Most of us have heard of flying buttresses. After all, with such a colorful name, it’s hard to forget it. But do you know what a buttress is and its role in roofing? Texas Star Roofing, the best local roofer in the Plano/Dallas area, offers commercial and residential roofing services, including roof maintenance and roof repair services. Below, we’ll explore buttresses and their role in roofing. Contact us today for a free roofing estimate!
WHAT IS A BUTTRESS?
If you take a hard look at the word, you may see a meaning. A buttress is a support beam to a building, most notably in huge building projects like cathedrals. A buttress abuts the structure, which helps to reinforce the wall. In essence, when you build a building, you need support beams to support the weight of whatever you put on top such as roofs.
When you build a building of heavy material, such as brick, concrete, stone, and iron. These heavy building materials put a lot of weight on the beams, which creates a tendency for the beams to push outward. Thus, the buttress counters this force by pushing these beams inward. Buttresses, in addition, serve as aesthetic components of the overall building design in themselves, being carved ornately to match the architectural design of the structure.
Buttresses have been around since ancient times, being seen in ancient Mesopotamian temples. However, they are associated most with the huge building projects of the Gothic era, which were mainly cathedrals.
In order to build high-ceiling churches of the Gothic era with little support beams in the middle (as was the trend), flying buttresses were developed. These are usually a half arch into the support piece that itself is usually carved ornately. With a pinnacle on top of the flying buttress, this further enhances the structure and the weight it can hold, serving more than adequately to resist the thrust of the roof or the vault. Hence, massive spaces could be created, as well as expensive stained glass windows installed, which themselves are very heavy.
Other types of buttresses exist, such as tower buttresses (or pier), hanging buttresses, corner buttresses, and freestanding piers.
A BUTTRESS’ ROLE IN ROOFING
As we’ve discussed, the buttresses’ role in most structures is to help support the roof of the building. Humans are constantly innovating, looking for the next “big” thing. In medieval times, town and cities competed against one another to see who could build the tallest, grandest cathedral with the best roofs and domes. Buttresses evolved over time, allowing beautiful cathedrals to be built and rebuilt. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is perhaps the most well-known cathedral with flying buttresses. Although Notre Dame recently sustained heavy damage in a fire, it will be rebuilt, probably even grander than before.
As with most innovations, they build upon themselves. Thus, as buttresses evolved, roofs evolved, creating some of the most well known roofs as well. You may be thinking, “A roof is a roof, right? What’s the big deal?” While it’s true roofs all serve the same purpose — to enclose a living space so we can stay safe at night — there’s something to be said for beautiful architecture that feeds our eyes and our souls, sometimes when we need it the most.
When you’re driving around town, you notice roofs that stand out, roofs that complement a building so perfectly that you slow down and gaze, and roofs that make you pause and admire the sight. Roofs speak to human’s ability to create something out of nothing, to create something so magnificent that it’s hard to believe, and to create something that stands the test of time when none of us will.
Roofs are more than raw materials over your head; roofs are beautiful.
THE TEXAS STAR ROOFING IN DALLAS DIFFERENCE
Texas Star Roofing, the best residential roofing company in the greater Dallas area, excels at bringing new roof installations to your home or business. We also offer residential roofing maintenance and repair services, as well as commercial roofing services. We value our customers and listen to their needs and concerns. We utilize the best roofing materials for your home or business. Matching the need with your preference, we guarantee our labor for one year and new roofing materials for two years. We stand behind our work and take great joy in bringing you a top-notch roof to complement your home.
Texas Star Roofing in Dallas’s mission is to give you the best roof. While it might not be a roof of note, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, it’s a roof you can count on to protect your family when a Texas storm hits, to give you a space you can call your own, and to stand stalwart when sometimes you cannot. Your roof is beautiful. Contact us today for a free roofing estimate!