Types of Roofing Materials

A roof protects a home from rain, snow, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. It also adds to the overall look of a home’s exterior. For more information, click the Spring Valley Roofing to proceed.

A roof consists of many layers that work together. It starts with rafters or pre-fabricated trusses made of wood framing lumber. Next comes sheathing, usually plywood or OSB.

Shingles are the visible parts of your roof that perform the crucial job of shedding water away from your house. They are layered in a step pattern that allows them to conform to the shape of your roof, including its peaks, valleys, and changes in pitch. In addition, shingles are flexible enough to allow for various edge cases and architectural situations that might be difficult to address with a more structured material like metal.

The most common shingle is the asphalt shingle, typically lasting between 20 and 30 years. However, the lifespan of your shingles depends on several factors, including climate, installation quality, and maintenance. If you notice that your shingles are nearing or have passed the normal lifespan, it’s a good idea to consider a repair or replacement.

Another popular shingle is the clay shingle, which has been around for thousands of years and is considered fire-resistant. Clay shingles have a distinctly earthy, cottage-esque look that can lend your home a cozier, rustic feel. On the downside, they’re comparatively expensive (though manufactured clay shingles are more affordable than traditional hand-rived or milled slate).

Wood shingles are attractive for their quaint, pastoral look and can add an aesthetically pleasing contrast to your home’s brick or stucco exterior. However, they are less well-suited for persistently rainy or damp regions than other materials. Plus, they’re heavy and costly (though traditional hand-rived wood shingles can be more reasonable than milled slate).

If your neighbors are constantly repairing their roofs following storms, it’s a good idea to call a professional for an inspection. Besides the usual wear and tear, a roof can be marred by pests digging for food or creating nests. Additionally, moisture that collects on your roof can lead to the growth of unattractive brown, black, or green streaks known as moss and algae.

Finally, high temperatures can accelerate shingle deterioration. In the case of asphalt shingles, this can cause them to curl, cup, or crack. This is usually a sign that your roof is overdue for repair or replacement, although it could also indicate a poorly ventilated attic.

Felt is an underlayment that prevents the deck of your roof from becoming exposed. It also helps maintain and increase the fire rating of your roof. Often, building codes require that your underlayment have a class A fire rating, and felt is one of the most common ways to achieve this. Felt is also durable, easy to work with and install, and provides an ideal surface for installing shingles or tiles.

Depending on the type of roofing you have, different types of felt are available. Felt can be made from natural fibers, such as wool or animal fur, or synthetic, such as petroleum-based acrylic or acrylonitrile, or wood pulp–based rayon. It can also be blended. Felt is used in construction, manufacturing, and engineering for various applications, including insulation, padding, polishing, sealing, and gasketing.

Most felts are sold in rolls with an adhesive side that sticks to the roof deck or a waterproof membrane on your roof. It is generally very easy to install and can be used on many roofs. The type of roof felt you choose depends on your needs and budget. Felt is usually less expensive than other underlayments, such as tarpaper or synthetic.

One thing to remember when installing roofing felt is that it can be vulnerable to ponding water. If water sits on the felt for a long period, it can cause the material to deteriorate and damage the roof and interior of your home. Felt is particularly susceptible to this type of damage in northern climates.

If you live in an area with a lot of rain, consider using a roofing system that can incorporate a waterproof barrier into the plywood layer of your roof. This will prevent ponding water from damaging the felt and potentially your home. This system will typically cost more than traditional shingle roofing, but it will provide added protection and peace of mind. This is a popular option in the market today.

Roofing underlayment adds an extra layer of protection to your roof. It also helps hide any uneven areas in your roof deck and creates a smooth surface for the installation of shingles. Many roofers recommend using underlayment if you plan on installing a new roof and your local building regulations may require it.

Different types of underlayment work well for other homes, and your roofing contractor will recommend the type that works best for your roof. Asphalt-saturated felt underlayment is economical and can protect your roof for many years. It comes in various thicknesses, offering varying resistance to damage and weather exposure. Thirty-pound underlayment provides more protection as it is stiffer and thicker than other options.

It would help if you avoided low-quality underlayment, as it will degrade quickly and allow water to seep through the underlayment, damaging the roof deck. While cheaper underlayment might seem attractive from a cost standpoint, it is often an unwise decision that will cost you more in the long run.

Synthetic underlayment is more expensive than traditional felt but offers additional benefits. Some types have built-in breathability features that help reduce moisture buildup on the roof, which can cause rot and mold growth. Others are highly resistant to the elements and can help prevent water leaks. The more durable synthetic underlayment will also help you use manufacturer warranties for your new roof.

Remember that some types of underlayment have a high flammability rating, so you will need to consult your roofing professional to ensure it will work with your fire safety requirements. Consider the environmental impact of your underlayment, as some materials may not be eco-friendly or biodegradable.

You should know that wild animals can rip underlayment, so you must keep trees trimmed away from your home. This will help to prevent wildlife from pulling through your roof and underlayment, which can cause extensive damage. It would help if you were also mindful of the sun’s rays, as all underlayments have a specific tolerance for sunlight that can affect how long they will last.

Flashing is the thin sheet of impervious material installed to prevent leaks in areas where shingles butt up against walls, chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and other protrusions. It is typically made of a durable metal such as copper, galvanized steel, or aluminum. Different materials, including PVC plastic, are also used. However, metal flashing is preferred for its durability. Regardless of the material, flashing is typically tucked under the shingles and hidden from view.

Leaks can have a devastating effect on your home, not only damaging the roof but possibly the surrounding structure as well. Flashing is the last defense against water penetration and should be properly installed to protect your home from serious damage.

Without flashing or flashing that is not properly maintained, a leak can seep into your attic or the space above a window or other openings in the roof. The moisture will rot the wood and cause structural damage to your home, leading to costly repairs. If the leak is allowed to progress, it can even damage your foundation and the interior of your home.

Properly installed flashing will prevent these leaks by redirecting the flow of rainwater. Water is shed off your shingles and into the flashing, collected in a gulley directed away from your house. Flashing is often referred to as weatherproofing, and it is one of the most important components of your roof.

The type of flashing needed depends on where the penetrations are located on your roof. There are four different types of flashing: apron flashing, step flashing, valley flashing, and counter flashing.

Apron flashing is used at the base of the wall or penetration. It is shaped like an L and can be up to 14 feet long to fit the penetration’s base. It is usually nailed to the wall or roof with nails driven in at an angle, preventing moisture from entering the flashing joints.

Step flashing is lining the vulnerable crease at the intersection of two sloping roof planes. It consists of flashing material bent into an L-shape and secured with roofing cement. More flashing is then installed on top of the step flashing, overlapping in steps to protect the exposed seams. This is the most common flashing used in the valleys of sloping roofs.