Charleston Roofing: Article About Roof Anatomy
Protecting your home and family from the ravages of winter and the heat and humidity of summer, your roof is a critical component of your home's building envelope. This marvel of engineering is the result of centuries of innovation and study to produce a roofing system that shelters, endures and appeals. More than a conglomeration of mere tiles or shingles, today's roof requires a solid structure and intricate layers of materials expertly laid by an experienced Charleston roofing professional.
Modern technologically advanced integrated roofing systems blend together a complicated network of substrates, sealant, flashing, edges and other roofing materials to craft a roof that is weathertight and durable. Take a few minutes to discover the anatomy of your roof so that you can understand how to maintain it, keep it secure and appreciate its function.
A solid roofing system begins with your home's framework of secured trusses that span the top of your home. Sheets of plywood are attached to the trusses to create a firm, unyielding foundation, or roof deck, for the rest of the roof's layers. Since high winds are a concern in our area, your roofer will probably add construction adhesive to the seam between the trusses and the roof deck to provide additional protection and security.
A self-adhesive waterproof layer is attached to the roof deck to prevent the plywood from coming into contact with water and potentially warping, rotting or leaking.
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In addition preventing water seepage, this substrate also seals over the nail divots created by attaching the roof deck to the trusses and frame.
Vinyl, metal or plastic drip edges are then attached to the rims of your roof, also called the rakes. These drip edges are an important part of directing water from your roof and into the gutters.
Next, wide strips of tar paper, or felt, are added over the entire field of the roof for another layer of protection. Your roofer will overlap each layer by about 2 inches to ensure the roof is sealed and protected from water seepage.
Once the tar paper is set, your roofer will address some of the most vulnerable areas of your roof: the joints, valleys and peaks. Water-resistant flashing made of aluminum, galvanized steel or other impermeable materials will be nailed to those areas, and those nail holes are sealed with roofing cement for watertight protection. The edges of the flashing are similarly sealed with a water-resistant barrier.
Only after the two substrates, flashing components and drip edges are installed will your roofer begin attaching the tiles or shingles to your roof. Once the shingles or tiles are applied to the field of your roof, they are then attached to your roof's hips and ridge lines for the final protective component.
Crafting a watertight, functional roof is an expert skill that takes many years of experience and draws on centuries of roofing innovations. You can help keep your roof in excellent condition by following your roofer's maintenance instructions and keeping in mind its unique, layered structure.