Special Considerations When Choosing Roofing Materials For Alexander Houses

Alexander houses were originally limited-run tract houses put up in California between the late 1950s and early 1960s. But the architectural blend of form, function, and nature drew imitators and similar styles spread across the country. Defining features of the Alexander home include large windows free of ornamentation, open breezeways, wood or masonry siding, and decorative cutouts on some accent walls both inside and outside the home. The Alexander came with one of three possible roof types: flat, slanted saltbox, or angular butterfly.

If you have an Alexander home, understanding the shape of your roof can help determine some special considerations to keep in mind while helping choose your roofing materials with replacement roofing contractors. Here are some special considerations to keep in mind for the flat, saltbox, and butterfly roof styles.

Flat Roof: Maximize the Drainage Available, Don't Waste Money on Looks

A flat roof, in fact, has a slight slope that helps some water off the roof and into your gutters. But the slope doesn't always suffice for drainage especially in areas that receive frequent heavy rains. You might want to maximize the drainage by using a flatter, sleeker roofing material such as metal roofing or asphalt shingles.

The asphalt shingles cost less and have a fairly flat surface that can help the water on the roof slide down into the gutters. The asphalt comes in a range of colors, which come from dye applied inside the material, and can come pressed into a shape like that of wood shakes or shingles.

Metal roofing has stronger water drainage possibilities due to its sleek surface. The material has come a long way since its days of solely industrial uses. But even if you don't like the look of metal roofing, you should focus on function rather than style for the materials on this roof shape. People standing on the ground can't see the top of the roof and its materials so you don't need to waste money on materials like slate tile.

Saltbox Roof: Versatile Roof Shape, Watch for High Winds

The saltbox roof has one short front side that has a low slope and a larger, steeply sloping rear side. The shape has a beautiful asymmetrical design that has natural drainage ability, sufficient bracing for the roofing material of your choice, and enough visible roofing in the front of the house to ensure that your roofing material is seen. Overall, the saltbox roof is a versatile roof shape that suits most roofing materials.

You do want to make sure that the rear-facing, high-sloped roof doesn't take on a lot of regular direct wind. The slope can speed up that wind and loosen or damage lightweight roofing materials like asphalt shingles. If the rear of your house has windbreaks, this likely won't pose a problem.

Butterfly Roof: Ensure Maximum Drainage for Deep Valley

Butterfly roofs have two steeply slanted roofing segments that slope downwards to meet at the bottom of a valley rather than a roof peak. The name of the roof comes from the fact that the roof angles look like a butterfly's wings during flight. Butterfly roofs have adequate support beams and visible roof surfaces but drainage and waterproofing can pose major concerns.

Metal roofing is one of the best ways to both improve drainage and ensure proper waterproofing. The standing seam panels can snap together to form an alternating pattern of slick-surfaced valleys and raised vertical walls that help keep water flowing down those metal valleys. These pieces fit tightly together to ensure a waterproof barrier to keep the draining water out of your home. For more information, consider checking out websites like http://www.empireroofingnm.com.