The Layers of a Roof
Homeowners know a new or well-maintained roof is not only great for protecting their family and the rest of their house, it’s also one of the major selling points should they decide to move someday. The problem is a lot of homeowners don’t actually know much about what is roof is made out of so the process of replacement can be confusing and the importance of regular inspection and maintenance not quite understood.
Unless you work in construction, you’re probably not as familiar with the components of a roof as you are with the parts of your home that are ground level. In fact, it probably doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should since it is usually well above everyone’s head. In this article we’re going to help uncover the mystery to ensure you can take a more well-rounded approach to keeping your home maintained.
1) Hip & Ridge
Hip and ridge shingles are critical for making the most out of the performance and aesthetic of your overall roof system. They are installed at the top of the roof and provide an additional weather tight protective layer. They are as important as the roof shingles themselves since they keep the ridge vents protected and allow the air and moisture to escape from the upper floor or attic. Hip and ridge shingles come in different sizes and designs to perfectly fit your roof.
Cladding is the outermost layer of the roof. It’s the part we see from the outside of our homes and is the area most people picture when they think of a roof since it is the most visible layer. Decorative and protective, it’s important to choose a material that is durable and can withstand intense weather since this layer serves as the roof’s first line of defense. Metal, asphalt and tile are common materials used because they are long lasting, temperature adaptive and resistant to water and fire.
Sometimes called a membrane, the underlayment is located just under the outermost layer of shingles or panels. It is used to seal and reinforce and can help reduce the transfer of sound during a storm. We prefer to use underlayment with Adeso technology from Polyglass Roofing and Waterproofing Systems because it comes from a trusted manufacturer and is currently the best dual-compound, self-adhesive product on the market.
More commonly known as roof decking, sheathing refers to the thick sheets of plywood the roof cladding and underlayment are attached to. Sheathing is vital for weight distribution and support of the overall roof, especially in the event that a tree falls on it during a storm. As with every layer, it is important the sheathing is in good health since a water leak and the resulting rot can ultimately jeopardize the integrity of the roof altogether. These types of problems are able to progress because they are hidden until it’s too late and more damage is caused which is also why regular inspections are important.
5) Insulation & Rafters
Insulation acts as a barrier between the interior and exterior of the home. It’s what helps regulate a climate controlled indoor temperature while rafters serve as the mainframe of the roof. Rafters are part of the structure’s framing. They are the sloped wooden beams that extend from the ridge of the roof to the eaves.