Gable Or Mansard: Which Pitched Roofing Style Best Suits Asphalt Roofing?

Asphalt roofing has become a favored material with roofing contractors due to its low cost, light weight, ease of installation, and relatively versatile appearance. But no one roofing material is well suited to every style of roof. Finding the material with pros and cons that best match the pros and cons of your roof style is a pivotal part of the roof construction or remodeling process.

Residential homes often have pitched roof styles to add visual interest and to help with water runoff. Two of the most popular pitched roof styles are the gable and the mansard roof. Do asphalt shingles work well with either of these roof types or should you ask your roofing contractors for another material?

Gabled Roof: So-So Match

A gabled roof has two steep sides that meet at the pointed roof ridge. The shape of the roof is simple, which keeps construction costs low both while building the roof and while laying the roofing materials. Asphalt roofing is also simple and low cost so the match seems good so far.

The gable roof shape also means the gable is one of the more efficient styles at shedding rainwater or melting snow off the roof. So asphalt roofing's ability to help with water runoff isn't a win or loss here.

Finally, the steep sides of the gable mean that wind can gain speed up its slope and damage any lightweight roofing materials. Asphalt is a lightweight roofing material that has the potential for wind damage or even the removal of the shingles during high winds.

If your home has a natural wind break such as nearby neighbors, the wind issue might not be a deciding factor. But if your home is out in the open, you might want to look into other materials. 

Mansard Roof: Good Match

The mansard roof has a flattened top and four side pieces that extend down over the sides of the house. Each of the side pieces has both a lower and upper segments with neither of the segments having a particularly steep slope. Mansard roofs are most commonly associated with Victorian homes.

Mansard roofs have quite a bit of surface area so if cost is an issue, asphalt roofing could prove to be your best bet. The roof doesn't have any sharp angles that make the asphalt vulnerable to wind damage. And the asphalt's drainage abilities will come in handy on the relatively flat roof.

The one potential downside is that asphalt doesn't look as fancy as slate or even wood. If you are going with a mansard roof as a temporary stop towards a different style in the future, asphalt roofing might be fine for now. But if you are investing in an ornate mansard roof with decorative accents and all, and budget isn't an option, you might want to go with the slate or wood instead. Talk to a roofing contractor for more help.