When you step back and look at your roof, you may think it looks the same as your neighbor’s roof and you may think that on the surface it’s simply a layer of shingles. It’s actually much more complex than the average homeowner may realize.
Roofing contractors explain that your roof is, in fact, a complex system of layers of materials that form a cohesive cover to protect your home from the weather. Every layer that is on your roof serves a unique purpose and when you put them all together the materials provide the protection your home needs to keep the interior safe from harm.
What are the layers and what function do they perform? Here is a breakdown from your professional Florida roofing contractor:
The wood sheathing, also known as the decking. This layer is the base on which everything else lies. There are myriad types of decking material but most roofing contractors will use an oriented strand board or plywood. There are some roofs on which you may find concrete, metal decking or even polystyrene. Regardless of the material chosen, the decking is attached by nails onto the rafters below.
Prior to the installation of the shingles, an underlayment will be installed on top of the decking. Many roofing contractors use a durable felt paper as the underlayment. This felt is saturated with asphalt that adds an additional layer of protection against rain between the shingles and the decking. If you lose shingles to wind damage or if they break, the underlayment may protect your home until a roofing contractor can come to repair the damage.
The flashing part of the roof is an aluminum strip that is placed over the underlayment on the roofs’ edges. The drip edge is a preventative measure that helps assure water won’t build up and seep into the roof. The drip edge guides the water from the roof and into the gutters and eaves.
The shingles are the layer of roofing that you see and regardless of whether they are metal, asphalt, clay or any other of other materials they are the outer shell that comprise your home’s roof. The shingles provide protection against the ravages of Mother Nature and when correctly installed by a qualified roofing contractor can keep your home safe and water-free for decades.
Before you undertake any roofing project, ask your contractor to explain the layers that will go into it and make sure you understand what you’re getting and how the elements of the roof will all work together.