Do Sawtooth Roofs Make Good Sense

Sawtooth roofs present apparently simple opportunities to add light, and even fresh air to large enclosed spaces. Their historically industrial design has seen a surge of interest as we find new ways to save energy. And moreover, with COVID anything that improves indoor ventilation seems like a great idea.

But today we review sawtooth roofs from another angle. In other words, from our perspective as experienced roofers with over a decade of experience. From that point of view the design creates more places where roofs and walls come together. And each of these necessitates regular inspection to ensure they are still waterproof.

The Advantages of Sawtooth Roofs

Please don’t get us wrong! Sawtooth roofs add interest to building appearance in the hands of experienced architects. Especially when the purpose is to provide large, open space beneath.

Here we think of places of worship, shopping centres, factories, workshops, and so on. There is no better we know to bring lightness into these places as we write. However, the downside is they create room for rainwater and snow to gather as well!

saw tooth roof review calgary
Structure of a Sawtooth Church Roof Prepared for Demolition (Image Hassocks 5489 BY Public Domain)

But there are yet more advantages to the design that may compensate for higher maintenance cost. Glazed panels admit light while filtering out UV, while multiple roof pitches add additional, usable space. And finally, they provide multiple opportunities for mounting solar panels if the building has a suitable orientation.

The Drawbacks of Using Sawtooth Roofs

We would not be providing a balanced assessment if we did not mention the downside of multiple pitch sawtooth roofs:

1… Sawtooth roofs are complex structures that work out more expensive and are best designed by architects.

2… Their multiple windows, slopes and valleys make them unsuitable for cold rainy climates with a likelihood of snow or hail.

3… The roof design is a series of gutters from a waterproofing perspective. Metal roof coverings are prone to rust.

May We Recommend You Seek Professional Advice

Sawtooth roofs are therefore not an ideal solution in Calgary where we live and run our business. May we recommend you consult a roofing expert such as Valiant Exteriors before constructing or repairing a sawtooth roof?

Phone Calgary (403)829-1661 any time during business hours. Or send an email detailing your situation, and attaching drawings and photographs to illustrate your situation.

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A Sawtooth Industrial Roof (Image Peter Nath BY CC 4.0)