The Layers of a Roof


Homeowners know a new or well-maintained roof is not only great for protecting their home, it’s also one of the major selling points that adds value to your real estate investment. However, most homeowners do not know much about this important feature of their home, making roof repair and replacement a confusing topic that some homeowners prefer to avoid.

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 on ground level. In this article you will learn about the components of a roof so that you can be a more educated consumer when it comes to roofing issues.

1) Hip & Ridge

Hip and ridge shingles or flashing are critical for making the most out of the performance and aesthetic of the overall roof system. They are installed along the top ridge of the roofline providing a weather tight protective layer over the seam where the roofing comes together at the peak of the roof. If a ridge vent is installed the hip & ridge shingles or flashing will protect the ridge vents that allow the air and moisture to escape from the attic. Hip and ridge shingles/flashing come in different sizes and designs to match the overall roofing material installed. 

2) Cladding

Cladding is the outermost layer of the roof. It’s the most visible layer and is the area most people picture when they think of a roof. Decorative and protective, it’s important to choose a cladding 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. There are many different styles and colors to compliment your home’s style as while offering long lasting protection.

3) Underlayment

Sometimes called a membrane, the underlayment is located just under the outermost layer of shingles or panels. It is used to seal and reinforce the sheathing underneath while adding a secondary water resistant barrier. It can also help reduce the transfer of sound during a storm. We recommend using 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. 

4) Sheathing

More commonly known as roof decking, sheathing refers to the thick sheets of plywood that are attached to the roof framing to create the overall roof base platform. 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. For example, a small water leak can result in rot that can ultimately jeopardize the integrity of the roof altogether. These types of problems sometimes go unnoticed because they are hidden until it’s too late which is 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. Rafters serve as the mainframe of the roof giving it added strength. Rafters are part of the structure’s overall framing. They are the sloped wooden beams that extend from the ridge of the roof to the eaves.

Knowing the components of a roof makes the process more comfortable when discussing roof inspections as well as repairs and/or replacements. It can also help homeowners better understand their roof so that proper care can be given to preserve it for years to come. If you think your roof may need some attention contact us for a free inspection from our qualified team today.

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