Roofing materials are the outermost layer on the roof of a building, sometimes self-supporting, but generally supported by an underlying structure. A building's roofing material provides shelter from the natural elements, and insulation against heat and cold. The outer layer of a roof shows great variation dependent upon the availability of material, and the nature of the supporting structure. In Zambia roofing material those types of roofing material are commercially available range from natural products such as thatch can be grass thatch to corrugated iron sheets, asbestos sheets, concrete tiles, iron tiles and baked clay tiles and slate to tiles and polycarbonate sheeting.
There are lots of materials that are used to build roofs. These include wood, stone, clay, glass, metal, polycarbonate roofing sheets, and many more.
Here is a list of the most common roofing materials available, along with the pros and cons of each.
Tiles are available in a variety of colours like black, grey, red, green, and purple; thus enhancing the visual appeal of a roof. It is a durable, fire-resistant material, but is at the same time, heavy requiring additional framing and professional installation.
Metal roofs are another popular roofing material, used specially in commercial applications. They are available in two types – panels and shingles. The various types of metals available for roofing include copper, aluminium, and steel. Metal roofs are lightweight, long-lasting, recyclable, and resistant to extreme weather conditions. However, they are also expensive.
Aluminium – Light in weight and resistant to rusting, aluminium is a great option for roofing. However, it is also soft and brittle, as compared to other metals.
Steel – Durable and heavier than aluminium, steel is a better option. However, it requires various kinds of coatings for protection. For example, a coat of zinc is applied to protect steel from rust; and a coat of epoxy primer is applied to fight adhesion.
Copper – Copper doesn’t need any finishing; it is naturally resistant to corrosion. Also, it is flexible and can be easily bent as it is soft in nature. But, it is also relatively very expensive.
Clay and concrete tiles
If you want to add elegance and texture to your roof, clay and concrete tiles are a great option as they are available in great varieties like flat, ribbed, and scalloped. They are a very durable and long-lasting option, but are also heavy, requiring additional framing and installation done by professionals. They are also energy efficient and non-combustible. However, these qualities also make them very expensive.
Glass has been the most traditional material used to build roofs where transparency is required; like in greenhouses and conservatories. However, glass is a heavy, brittle, and rigid material.