Mansard roofs have two sloping sections on all four sides of the roof. The uppermost section has a slight slope while the lower section has an extremely steep, nearly vertical slope. Mansard roofs add a classic touch to French and Victorian inspired house architecture. If you have a mansard roof that needs to be repaired or replaced, there are a few key materials you should discuss with your residential roofing contractor.

Best: Clay Tiles

A mansard roof has a regal design that serves as an important focal point for the exterior of your home. If you have a higher project budget, consider installing clay tiles to bring out the shape and elegance of the roof.

Clay tiles are most commonly associated with Spanish style homes with vivid red roofs. But clay tiles in neutral shades of gray and brown can perfectly accent a mansard roof. The tiles are durable and weather resistant, which means less time and money spent on maintenance further down the road.

Clay tiles are heavy, so make sure your mansard roof is well supported, which shouldn't be a problem since the roof itself requires substantial structural support to carry its weight. Make sure your contractor checks that the supports can also handle the additional weight of snow, which can accumulate on the rather flat top of a mansard. 

Best: Metal Roofing

Mansards can experience moisture and snow buildup on the tops and at the areas where the low sloping upper and steep sloping lower areas come together. Waterproofing can prove a concern if you live in an area that experiences heavy rains and snows regularly. Metal roofing, also called standing seam metal, could offer you a weatherproofed roof with low maintenance.

The metal connects in such a way that an alternating of watertight seams and gullies is created. The shape protects even sharp corners from water leaks and helps funnel any water and snow further down the roof to the eaves or drain pipes.

Metal doesn't have as classic a look as clay, but the material is still available in a wide variety of colors and styles that can make your roof look as beautiful as it is functional.

Worst: Wood Shakes

Wood shakes or shingles could offer assistance in funneling water off the roof due to how the shingles are installed. But wood shakes are also one of the most high maintenance roofing materials around, especially if you live in an area with cold winters and hot summers. Temperature shifts and insects can both cause substantial damage.

Due to the height of most houses with mansard roofs, and their steep slopes, a mansard roof can prove difficult, dangerous, and expensive if the roof requires regular maintenance and repairs. For more information, contact a company like Davis Bros Roofing.