Repairing My Roof

Best And Worst Roofing Materials For A Saltbox Roof On A Freestanding Garage

A saltbox garage roof offers a bit of extra space in the upper areas for a loft or extra storage but is more durable than the roomier gable roof style. Saltbox roofs have a short front segment that gently slopes upwards towards a peak. After the peak, a steeper and longer section slopes downwards towards the back of the garage.

If you have or are considering a saltbox garage roof style and need new roofing materials, there are a few materials in particular that are better or worse matches for this roof shape. Here are a few options you can discuss with your roofing company.

Best: Asphalt

Saltbox roofs have large surface areas that typically aren't visible to someone standing facing your house. This factor makes it wise to choose a roofing material that is both cost-efficient and durable more than attractive. Asphalt shingles fit the bill.

Asphalt shingles aren't unattractive since the shingles can be fabricated in numerous colors and to resemble different building materials like brick or stone. Asphalt is a bit more artificial looking than the real alternative materials, but that might not be a major issue for you since the roof won't be that visible.

You do want to be careful using asphalt if there are no windbreaks behind the garage. That steeply sloping rear segment can become a wind magnet and the gusts can loosen or remove the lightweight asphalt shingles.

Best: Metal

Saltbox roofs are a great shape for natural water and snow drainage. But the presence of windowed dormers out of the top of the roof can pose a waterproofing concern. The corners where the dormers meet the main roof can be difficult to wrap materials like wood or asphalt around without creating gaps between the material pieces.

Metal roofing is a great alternative material for waterproofing. Your roofing contractor can easily cut the metal segments to the desired size, and its initial malleability means that the pieces can be bent around those tight corners and then secured or snapped to other pieces of metal roofing.

Worst: Slate

Saltbox roofs have a large surface area that doesn't have fantastic weight distribution. The poor distribution isn't an issue with falling snow since the slope can get rid of that problem quickly. But using lightweight roofing materials can prevent any potential roof collapses due to heavily packed snow. And heavier roofing materials can potentially cause a collapse on their own.

Slate is one of the heavier roofing materials around. The slate tiles are also expensive and, while durable, mostly used for decorative purposes, which is moot when the roof isn't that visible. If you have your heart set on slate and can afford to make sure your saltbox roof has adequate bracing for the weight, you can by all means choose slate. But it isn't one of the best materials for a saltbox roof.

For more information and options, talk with a professional roofing company, such as Cleroux & Sons Roofing pitched roofs.