Many components need to work together for your home’s roof to work correctly. Homeowners need to be informed about these materials and how they function to keep your house defended from the elements. The anatomy of your roof consists of several distinct layers, each responsible for protecting your home in a particular way. Starting from the bottom layer and working to the top of the roof, we will go into more detail about the nine layers which make up today’s modern residential roofing systems.
This part of the roof is the most important. The framing is the portion of the roof which supports the entire structure. A home’s rafters may be custom cut and installed on-site or assembled beforehand. The frame must be structurally sound to support the weight of all the subsequent layers. Before replacing your roof, professionals will thoroughly inspect the framing for any potential problems. Things to be concerned about include rotting wood, mold, active or inactive leaks, and warping to boards. Your roofer must address frame damage before the roof replacement can proceed. In some cases, the frame may also need to be replaced.
The attic space needs to be adequately insulated against the elements. Insulation is measured according to R-value, ranging from the low end of R-13 up to R-45. Different climates and home designs will require different levels of insulation. Experts may use spray foam, loose-fill, or dry foam inserts to keep your attic space insulated. In general, the better your insulation, the more energy-efficient your home will be year-round.
Ventilation is another vital part of any residential roof. Hot air needs to escape from the attic easily to stop humidity and moisture from building up beneath the roof. Improper roof ventilation can contribute directly to mold growth and the accelerated rotting of wood in the frame. Inadequate ventilation can also cause ice dams to occur in the wintertime. Adequate ventilation through the gable, ridge, and soffit areas helps maximize your roof’s lifespan.
4. Roof Deck
The roof deck is a layer of ply board or OSB panels installed on top of the frame. These panels serve as a secure base for the remaining roof layers to rest on. OSB or plywood roof deck panels come in many sizes and are usually about half an inch thick. Once the roof deck is securely in place, professionals will move on to the roof’s final layers.
Underlayment adds a layer of protection between the inside of your home and the outside. The purpose of the underlayment is to protect the layers beneath from weathering and environmental conditions. It is made from either felt or synthetic materials. Fiberglass is often added to synthetic underlayment to make the material more sturdy.
6. Water Shield Barrier
A water shield is a protective membrane made from polymer-modified bitumen. This self-adhesive material rolls out to cover the entire roof deck. A water shield stops rain or moisture from leaking into the lower layers of the roof.
7. Ridge Vent
The ridge vent is a piece of ventilating material spanning the spine of a roof. Ridge vents help to keep the air in the attic circulating to avoid hot air from building up. Shingles are installed over the ridge vent to help it blend in with the roof. Ridge vents are shaped to prevent rain or pests from entering the home.
8. Roofing Material
The roofing material is what you see from the outside, usually composed of asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, or slate tiles. Some homes have flat roofs made out of EPDM rubber or modified bitumen. Different materials provide varying levels of fire protection and warranty lengths. We recommended investing in higher quality materials backed up by big-name manufacturer guarantees. While cheaper options may lower the upfront cost, the lifespan of your roof could significantly diminish because of low-quality shingles or tiles. Roofing materials come in several colors, textures, and designs. It’s best to consult with a professional to help you decide the best roofing material for your home.
Flashing is thin pieces of metal used to protect vital penetration points on the roof. Some areas where flashing gets installed include around the chimney’s base or the edge of skylights. Damaged or missing flashing can cause leaks and long-term roof damage. Corroded flashing can cause any active leaks to leave behind a rust-colored residue.
For over four decades, our dedicated professionals at Bill West Roofing have built lasting relationships with clients throughout Missouri. Our GAF certified team of seasoned roofers will guide you through the process of roof installation or repair, addressing any concerns you have along the way. When you need expert roofing help for your Lee’s Summit home, call Bill West Roofing for immediate assistance.