ROOFING 101

All roofs with a slope of 25 percent or more have five basic parts. The first part is the roofs covering. Shingles are a great option for your roof covering shingles can be constructed of asphalt, wood, tile, slate, and metal. An underlayment is also part of the roof covering that protect the sheathing from the elements of the weather. Sheathing is the second component of your homes roofing system. Most commons materials used for sheathing is wood boards that fastens to the roofs rafters covering your home’s interior. Third is the roofs structure which is comprised of rafters and trusses constructed to support the roofs covering and sheathing. Flashing is the fourth components of your roofing system. Most common material used for flashing is sheet metal. Flashing materials are connected to the roof systems valleys and joints to prevent water from entering the interior of the home or building. Your roofs drainage system is the fifth and final component of the roofing system. Proper roof drainage is achieved by specific slopes, slants, or shapes to effectively drain water off of the roof.

TYPES OF SHINGLES

Asphalt Shingles

          Asphalt shingles tend to be the most commonly used roof covering material in the mid-west. Mainly due to their 20 to 30 year life span and their affordability compared to tile or wood shingles. Asphalt shingle comes in many colors and styles. They are primarily manufactured with fiberglass or organic materials. The 3 tab may be the most common and easiest to install. Other styles of asphalt shingles are jet, signature cut, t-lock, and tie lock. A more expensive asphalt roof shingle is agriculture shingles. Agricultural shingles are a new generation of roof covering, they provide a stunning, dramatic, three dimensional appearances. Asphalt shingles provide great protection from the heat of the sun and help with insulation to maintain your indoor temperature. Most asphalt shingles are fairly fire resistant. Roofing materials are classified by either class A, B, or C with A having the highest fire rating. As a rule fiberglass shingles carry a Class A fire rating. Organic shingles however generally carry a Class C fire rating. You should consult your roofing manufacture and your roofing contractor about the fire rating of your homes shingles.

 

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles or shakes are composed of cedar, redwood, and southern pine. The natural look of the shake or wood shingles makes them very popular. Wood shingles have more of unformed appearance as opposed to shake shingles that offer a more rustic look. Many local building codes prohibit the use of wood or shake shingles due to their risk of inherent fire. Due to this high fire danger most wooden shingles have a class C fire rating or no rating at all.

 

Tile Shingles

          Tile shingles are very popular and sometimes used exclusively inside certain subdivisions to give them a Southwest, French, or English architectural look and feel. They tend to be popular because of their variety colors and finishes. Most tile shingles are constructed from clay or concrete. Tile shingles carry one of the highest fire ratings of all roof coverings, making them a popular choice over wood and asphalt in areas with high fire danger.

Another quality of tile shingles is their durability due to their heavy construction. However, due to their heavy construction they tend carry a heavy load on your roof structure. Before selecting tile roofing shingles it is recommended that you consult a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roofing systems framing and structural support strength to verify tile shingle are an option for your home.

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Slate Shingles

Slate roofs are very popular in the North Eastern portions of the United States. Slate shingles are manufactures with slate that is quarried in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Slate, a very long lasting virtually indestructible material, due to the fact it is manufactured in the Northeast region of the United States, can be very expensive to purchase and install in Southwest Missouri. Instillation of a slate roof requires specific skills and experience. You will rarely find slate roof in the Table Rock Lake / Branson, Missouri area. It usually becomes economically unfeasible and alternative roof coverings are chosen.

 

Metal Roofing

          Metal roofing is becoming more popular in the Branson, Missouri area.  Metal roofing was primarily designed for low-slope roofing systems. It however is becoming more popular as a roofing alternative in houses and commercial buildings with both steep roofs and sloped roofing systems. The metal roofing system is light weight, aesthetically pleasing to the eye and available in many different colors. Metal roofing systems generally come in either panels or shingles. They also come in many different shapes and styles.

 

Roof Sheathing

One of the more important elements of your homes roofing system is the sheathing.           Many different types of wood sheeting can be used for sheathing. The type of sheathing selected for your roof is based on your roof covering, framing of your roofs support system and the potential level of dangerous high winds in your area.

A professional roofing contractor should be consulted to make sure that the proper roofing materials and fasteners or nails. Failure to use the proper material and nails and fasteners, can lead to a catastrophic failure of your roofing system in the event of a high wind storm. Problems that can occur during the roofing process when not using a profession roofing contractor are using the wrong type and size of nails or fasteners, nails missing the truss framing, not enough nails to securely fasten the sheathing to the roof structure.

Roof Structure

 

There are traditionally two types of framing used in your homes roof structure, standard framing better known as stick building that is built on the job site; material and fasteners are fastened together onsite to build a frame structure to support the roof coverings and engineered trusses or manufactured trusses that are built in a factory setting. When building your roofing structure your roofing contractor will select the size and type of lumber based on the height, slope, span, and weight load of the roof covering. A few other factors your contractor should consider are high wind potential or heavy snow fall during the winter months.

Framing rafters selected be anywhere from 2 x 4 for a shed to 12 x 12’s for a house with a heavy roof load. Shallow sloped roofs will have a larger framing member than a roof with a steep slope. It is always best practice to consult a professional roofing company if you are unsure about the selection of roof framing members.

Manufactured trussing of engineered trusses are built in a factory setting and delivered on site to be hoisted onto the buildings outer walls and attached with the proper fasteners.

 

Flashing

Roofing Contractors use flashing to protect your home’s interior from outside water sources is flashing.  Flashing acts as a water barrier where roof coverings butt up to other roofing component like a chimneys, skylights, or roof vents. Contractors typically use thin sheets of metal to repel water at flashing points between roof components. Your home typically has vent pipes that protrude through the roof require a flashing made of a rubberized asphalt, butyl rubber, and acrylic. When water is penetrating the interior of a home the flashing is usually the first place to look for a failure to seal a gap between two roof parts.

 

Drainage

A roofs drainage system is a combination of engineering, architecture, and building materials. Roof systems are designed with hips and valleys that funnel the flow of the water collected by your roof. If water is allowed to sit or pool on a roof for long period of time it has a greater chance of penetrating the interior of the home or worse a roof collapse from excessive weight. The drainage system designed into your roof structure forces water collected by the roof system drain into a gutter and downspout system that directs the water away for the homes foundation.

 

To keep home dry and mold free they should be water tight with adequate ventilation. Proper sheathing ties the rafters together and supports the weight load of the shingles. When installed properly by a roofing contractor the sheathing will lay flat. An adequate underlayment between the roofing shingles and the sheathing is essential to repelling water before it enters the interior of the home. Areas where individual components of your homes roofing system connect or meets with other architectural features must be properly flashed and sealed to prevent water from getting below your roof covering at any points where architectural feature connect to the roof covering. A properly vented roof attic will help prevent moisture build up for humidity. Lastly a good guttering system will keep moisture away from the sheathing.

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