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When picturing out a roof, the typical child, and even the typical adult, would usually imagine the upside-down V structure. The first house you drew probably had this type of roof. This structure is actually known as a gable roof. Gable roofs are the type of roof that is formed from 2 sloping structures that slant towards opposite directions. These 2 slanted planes meet at the topmost peak of the roof, known as the ridge.  

gable roof pros and cons

Gable roofs are easily recognizable by the signature symmetrical triangle that the entire structure creates. While there are different variations, the traditional gable roof has 2 panels. Gable roofs are also pitched or sloped roofs. Another type of roof is a flat roof which is not actually completely flat, but instead is a low-slope type of roof that is usually only made up of a single panel that extends from one end of the roof to the other. 

The main purpose of the gable roof’s form is to create a high slope that is extremely effective in receiving snowfall and heavy rains. You’ll most often see this type of roof in traditional homes that are built in areas with cooler climates. The steep slope of the 2 sides of the roof make it easy for rain, snow, and other types of debris to easily slide off the roof.

Types of Gable Roofs

The common gable roof is the symmetrical version with just 2 panels running from a ridge that is placed right in the middle of the home. However, there are actually a lot of different versions of a gable roof that have been designed and built to satisfy a wide range of styles and home needs.

Crow stepped gable 

These types of gables are called crow stepped because they feature a step-shaped end that was initially made to make it easier for people to access the roof for repairs or chimney cleaning. The downside to this type of roof is that it is actually prone to water damage because of the space found between the sloped roof and the ends. 

Dutch gable 

This type of gable can be likened to the previous crow stepped version because the ends for a Dutch gable are also not straight. Instead, the sides for this type of roof are curved. This design was popularized because of its appeal and, unfortunately, has the same problems as the first type mentioned.

Saltbox gable 

Saltbox gables are a different type of gabled roof that is identifiable because of the differing slopes on each side. This makes the entire structure asymmetrical. While this may sound awkward and unappealing, this is actually a great aesthetic for more modern and sleek architectural styles.

Boxed gable 

Boxed gables have eaves that are able to extend past the structural walls of the property. 

Jerkinhead gable 

This type of roof has a flat ridge. The peak can actually be angled downwards, facing the front portion of the house. 

Gambrel roof 

The most common type that was described earlier in this article is the symmetrical triangle that you can usually find. This is known as a gambrel roof. The symmetrical ends are formed from two planes that meet at the peak.

The Pros and Cons of Gable Roofs

The simple design makes the gable roof the ideal style for residential roofing; it’s less expensive to build, allowing fast and efficient installation. Note that simple roofs have fewer areas that require flashing, and therefore have less risk of developing roofing problems. As gable roofs are often steeply pitched, they shed rain and snow better than other roof types. They also allows easy expansion, perfect for homeowners looking into converting the attic space into another room. An additional window can be installed on the gable if needed.

Typically, a steep pitch makes gable roofs vulnerable to strong winds, especially at the edges. When choosing a new asphalt shingle roof, make sure the shingles are rated for at least 110 mph. It may also require longer gutter lengths, which would mean more seams that will require re-sealing from time to time. If this is an issue, consider investing in seamless gutters.

Pros of gable roofs

The gable roof is not popular due to its looks alone. There are actually several advantages that come along with the gabled design. From the start, gabled roofs are simple to construct and install. It is also less costly than other options available. Secondly, gable roofs provide attic space which can be used for storage or other purposes.

The next advantage pertains to how well the sloped sides are able to shed both water and snow that lands on the roof. Because of the steep slope on both sides, other elements easily slide off the roof. This creates an efficient drainage system and is a great way to prevent leaks and other types of water damage. Lastly, the larger attic space also allows for better ventilation.

Cons of gable roofs

One of the major disadvantages of a gable roof is that the design is actually more prone to damage from heavy winds. The steep slope creates a larger vertical surface area that catches a lot of the incoming wind. It is also critical when installing a gable roof, that professional roofers prepare the frame. Because of the high pitch, improper installation could lead to faulty support that could cause the roof to collapse. 

With the weather here, the best installation can only be done by a great team of professionals for roofing Manassas VA who are sure to apply the right installation techniques for that specific roofing material.

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