Roofing is the covering of a structure, consisting of all parts and materials required to support it on top of walls, timbers, or on uprights, giving protection from the elements, rain, snow, sunshine, extreme temperatures, and winds. In general, a roof is a structural part of a building envelope, acting as the roofing for the structural members of the structure. The roof covers the whole roof structure, including the underside of beams, joists, and nails, while rafters and trusses provide structural support. Traditionally, roofs are built from logs, but nowadays they can also be made of clay, concrete, metal, slate, tile, plastic, or any other material that is strong enough to hold the weight and keep in place. Traditionally, the roof is constructed by attaching two pieces of wood, with overlapping strips of one next to the other. However, advances in roofing technology have made it possible to build a roof using either screws or nails, eliminating the need for overlapping strips of wood.
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Modern roofing materials are often made of metal, clay, or slate tiles that may be used to cover traditional timbers or wood shakes. Metal roofing materials are used to extend the life of a roof and to reduce maintenance costs. They are also available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures to meet the diverse needs of commercial and residential applications. If the roof becomes wet, such as during a heavy rain, the metal roof may expand to provide more strength to the roof, reducing the chance of roof damage and roof collapsing.
Slate roofs are an attractive choice for greenhouses and for use on structures that need maximum roof coverage. As a roofing material, slate consists of calcite and micas which are silicate based. Slate is an excellent choice for use in both domestic and commercial applications because of its resistance to fire, termites, and moisture. The use of slate roofing materials requires special care to ensure that the slate shingles are properly installed. In order to maximize the longevity of the slate shingles, regular maintenance is necessary to remove any loose shingles or to apply a waterproof coating to prevent water from reaching the underlying wood shingles.