimensional shingles that are the thickest of the bunch and usually have a custom appearance so that they provide more of an aesthetic appeal than the normal asphalt shingles, taking on the appearance of tile or slate oftentimes.
Residential roofing contractors also have to know how to install metal roofs, which are more costly than composite shingle, but also last at least twenty years longer if installed properly. Metal roofing materials come in all different styles and colors, so the residential roofing contractor needs to be aware of these in order to work with the homeowner to decide on the perfect choice. There are also cedar shakes, tile and slate roofing materials that a residential roofing contractor should be able to install. However, since these are more expensive than the other materials, contractors usually specialize in these materials.
Flat roofs are those that have a three inch rise to a twelve inch run so that water barely flows to the edges of the roof rather than pooling in the middle and causing damage. The main roofing material used on flat roofs for residential roofing contractors to deal with is metal roofs. Again, metal is a versatile roofing material and is galvanized so that it does not get corroded or oxidized. In addition it is lightweight so that the framework to support it is not as structurally heavy, so the cost is less for the homeowner. Metal roofs usually have a warrantee for fifty years, which is much longer than the less expensive materials, and also require little maintenance work.