Unless you’re a roofing expert or a home improvement master, there’s probably a lot that you don’t know about roofing. You’re not alone! It’s not everyone that knows how the roof works. Plenty of homeowners simply trust that their roofing will be adequately attended to by the proper professionals, from your contractors to your architects to your construction team.
Still, every homeowner should know at least a little bit about how roofing works, at the very least to not feel completely adrift should your roof suffer from damage due to inclement weather, natural disaster, falling trees, or any other potential incident.
With all that said, here are the basics when it comes to roofing.
So, what exactly are roofs made of?
We can break a roof down into several key components, listed below:
- Shingles a huge part of any roof. The purpose of shingles is to protect the underlying materials of the roof that attach to the rafters, such as underlayment and sheathing. Shingles traditionally come in square shapes, but shingles can vary in design, color, shape, style, texture, and many other such categories.
- Sheathing (or decking) is a term that categorizes the wooden boards that bolster and provides stability for the rafters and the other components of the roof. A sheathing that has suffered from water damage can create serious problems in durability, so the sheathing should always be effectively covered by underlayment and shingles, or another roofing material.
- Rafters are the beams that support the infrastructure of the roof, preventing potential collapse.
- Underlayment is a thin material that is generally waterproof and stands up to inclement weather, sealing the sheathing from suffering the deteriorating effects of weather damage.
The design of a roof can be broken down into the following four categories:
- The ridge of a roof is the very top of the roof, at the highest point. Roofs can have several ridges, in areas that jut out and create a triangular peak. The ridge of a roof can be a particularly susceptible area to potential water damage, so the shingles placed in that area should be carefully placed.
- The pitch of a roof refers slope, or the steepness, of a roof. Flat roofs are not a possibility, due to the fact that water and other materials must be able to slide off of a roof, which means that depending on the conditions of the area in which the home is built, many roofs will need to have different pitches.
- The dormer of a roof is an area of a roof that protrudes out of a pitched roof, often containing a window or a plant bed. For attics, bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms that are stationed directly under the roof, a dormer can provide aesthetic value and spatial maximization for a loft space. Types of dormers include gabled, shed, hipped, eyebrow, and segmental.
- Gables refer to the area of a wall under the triangular pitch of a roof as well as the remaining wall under the triangular portion.
All four of these design components for a roof are ripe for specification, customization, and individualization when it comes to style, color, shape, texture, material, and much more. When you’re in the process of renovating, revamping or constructing the roof for your home, you’re going to want to be familiar with these design categories so that you can take charge of the process and ensure that you receive the proper aesthetic elements for your roof.
This is one of the less design-oriented things to keep in mind about roofing, but it is nonetheless important to know. To have a roof that will stand up and prove durable, even through general wear and tear over the years, insulation should be consistently monitored and properly installed.
In many cases, it will be simpler and cheaper to insulate the ceiling than to insulate the roof.
However, getting insulation for your roof is almost always worth the cost in the long run, as insulation does not require much effort in conservation over time. Insulation is measured in “R-value,” which is a measure of thickness that measures the resistance of the insulation material to the conduction of heat.
The three most common types of insulation materials are fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Of these three, spray foam insulation is the most energy efficient. Types of insulation for roofs include rigid insulation boards, blanket (or matting) insulation, loose-fill insulation, spray foam insulation, and more.
Depending on the pitch of your roof, the flatness of your ceiling, the orientation of your rafters, and other such concerns, desired styles and formats of insulation will vary.
A professional roofer should be sought out in order to assess any and all insulation needs, in order to guarantee that you end up with the insulation that will work best for the structural layout and integrity of your roof.
Want to know more about how the roof works?
We know that was a whole lot to take in! There is so much to know about roofing, and the possibilities when it comes to design, material, and budget are practically limitless. If you have any additional questions, or if any areas need clarifying, talk with us. If you can’t, we encourage you to reach out to a local roofer or roofing company and consult with a professional; you will likely find an industry expert who will be happy to assist you with any potential projects, upcoming renovations, or home construction processes that you might be in the middle of.
With all that said, we hope that this outline on the ins and outs of roofing has answered any lingering questions you might have. After all, roofing can be an underrated and yet fascinating process with many tricky nuances that you might otherwise look over if you don’t invest the necessary time and effort. Since we ourselves are roofing experts with a dedicated passion for the ins and outs of roofs, we hope that your curiosity has been piqued and that you choose to do some more research as you embark upon your roofing project!
Here at BEST PRO BUILDERS we offer a full range of professional construction services and solutions to fit virtually any need or budget. From full design/build services to installing that backyard patio and outdoor kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, you can trust our team to deliver.