Roof Types

As we get into the specifics of the course, let's first point out a few things that will help you move through this course in a manner that will make it easier for you to monetize this knowledge so that you can grow your business to its full potential.

You don’t have to learn every single type of roof, every single nuance to flying the drone according to what we set in this course, and you don’t have to know all the functionalities of every single software out there. What you DO have to know is how to execute inspections or gather data exactly how your customer needs the data processed for their job or project.

In other words, you have to know how to put together deliverables that are of value for your clients (whether that’s an outside client or your boss), and also know that each client is going to want their data compiled in a certain way. Thus, as you are out on various job sites, you should focus on being comfortable with collecting aerial data in various capacities.

The purpose of this course is to arm you with enough knowledge, industry experience, and field experience so that you have a solid baseline and can go out and comfortably adapt to new environments.

As addressed in the video above, here are some of the most common types of roofs you will see as you conduct aerial surveys:

1-Mansard: A mansard or mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope, punctured by dormer windows, at a steeper angle than the upper.

  • What to look out for: The section of the mansard roof that has a lower pitch is where most debris will collect and in turn where the most damage will be found. You’ll want to check this section of roof for debris that has collected, which may indicate damage underneath. 

2-Gambrel: A gambrel roof is usually a symmetrical, two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle, while the lower slope is steep.

  • What to look out for: Like a Mansard roof (both being similar), there is a section at the top that has a lower pitch. Spotting debris here is critical because as debris collects, so does water. Also pay close attention to any flashings that are located in the lower pitched section. 

3-Combination: A combination roof incorporates two or more roof styles like hip roofs with a gable roof that may also have dormers in the mix, among other combination of architectural design. 

  • What to look out for: Valleys. Valleys are the weak point of any roof because that is where debris collects. Starting with a bird’s eye image gives you an understanding of the layout so you can be efficient while coming in low to the valley’s and also aware of the structural obstacles you may come across.

4-Hexagonal: A six or eight sided roof that is more often than not pitched. Also, they are very common for outdoor areas such as a gazebo. This roof type is more often found over a turret, situated on a home with a combination roof. 

  • What to look out for: The weakest point in this roof section are the seams where the sides meet. 

5-Cross Hipped Roof: The result of joining two or more hip roof sections together, forming a T or L shape for the simplest forms, or any number of more complex shapes.

  • What to look out for: Valleys. Some valleys are lined with a flashing. If you find debris in the area, come down low (2’-5’) and check the flashing for rust. 

6-Shed (Skallion): A roof with one slope.

  • What to look out for: These roofs may have less issues visible to the naked eye than other roofs since there are no valleys and less area where debris may collect. The drip edge at the bottom edge of the roof is where you may find issues if it is an older roof. 

7-Lean-To: A roof with one slope. single slope feeds into the side of an existing building.

  • What to look out for: Look for the flashing that connects the roof to the wall section. 

8-Butterfly: A V-shaped roof resembling an open book. A kink separates the roof into two parts running towards each other at an obtuse angle.

  • What to look out for: The point where the two angled roof sections connect is where debris is more likely to collect and also where drainage is most important. 

9-Box Gable: A roof with a ridge running at the top, separating two downward slopes on each side. 

  • What to look out for: This roof is rather durable since there are no valleys and far less places for debris to collect. If it is a asphalt shingle roof material, and the house has gutters, look in the gutters for granules. A high granule buildup indicates a roof that may be nearing the end of a useful life. If it is a tiled roof, look for broken tiles. 

10-Dormer Roof: A roof section that protrudes from another sloped roof. This kind of roof would typically be found in a combination roof. 

  • What to look out for: Weak points for this roof are going to be the section where the sloped roof supporting the dormer roof meets the exterior wall of the dormer structure. Take a close look at those flashings. 

11-Flat Roof: A roof that has little, if any, slope. 

  • What to look out for: Spots where water collects. If it is a tar & gravel flat roof in a wetter part of the country, look for moss buildup. If it is in a more arid part of the country, look for granule build up in the rain gutters. 

12-Hip Roof: A roof section where all sides slope downwards towards the walls.

  • What to look out for: Because there are no valleys, check the gutters for granules if it is an asphalt shingle roof. The ridge of the roof will also show curling, which is a telltale sign that the roof is nearing the end of useful life. 

13-Pyramid Hip: A roof that has a downward slope to the walls and where the hips meet at a single point or at a short ridge run. These roofs have excellent drainage. 

  • What to look out for: Look for aged or curling shingles (if asphault material) and again, for signs of granular buildup in the gutters. 

14-Jerkinhead: A gable roof with a hipped cut in that splits the ridge into two hips. 

  • What to look out for: A Jerkinhead roof may be a part of a larger combination roof. As such, you will want to check the valleys throughout the entire roof section

See below for examples of each type.