We depend on your roofs to keep us and our belongings safe from the elements, but most of us don’t know the first thing about them. There is more to our roofs than a few shingles.
There are many parts to your roof, and while we don’t need to understand every single thing, it is important to know how and why things can go wrong. It’s also important that we know when to call for help.
The shingles on the roof are the top layer and they act as the first defense against harsh weather and other debris that can cause damage. Asphalt shingles are the most popular for most homes.
Asphalt shingles last a long time, look great, and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors, which adds to their popularity. They are also affordable, compared to other materials like ceramic or slate.
Asphalt shingles are also easy to repair and replace. The affordability of these shingles makes them very popular, and the variety of colors and styles makes them unbeatable.
Ventilation is a vital part of your roofing system. When the heat rises, it can get trapped in your roof and moisture will start to build up in the form of condensation.
Proper ventilation is necessary, otherwise, the moisture will quickly start to build and many problems can occur, Mold, mildew, rotting wood or other materials, and bad smells. It can also attract pests.
Without ventilation, it builds up causing moisture damage to the wood and other materials layered in your roofing system. Ventilation also helps to control the temperature inside the home in the cold and the warm months.
Roof deck is almost always wooden panels that go over the rafters. This is the foundation of your roof and all of the other materials needed are attached to the deck. This needs to be strong enough to hold the rest of the roof.
It also needs to be strong enough to hold the roof when it is covered with snow or ice. It keeps the roof in place in case of heavy storms that may include falling branches or flying debris.
This is the layer of your roof between the outside and inside. You can often see the decking from your attic. If moisture gets through your roof and starts to seep into the deck, then there can be big problems.
Applied directly over the deck, underlayment is a waterproof material for added protection against moisture. These are often made of asphalt, rubberized asphalt, or synthetic materials. They can also be fire-rated, for added protection.
Waterproofed or water-resistant don’t mean the same thing. Waterproof means the moisture can not penetrate, water resistance helps keep moisture out but not always entirely.
Depending on where you live can have a barring on what type of underlayment you want. Weather and the elements all affect your roof, so it is important to have the right materials.
Flashing is the corrosive-resistant metal applied to the eaves and around your chimney. The flashing is there to help water move off of your roof. They are there for the awkward areas of your roof that may otherwise be unable to remove water.
There are a few different types, and often several different types are used on one roof. Some are added to the roof, some go around the base of your chimney, other types are for the edges, and valley flashing is for dips in your roof.
Your Roof System
All parts of your roofing system are important and they all work together to keep the home safe and dry. If there is a problem in one area, it can affect the rest of the roofing system.
Because there are so many parts to your roof, it is important that you have your roof inspected often. Spring and fall are ideal times and after a particularly bad storm.
A little moisture can cause a lot of damage, so it is best to know what is going on up there. You may not notice there is a problem until the damage has already become quite extensive.