Does your small business have a mansard-style roof that needs repairs or replacement? Understanding the roof shape helps determine the best and worst roofing materials for the job. The mansard roof's shape essentially creates two segments to worry about: the lower, visible roof that consists of the four nearly vertical sides that drop down over the house and then the upper flat roof where those sides meet.
Here are a few of the materials you can discuss with your roofing contractors, who can help decide on the best material for your budget, design style, and maintenance desires.
Best: Metal Roofing
The main hurdle on a mansard roof is promoting water runoff and waterproofing on the flat upper roof without compromising the visual appearance of the visible side roofs. Metal roofing can solve all of these problems at once.
Metal shingles installed on the flat roof have a slick surface and fit tightly together to promote water runoff and waterproofing. You might not immediately think of metal as the most attractive material for the side roofs, but metal roofing comes in a variety of colors and styles that can make the sides match your decor needs. Copper metal roofing in particular can look terrific on small businesses with a Victorian-inspired architecture.
Metal roofing is low maintenance and fairly durable so you won't need to keep checking on the roof or having your roofers back for repairs.
Best: Slate Tiles
Slate tiles look elegant and can be installed in a brickwork pattern to add an extra dose of visual interest to the sides of the mansard. The slate tiles come in the earthy natural tones of the stone and are both durable and low maintenance. Slate does come at a higher initial cost due to both the material and the specialized installation, but you might consider the upfront costs worth the look and low maintenance benefits.
Slate does have a slick surface that could help the upper roof shed off the water, but you don't want to waste money putting an elegant roofing material where no one will see it. You could instead use metal roofing on the flat roof and slate roofing only on the sides where the stone is visible from the curb.
Worst: Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles could work well on the upper flat roof, as the shingles do have a flatter texture and tighter installation than some other materials. If metal is outside of your budget, the next best material to use on the flat roof portion would be asphalt shingles.
However, you shouldn't use asphalt shingles on the side roof portions of the mansard. The lightweight asphalt shingles installed in an overlapping pattern would provide a place for the draining water from the upper roof to run and potentially cause water damage. You could opt for a non-overlapping installation style, but then the shingles would leave your side roofs looking shapeless and boring.
For more information about what materials would be best for your mansard roof and fit your budget, talk to a contractor like Advanced Seamless Gutter & Roofing Inc.