Colorado is home to dozens of different building types, each with their own pros and cons for property owners. Whether commercial or residential, buildings in the Rocky Mountain state need to be strategically constructed so they’re able to weather the often inclement climate that is part of daily life in Colorado.
To this end, having a well-designed, durable roof is vital to the longevity and resilience of the building overall. Not every commercial or residential structure can take advantage of every roofing material type, however, as many roof pitches (also called ‘slope’) don’t allow for the use of many industrial-grade roofing systems. So, a little ingenuity is needed to ensure that Colorado homes and businesses are best protected from the heavy rainfall, high winds, and exorbitant snowfall the state encounters every year.
At A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors, we’ve done repair and replacement work on Denver roofs of virtually every type, from chalet-style A-frames to commercial flat roofs. Because we’ve seen it all, we’re sharing with you the most common roof types in Colorado and why they’re chosen to protect the buildings they’re a part of.
Roof Geometry vs. Roof Materials
Let’s start by drawing the distinction between roof geometry and roof materials.
The geometry of a roof is a way to describe its structural shape. The material used to protect the building is a completely separate factor.
Here are some of the more common geometric roof styles you’ll find throughout Colorado:
The Gable Roof
Gable roofs are probably the most common roof styles for small, standalone residential homes in Colorado. Gable roofs are simple, easy to maintain, and provide outstanding protection from the elements.
However, these types of roofs do not perform as well in high-wind areas, making them less-than-ideal for use on homes located in the eastern plains. Gable roofs can take advantage of multiple roofing material options, including asphalt shingles, wood shake, and clay tile.
The Hip Roof
This roof isn’t called ‘hip’ because it’s trendy, although it is a common roof in Colorado. Hip roofs differ from Gable roofs in that all sides of the roof have an inward slope. While this does add to the surface area of the roof, it also provides stability and better performance in high-wind conditions.
Like Gable roofs, hip roofs can make use of almost all conventional slope roofing materials like shingles, shake, and tiling.
The Gambrel Roof
When you think about the style of roof that is typically found on a barn, you’re probably thinking about a Gambrel roof. This roof is excellent at providing ample protection for interior spaces with a lot of volume.
However, Gambrel roofs don’t have the kind of weight-bearing capacity that other, more stable roof types provide, making them inferior for locations with heavy snowfall or high winds.
The Flat Roof
Flat roofs are incredibly common throughout Colorado. The principle reason is because they work best for larger square footage buildings like commercial properties (think malls, retail stores, and warehouses).
Flat roofs allow for enhanced utility of the roof, as well, opening the door for solar panel installations, rooftop gardens, or even living areas complete with chaise lounges and patio umbrellas. Fun!
Unfortunately, flat roofs cannot be outfitted with shingle, shake, or tile roofing materials. The reason for this is because these roofing materials require adequate slope to ensure proper rainwater management. Instead, flat roofs have TPO, PVC, modified bitumen, or another membrane-style coating installed onto them.
The Butterfly Roof
If you were to invert a Gable roof, you’d have a butterfly roof.
These roofs are outstanding options for Colorado homes that are located in drier areas, because the roof type allows for easy collection of rainwater. Many homeowners will add a downspout that feeds from the valley of the roof and sends the collected rainwater into a barrel for redistribution throughout the home. How cool is that?
What’s more, butterfly roofs allow for bigger, more spacious windows. This feature alone can help to lower heating and cooling costs.
Whatever the Roof Type, A-to-Z Roofing Can Repair or Replace It
Gable. Gambrel. Flat. Hip.
Whichever roof style you happen to live or work under, A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors has the expertise and high-quality roofing materials needed to keep it in tip-top shape.
When the time comes for roof repair or replacement, we hope you’ll give us a call. We work on all roof types, and we’re always happy to provide no-cost, no-obligation job estimates.
At A-to-Z Roofing, we’re here for all of your Denver roofing needs!