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7 Roof System Components You Need To Know

It ticks some of us in the roofing industry off when other roofing contractors try to get information past customers without them knowing. The ‘fine print’ has often been the scapegoat for this.

When a qualified roofing contractor meets with you to replace an entire roof, it’s important you know the jargon they use. You need to know what the industry terms are. The last thing you need is to be confused about what is what with respect to your roof.

Your roofing contractor will speak a slightly mysterious language (still English) with terms like:

  • sheathing
  • flashing
  • roof drainage
  • valley treatment
  • underlayment
  • ventilation systems
  • drip edges
  • decking
  • trusses
  • shingles

Do you know what each of these are? If you don’t, keep reading.

Understanding these terms will allow you to make the best choices to meet the needs and goals for your roofing replacement project. Being able to speak the same language as your roofing contractor will help you get the best materials and the best value for your roof replacement.

Whenever you have questions or simply need clarification on roofing components or terms, a qualified roofing expert should take the time to help you feel more comfortable with the basics of roofing. Always remember that you are the paying customer. It’s the roofer who needs you and your business to survive in a competitive roofing marketplace.

In this blog post, we’re going to define the following 7 terms so that you know exactly what they are:

  • Trusses
  • Roof Deck
  • Underlayment
  • Flashing
  • Drainage
  • Ventilation
  • Roof Covering

Let’s start the de-mystifying.

Roofing Elements Defined

Trusses are the backbone of a roof system. Usually built from wood, this framed structure is comprised of triangle shaped joints, which provide a roof with stability and a rigid structure to support the roofing system.

A framed truss provides the strength and overall shape of a home or commercial building’s roof. The durability and strength of a truss will hold up to heavy amounts of snow and rain.

2. Roof Deck
This is the layer of material used to cover the trusses, and is then treated with weatherproof layers or insulation prior to receiving a layer of tile or shingles. The roof deck acts as the link that unites all of the roofing components together.

The roof deck can be made of plywood, OSB sheathing, wood tongue and groove, corrugated metal, or a variety of high-quality materials that a professional roofer may recommend.

3. Underlayment
The underlayment is an essential piece of the roofing system, as it keeps water and other forms of moisture from penetrating the roof. Shedding water is the primary function of this roofing component.

With high winds and heavy rain, a roof must have a high-quality underlayment to defend against the elements.

4. Flashing
Flashing is sheet metal or another rigid pliable material used to waterproof a roof system’s various joints and valleys and keep moisture from leaking in. All vents, jacks, and fireplaces that penetrate the roof should have a flashing layer.

5. Drainage
All roofing systems should have shapes and sloped features to drain water off of the roof. Having the ability to shed water will keep a roof system functioning for many years.

6. Ventilation
A roof breathes in cool fresh air and also will exhale warm, moist air as part of a healthy functioning roof system. A series of vents, pipes, and screened openings are used to allow air to flow in and out of a roof’s attic space.

A qualified roofing contractor can explain all of the building codes and requirements for a home or commercial building’s ventilation system.

7. Roof Covering
This is the final step of a roof system, and it consists of shingles, tile, slate, or metal. The materials used to cover a roof can largely determine the durability of it.

The look and feel of a roof will also be decided by choosing from a variety of different shingles, tile products, slate surfaces, or metal roofing.

Need Help?

At Adanac Roofing, we carry decades of experience in the roofing industry. We know inside and out. We hope what you read here about components of roofing systems is of significance to you.

If you’re experiencing difficult times with your roof, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We give comprehensive quotes for roofing jobs across the Lower Mainland.

How to Know Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Needs Replacement

The roof is the most important part of your house. It’s there to protect you and your family from outside elements. So it’s important that you know when your roof needs replacement.

Asphalt shingles are some of the most common material that roofs are made of. They are typically less expensive and easy to install.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the signs that your asphalt shingle roof needs replacement and the steps you can take to get this done.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Typically, asphalt shingles can come in two types: organic shingles and fibreglass shingles.

Organic shingles are the oldest type of shingle and are more flexible than fibreglass shingles. They are also easier to install in cold weather. The ‘organic’ part of these shingles is a cellular substrate, often from recycled paper, that is fused with asphalt and high pressure. Organic shingles are much heavier than fibreglass shingles and are therefore, more effective in high wind areas.

Fibreglass shingles are much lighter in weight than organic shingles due to the fact that not as much asphalt is used in its manufacturing. They are overall more popular in its modern use for new roofs. It is recommended that a layer of asphalt-saturated felt be installed first before asphalt shingles are laid down.

The Layers of Asphalt Shingle Tiles

It’s important to understand the layers of asphalt shingles as issues with one or more of these components, over time, can lead to the need to replace them.

The top layer is the granular surface layer that provides colour and UV protection. The second layer is a layer of asphalt that acts as a waterproofing agent for your roof. The next layer is a base layer or mat layer. The base of organic shingles is made of asphalt felt while fibreglass shingles have a glass mat as the base.

Typically, there is another layer of asphalt to bottom out the shingle.

Risks of a Damaged Roof

If your roof is damaged in any way, the likelihood of you being able to protect your family’s’ health from deteriorating is slim if ignored over time.

Here are some health issues that evolve with a leaky, damaged, and unaddressed roof:

  1. Mold and Mildew are formed which can travel into your clothes, carpets, walls, furniture and other objects damaging the wood and the structure of your house. This can lead to a costly removal. Also, mold and mildew cause asthma, nasal congestion, rhinitis inflammations, allergic reactions and more serious health problems.
  2. A leaky roof can be a cause of a major fire as the electrical wires can be short-circuited due to the water or even an electric shock. These two are the scariest items as they have very damaging effects mentally, physically and emotionally.

Signs that your Asphalt Shingle Roof Needs Replacement

There are a number of ‘symptoms’ you can look out for to figure out wear and tear on your roof. So let’s list out the signs your asphalt shingle roof needs replacement:

  1. The age of your roof if it is more than 20-25 years old
  2. Your shingles are curling or buckling
  3. Missing shingles/roof valleys
  4. You find granules of shingles in your gutter
  5. You see the sun shining through your house from the roof
  6. You have moss on your roof
  7. Your shingles have been blown off the roof and landed on the ground
  8. Damaged flashing
  9. Roof and interior showing signs of water damage

If you notice anyone of these signs you need to call a professional who can then help you with your roof and fix it correctly. “Do it yourself” repairs are dangerous, not only for your own health but for the health of the roof. Get a professional to do the job right the first time.

Do you know what a new roof will cost you?

Whether you’re looking to get your re-roofing project started soon, in a few months, or even in a few years, now is a great time to begin budgeting.

Using advanced aerial imagery software, we can provide you with an accurate no-obligation quote, without visiting your premise, and with no-strings-attached.

Get a quote and plan your future home improvement budget.