Charleston Roofing: Article About Layers Of A Roof
Weathering strong gusts of wind, the ravaging summer sun, countless drops of rain and many other of Mother Nature's most challenging conditions, your roof is a critical part of your building. It protects your home's frame, your belongings and your family, and it's a key element in your home's curb appeal.
To perform all of these vital functions, your roof is more than just a layer of shingles or tiles and a few bits of flashing. It's a technologically advanced combination of protective layers, barriers and other components that work together to create a leak-free roofing system. At Lowcountry Roofing, the process of laying this intricate network of under layers, edges, sealers and flashing is referred to as an integrated system. Discovering what goes into your roof's structure can help you understand what steps your professional Charleston roofing contractor is taking to ensure that you have a strong, weather-resistant and attractive roof for years to come.
If your roof is being completely replaced or if your home is newly constructed, the work begins with your roof deck. Once your plywood roof deck is laid, your roofer will usually cover it with a self-adhesive under layer that is waterproof. This under layer is critical because it helps to seal over nail holes where the plywood roof deck is attached to the house frame. Most importantly, it also helps keeps water or ice from penetrating into the plywood and causing leaks or rotting.
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Drip edges will be nailed along the rakes or sides of your roof to usher water from your roof and into the gutters. Drip edges are usually made of metal, vinyl or plastic to better resist moisture.
Next, your roofer will add another layer of protection in the form tar paper. Each row of tar paper overlaps the previous layer by about 2 inches to provide extra protection.
The valleys, peaks and joints of your roofline are particularly vulnerable to water, so your roofing contractor will cover them with flashing made of galvanized steel, aluminum or other impenetrable materials. The flashing is nailed into place, then the nail holes and edges are sealed with roofing cement to create a water-resistant barrier.
Your roofer will then lay a starter strip of shingles along the edges of your roof. Starter strips are "tab-less" shingles that are affixed to under layers using the shingles' self-adhesive strips. These starter strips provide extra water resistance at the all-important edges of your roof.
The first row, or first course, of shingles are then nailed on top of the starter strip. Your roofer will work in progressive rows of shingles until the roof is covered. Finally, your roof's ridge lines and hips are covered in specially shaped shingles that provide extra water and weather protection and a polished, professional appearance.
Watching a new roof unfold can actually be interesting and exciting if you understand the steps your roofing contractor is performing. Like many skilled craftspeople, roofers often bring their own years of expertise and style to the project, creating a roof that is attractive, sturdy and fascinating to watch.