Buying a roof can be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve never done it before. What material is best? What do I look for? What do all these terms mean? Don’t worry; With the proper guidance, you’ll make an informed decision and save money by choosing a quality roof that will last.
We all need a safe, strong shelter to protect us from the elements and withstand natural disasters. Asphalt shingles, metal roofs, clay tiles, and slate may sound alien to you, but they’re actually the most common types of roofing materials. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and each has plenty of critics.
In this post, we’ll discuss the roof basics you need to know!
Table of Contents
This is the exterior part of the roof, which serves as the surface. Shingles are what you see when you look at your roof. Although they’re overly exposed to the weather and harmful elements, they are durable to ensure you get the maximum protection you need.
There are many different types of shingles you can choose from. When choosing a roof shingle for your home, you need to consider a few things. For one, the climate in your area is an important consideration. Another thing to consider is the type of weather you often get.
- Sun: Heat and UV rays can make roofing materials deteriorate over time.
- Rain: Water can get underneath the shingles and other roofing materials. This can create moisture that may lead to mold and mildew in your home.
- Wind: High winds can lift the edges of the shingles and force water underneath them.
- Snow & Ice: Melting snow usually refreezes at the overhang, leading to an ice dam.
- Condensation: This can cause moisture in a poorly ventilated attic.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular options today. They can be made from different materials as well, like metal, tile, wood shingles, and many more. They also come in various colors and styles that will help you find one that will suit your home’s overall look.
Flashing protects the roof, and it comes in strips that are made out of various materials, including metal, copper, and aluminum. This is installed around all joints, penetrations, and areas where two different parts of the roof meet.
Flashing seals these areas to ensure water won’t be able to get inside your home. You can see them installed around skylights, chimneys, hips, vents, roof valleys, and other protrusions on your roof where two different parts meet.
You don’t need to worry about them being exposed because they can resist corrosion.
The gutter system is another vital part of your roof. Your gutters help prevent leaks and water damages on the roof and inside your home. It diverts the water off of your roof.
The gutter system is installed along the roof’s edges, while the downspouts are installed vertically on the exterior walls. This entire system drains water from the roof and ensures that water doesn’t seep along your exterior walls.
Decking or Sheathing
This one is attached to your attic, which acts as the base of your roof. It supports the entire roof; therefore, it’s another vital part of your roof. Your decking helps make your roof stronger and more stable.
Installed right after the decking, the underlayment is only below the shingles and directly on top of the decking. It protects your home from water and damages. Usually, underlayment is installed on steep slope roofs. For knowing more check out our other article about guide to roof underlayment types.
Ridge & Ridge Vents
Your roof ridge is the highest point of the roof where two sloping parts meet. Across this part, you will find the ridge vents that allow for proper airflow. Hot air from the attic escapes from these vents, which prevents the room from overheating.
The roof valley is where two roof slopes meet at the bottom. There needs to be flashing installed here as the area is vulnerable to water pooling. Here you can find different types of roof valley.
When working with a roofing contractor, you will hear “roofing” terms get thrown around a lot. This is why you need to know the basics so you can keep up. The word “square” is commonly used in measurement, which means you will hear them talk about squares when calculating the number of shingles and materials needed to cover the entire roof.
The slope is the angle of the roof’s incline, which indicates how much the roof rises vertically over its horizontal line.
This also refers to your roof’s incline, but it is different from the slope because it is expressed in fractions. However, a pitch is less used.
Ventilation & Insulation
Ventilation and insulation are crucial to your roof system’s durability. Therefore, these are two things you need to think about carefully when having a roof installed. It’s vital not to have any blocks that can compromise the roof ventilation.
With that, you need to have proper attic ventilation. There needs to be a gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor, a vapor retarder under the insulation, enough open, vented spaces, and an inch between the insulation and the sheathing.
Hire a Roofing Professional
When you get these basics, it’s time you look for a reputable roofing contractor. Never choose someone based on price alone. Instead, check their references, ensure they have the certificate, and they are covered with insurance.
Get in there and really get to know your contractor, such as how they handle unexpected issues and changes in plans. It’s also helpful to read reviews online to get a clearer grasp of how people see them.
Finally, be transparent with your budget. That way, you can save both each other time and energy, and your contractor will know the right materials to recommend to suit your budget.
Get Your New Roof Today
Fortunately, there are many roofing contractors you can choose from today. You only need to find the best one. Knowing the roofing basics will go a long way when you’re discussing your plans with the contractor. Remember, you don’t need to know everything; just the basics will do.
Southern Premier Roofing is one of the best roofing companies today. Let us help you install a new roof. If you’re located anywhere in Fayetteville, Raleigh, Charleston, Wilmington, Nashville or Boise, get in touch with us today to request an estimate!