top covering of a building

A roof is the top surface of the building.[1] The plural of 'roof' is 'roofs'.[1] The roof keeps out rain and snow and protects people from the sun. Some roofs are sloped, or pitched, so the rain and snow fall off easily. Some roofs are flat, but even flat roofs have a little bit of pitch so the water can flow away towards a drain.

A roof in Poland. It has wooden shingles. Six dormers can be seen

Gable, hip, gambrel, shed and mansard roofs are the main types of pitched roofs.[2] The type of roof on a building helps identify the building style.[2] For example, an American Arts and Crafts style versus a Cape Cod style. Roofs are often covered in asphalt or wood shingles.[3] But they can also be covered in metal, slate, thatch or clay tiles.[4] It can be dangerous to walk on a pitched roof.[5] Some pitched roofs have parts that stick out for windows. These are called dormer windows. The edges of pitched roofs are called 'eaves'. Often there are gutters and leaders at the eaves, which take away water from the roof.

Flat roofs are usually covered in rubber or types of plastic. You can usually walk on a flat roof. At the edge of a flat roof there is sometimes a parapet. This is to prevents people from falling off the roof.



  1. 1.0 1.1 "roof". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dictionary of Architectural Terms". Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  3. Rachel Vega (27 September 2012). "4 Common Roof Types: Asphalt Shingles". Angie's List. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  4. Lee Wallender. "Roofing Materials: Asphalt, Wood, and Four Other Popular Options". About Homes. About, Inc. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  5. Chip Macdonald. "Safety Advice: Five Direct Causes of Pitched Roof Falls". Roofing Contractor Magazine. BNP Media. Retrieved January 16, 2017.

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