Some types of roofing, for example thatch, require a steep pitch in order to be waterproof and durable. Other types of roofing however for example pantiles, are unstable on a steeply pitched roof but provide excellent weather protection at a low angle. In areas where there is little rain, an almost flat roof with a slight run-off provides adequate protection against an occasional downpour. Drainpipes also remove the need for a sloping roof.
A person that specialises in roof construction is called a roofer. A roofer or roof mechanic is a type of construction worker who specialises in roof construction. Roofers concentrate on the application of materials that are waterproof and weatherproof buildings. Designed material such as a substrate for the roofing materials to be installed on, the rafters, beams, and trusses are the frame or skeleton for the roof to be built upon. Roofers must be able to work, have good motor skills and possess general carpentry skills. There are many roof restoration specialists around Australia, roofing in Sydney is of particular high demand.
There are 4 main types of roofers: shinglers, who primarily install shingles, shakes, tiles, and other nail-on products on roofs with 5:12 pitches or above. Metal roofers, who focus on metal panels. Single-ply or “flat” roofers, who focus on roofs such as single-ply or foam roofs. Hot roofers, who work using tar-based products. It is not uncommon, however, for companies to have their roofers to multiple styles of roofing, and certain manufactures will only allow specifically selected installers, thus making these 4 types limiting.
The characteristics of a specific type of roof are dependent upon a few factors:
- The purpose of the building that it covers
- The available roofing materials
- The local traditions of construction and wider concepts of architectural design and practice and may also be governed by local or national legislation.
In most countries a roof protects primarily bad weather. A verandah may be roofed with material that protects against sunlight but admits the other elements. The roof of a garden conservatory protects plants from cold, wind, and rain, but admits light.