The roof skin


The roof covering is the roof covering or roof seal. In terms of construction technology, but also legally, it has enormous significance in various areas. As a roofing the most different materials are used, which in turn depends on many factors in each case. Therefore, we have put together for you some important information about the roof skin.

Definition of the roof skin

The roof covering is the covering or sealing of the roof substructure. As can already be seen from the two terms "covering" and "sealing", a first distinction is made here according to roof shapes.

  • Flat roof - roof waterproofing
  • Pitched roof (all roofs with a roof pitch angle) - roofing

Materials for the roof skin

Which material you can use as a roofing depends on many factors. The material itself has almost no limitations.

  • Natural stone (slate)
  • Roof tiles
  • Concrete roof tiles
  • Fiber cement roofing panels (Eternit, Berliner Welle or corrugated cement)
  • Grass, reeds
  • Metals (stainless steel, non-ferrous metals such as copper)
  • Bitumen and tar products (roofing felt)
  • Plastics (liquid, as foils, acrylic glass or shingles)
  • Wood
  • Glass

For flat roofs, a special form with a green roof can be added. The substrate layer (on which the plants grow) is not the roof skin, but rather a part of the roof skin, which in this case is multi-layered.

Criteria to be met

Which materials are ultimately used depends on many aspects. On the one hand there are, of course, legal requirements. Then the load-bearing capacity of a building and the roof truss also plays a significant role. Thermal insulation properties have become equally important today, not to mention a sound insulation.

The traditional roof skin

However, there is still the traditional approach to the roofing. In northern Germany, these are mainly thatched houses, in southern Germany (for example, Black Forest, Alps) are often wooden shingles to find, while in low mountain ranges with slate deposits (Swabian Alb, Mosel, Altmühl) slate roofs are traditional. However, some of these traditions are now being processed far beyond the regional borders.

The roofing is also an important element in the statement of ordinances and laws. In construction law, for example, the eaves height, which may not be exceeded or fallen below, depending on the region, can be defined via the roof: the eaves height is at the interface of the roof cladding and façade, ie even above a possible substructure (roof truss).

Roof skin and fire protection

The same is true for other laws, for example for fire protection. Depending on the fire protection class, certain fire protection values ​​must be observed for a building. It also describes exactly how far fire protection measures must or can be enough. There are, for example, fire protection classes in which a fire protection measure must be conducted under the roof skin. In this case, this fire protection measure also penetrates the underlying roof truss.

General selection criteria for the roof skin

Once all the points have been taken into consideration, there are only a few options remaining for choosing suitable roofing. These often depend on the financial expenses. For concrete roof tiles certainly have a significantly higher weight than bitumen shingles. Accordingly, the roof truss must reach the respective carrying capacity and load capacity.

Modern requirements for the roof skin

In modern times another important criterion are properties for using solar energy on a roof. Again, the weight plays a prominent role again. However, solar systems are also influenced by the roof shape.

Tips & Tricks

Even before you build, you should find out which roofing materials are available in your region or city administration or municipality. The local construction office is required to provide you with relevant information.

Of course you will also find many articles in the house journal about the various roofing materials, such as the slate cover.


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