Understanding How Mansard Roof Styles WorkJune 4, 2021
A mansard roof, also known as flat roof or pitched roof, is a four sided gambrel-style roof with two slopes on each side of the roof, with the lower slope punctured with dormer windows. The lower slope of the roof is usually made of concrete whilst the higher one is typically made of wood. The dormers provide structural support and additional insulation to the roof. A mansard roof has the potential for a high degree of thermal bridging, particularly in colder climates; so considerable care should be taken to ensure the roof is installed in a competent and safe manner.
Mansard roofs have traditionally been used in coastal regions, providing strong protection against the elements and providing an efficient means of roofing construction. However, their high installation cost and lightweight make them inappropriate for many areas. In the past, the only way to install a mansard was to build a strong blockhouse between two sloped roofs using wooden battens and then to install the roofing material to the blockhouses frame. This method of roofing installation made it highly dependent on good luck if one aspect of the battens or blocks was ever in a bad condition; therefore they were often considered to be highly risky. Recent advances in materials and modern technology mean that this risk factor is becoming less of a risk in more areas.
High-quality mansard roofs can provide a lot of square footage of living space for a relatively small investment, but it is important to remember that they can also take a long time to install, especially if planning is undertaken in a large scale. This means that the overall design and cost will be higher than average. Nevertheless, if one looks carefully at the benefits of such a roof over a traditional block-based construction, the overall expenditure of the project becomes highly competitive and may well be a worthy investment over time. Firstly, mansard roofs tend to provide far superior thermal insulation to block-based construction, and so there is no danger of the house losing heat during the summer months or winter. Secondly, the fact that they have a sloped roof means that air from the living space is able to ventilate the home in an efficient way, which helps to keep heating bills down considerably.
As mentioned above, using metal for the roof is strongly advised, as this is the preferred means of application in modern homes these days. However, with this in mind it is not suggested that using the cheaper sheet metal roofing is preferable – metal is a more expensive material to produce and it has the potential to become very brittle over time. It also does not come without a few disadvantages. For instance, the metal is prone to flaking, which is easily fixed using corrosion resistant salts of copper, which makes it far more practical and economical to use on mansard roofs. Metal shingles are also recommended, because they do not flake and tend to be a far more durable and stable option.
However, the most effective type of roofing material for a mansard style roof are the flat roof shingles. These look very much like the traditional slate roofs but are pitched in such a way that they form a convex or conical shape. They do not cap the height of the roof at all, which means that the roof is not capacious at all and allows considerable amount of daylight to filter through the roof as well as heating to penetrate through during warm days. The best pitch for these shingles is about two degrees sloped towards the centre of the roof. This ensures that the energy penetrates the roof and can therefore help to lower energy bills even during the winter months.
In terms of strength, these roofs are among the strongest types of all types of modern roofing systems. They are also highly durable when it comes to the pitch, which is one of the reasons why they remain popular for so long. They are the ideal option if you are looking to install a roof on an industrial-built building. It is because of this versatility and strength that the mansard style roof remains a very popular choice.