Special Considerations When Choosing A Cupola Roofing Material

Cupolas are small, decorative domes that protrude from the top of residential roofs. A cupola is mostly an architectural element but can also serve as a secondary type of roof vent to help warm air rise out of the upper levels of your home. If you are installing a new cupola or having residential roof repairs that include the cupola, you might not pay a lot of attention to the roofing material used on the cupola. Or you might blindly match the cupola roof to the rest of your home's roof.

But the unusual shape and special characteristics of a cupola make the choice of roofing material an important consideration. What are some factors you need to consider when choosing a material?

Unusual Shape

Cupola roofs tend to start wider at the bottom then slope steeply upwards until all of the sides meet at a narrow point. The unusual shape means that no roofing material is going to fit well onto the cupola – and look attractive-- straight out of the box. Your roofing contractor will likely need to cut material pieces down to best fit the cupola's shape.

What are some of the best roofing materials for custom cutting? Asphalt, slate, and metal roofing can all be cut to size to fit a cupola roof. Asphalt is at the cheaper end of the budget scale and might be more practical for a smaller installation like a cupola. If the rest of your house already has slate roofing, however, you might consider matching the cupola roof to the house in this circumstance.

Ventilation Needs

If your cupola doubles as a roof vent, you don't want the roofing material on the cupola to help hold that heat inside. Instead, look for roofing materials that promise energy efficiency by not allow the sun's heat to roast the inside of your home, which will also in turn help your heated air rise out of the cupola.

Metal roofing and wood shakes are both good options for keeping out the sun while allowing out the warmth from inside. Wood is a bit more high maintenance than metal, which might be a deciding factor if your cupola is particularly hard to reach.

Waterproofing Needs

The cupola is able to act as a vent because there are openings inside the cupola that lead into your attic. So you want to make sure that water doesn't get through the roof and drip down straight into your house. Waterproofing a cupola is a challenge due to the sharp angles where the sides come together.

Metal roofing is one of the best choices for waterproofing because the different pieces can snap together to form a watertight seam.

For more information, contact Homestreet Roofing Inc or a similar company.