Roofs are one of those important parts of life that we rarely think about because we don’t need to. Usually, it’s just there already. Sometimes however, we may need to have roofs installed or repaired and during these times it is important to think about roofs generally and what makes them works. It is important to consider what major roofing materials are used to construct and repair these things so that we can have a good working knowledge of what is going into our roofing repairs and installations.
What Makes Up A Roof?
Roofs are fairly complex and a lot of expertise goes into ensuring that they are correctly installed or repaired to protect those inside from the elements. This protection comes from a variety of roofing materials working together. These roofing materials include:
Shingles are the outer layer of the roof that are made out of materials such as asphalt, ceramic or fiberglass. They are the first line of defense against the elements. They block water from entering by acting as a barrier and often allow it to run off of them into gutters and away safely away from homes and businesses.
Roof tiles are alternatives to the usually asphalt shingles. Roof tiles are historically made out of materials such as terracotta and slate. More modern tiles are made of concrete or plastic. Tiles are usually seen as being more aesthetically appealing than shingles.
This is the part of the roof that is directly under the shingles or tiles. The underlayment is a defensive layer of material that is usually made up of some sort of synthetic material. It acts as a barrier should any water get past the shingles. It is rolled onto the roof deck and prevents damage by not allowing water to reach the roof deck.
Flashing is the thin pieces of impermeable materials found at the joints or seams which prevents water from passing into the structure. Flashing can be made from a variety of materials but metal is used most often.
Crickets are also known as saddles and are found around chimneys. It is a ridged structure which is designed to allow water to flow around the high side of the chimney. Small crickets are often covered with flashing whereas larger ones can be covered with the same material as the rest of the roof. They are also often installed at the same pitch or steepness as the rest of the roof but this is not always the case.
These are thin strips of material which are usually made out of plastic or metal that help to allow water to escape, ultimately protecting the roof deck. These drip edges are installed at the edges of the roof, below the underlayment. They allow water to escape by facilitating runoff.
Vents are another important part of roofs. Ventilation is seen as extremely important to the well-being and performance of roofs. Ventilation comes in a variety of different ways from ridge vents which are installed at the top of a sloped roof to roof ventilation products. Broadly speaking, vents work to allow condensation, humidity and warm air created by daily activities – such as showering – to escape from the building in order to help regulate temperature and keep things dry.
As mentioned earlier, roofing is extremely complex and there will undoubtedly be some variation when it comes to the components of roofs but broadly speaking, the above materials outline the composition of modern roofs. It is important to understand the composition of roofs before undertaking any installations or repairs to ensure that you appreciate what is being done, how things work and that it is being done correctly.