Most people forget about or don’t really think about the roof that is over their heads! Nature is harsh on the roof with every coming year. The sun is beating down on the roof with UV rays and fierce winds are constantly taking a toll on the roof. All these things reduce the service life of the roofs, weakening their power over time.
Your roof is your first and last line of defense against the invasion of pests and harsh climatic conditions. It prevents water damage which could otherwise cause your house to decay and become unpleasant, overrun with toxic mold and mildew. If it’s in terrible shape or too old, you should consider a roof replacement!
You should “know your roof” and regularly inspect it to analyze its condition.
Know Your Roof:
Roofing Deck: The roofing deck is considered to be the structural foundation of the roofing system. The roof deck is visible to you through the attic. Usually the roofing materials are nailed to the deck. It is the support system of the roof and handles the weight of snow coverage and other unexpected debris.
- You need to make sure that the roofing deck is very strong and well-protected as it is the final layer that protects the house.
- Roof decking is usually made from plywood or a composite material like oriented strand board (OSB).
Roofing underlayment: The roofing underlayment is important because it adds a layer of water-proof (or water-resistant) material that’s directly applied to the roofing deck. It is known to offer protection to the plywood surface and support the weight of the entire system.
There are three main types of roofing underlayment:
1. Asphalt-saturated felt
2. Non-bitumen synthetic underlayment also known as “synthetic underlayment”
3. Rubberized asphalt underlayment
Flashing/Drip Edge: Flashing is used in the roofing system in the form of a corrosion-resistant metal that can be applied to the roof at the edges and corners of walls or the chimney. These edges are also called eaves and valleys.
Eaves: This term refers to the roof edge that extends beyond the exterior walls of the home.
Valleys: This term refers to the low-angled areas that are generally formed by the sloping roof planes.
Flashing is made from galvanized steel, aluminium, stainless steel or copper.
Four types of flashing are:
1. Step Flashing (also called base flashing) — applied directly to a roof
2. Cap Flashing (also called counter flashing) — applied to a chimney or a wall
3. Drip Edge a flashing that is applied to the outer edges of a roof
4. Valley Flashing used for roof valleys and can be applied in woven or open styles
Roofing Shingles: These are visible as the outermost layer of the roofing system. Shingles are the first line of defense for the whole roofing system. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle used in residential homes. It is a fact– roughly 80 percent of American homes use asphalt shingles.
Roofing ventilation: Ventilation is important for the roof as it is the basic breathing system. Ventilation is one of the most critical components of the whole roof system.
Useful in regulating the flow of air on the underside of a roof deck due to passive and thermal forces, ventilation allows warm, moist air to escape while allowing cooler, drier air to enter the attic space of a home. Homes need this good balance!
Without proper roof ventilation, your attic gets too warm and moist. This moisture can damage wood, insulation, and other building materials when the condensation created by this moisture is trapped in the attic of an unvented home. The roof vented attic has specially designed gaps at the roof ridges and under eaves that allow moisture to escape with airflow.
Your roof, a barrier between you and wild weather, is not something you think about everyday. You generally see your roof from a distance. Even then, you’re just seeing the shingles. However, have you ever thought about knowing the whole roof system? Climb a ladder and check it for yourself– or, better yet, hire a professional to do a roof inspection.