Replacing a roof can be expensive but spending a little more for an experienced professional who has an in-depth understanding of roofing components and how they work together is worth the investment. Some roofers simply place new shingles over the tops of old shingles. While this is less expensive in the short term, it is not good practice and can create expensive problems down the road. There are several different parts that make up a roof, and each has a very important role to play.
Components of a Shingle Roof
Often, when homeowners think of a roof, they think shingles, but it takes a lot more than just shingles to protect your home from severe weather, varying temperatures, and humidity. It takes an integrated system of many layers working together to keep a home protected and comfortable.
Intake ventilation helps replace warm, humid air in the attic with cool, dry air. Without adequate ventilation, your roof is more susceptible to ice dams and attic condensation, which can lead to water infiltration and cause problems like mold, mildew, rot, and shingle deterioration. A good ventilation system alleviates these problems by keeping the attic temperature closer to the outside temperature. Keeping a continuous flow of cool air prevents damage to the interior components of your roofing system.
Ice & Water Barrier
An ice and water barrier provides extra protection for the roof in areas where water tends to flow and collect, such as in valleys and around chimneys, skylights, and vents. It helps prevent damage from shingle loss and wind-driven rain as well as ice damming, which occurs when water melts and then refreezes. Without proper roof protection, ice dams can damage shingles, allow water infiltration, and hasten a roof’s deterioration.
Underlayment is an additional layer of protection beneath the shingles. It sheds water, giving your roof an extra line of defense against heavy rains and damaging wind.
Starter shingles are installed before the main shingles to provide complete roof coverage and water-shedding protection. They help ensure the roof will have a straight edge and firm seal along the eaves and rake edge, which are particularly susceptible to high winds.
The main shingles make up the outermost layer of the roof and are exposed to wind, rain, snow, ice, and whatever else Mother Nature has in store. Shingles have to be tough to defend against the elements but can also add beauty to the home. There are several different types of shingles to choose from, including fiberglass, organic, or architectural asphalt shingles as well as other materials like wood or slate.
Exhaust ventilation draws warm, humid air out of the attic, protecting the home from heat and moisture damage. Working with the intake ventilation system, it creates a continuous and balanced flow of air, removing humidity and drawing in cool, dry air.
Hip & Ridge Shingles
Hip and ridge shingles are final touches to give the roof an attractive, finished look and provide additional protection to areas vulnerable to high winds. There are several different types of hip and ridge shingles to choose from, so you can select one that best complements the style of your home.
While shingle roofs are the most widely used, there are other roofing materials to choose from. Metal roofing has an outstanding lifespan and durability and often features a 50-year warranty. While it costs more than a shingle roof, metal roofing is lightweight, fire resistant, energy efficient, and virtually maintenance free. Stone-coated steel is a type of metal roofing that comes in a wide variety of styles. The stone coating creates a textured look that’s both durable and beautiful; it can even be made to resemble shingle roofing.
Trusted Roofing Services in Central Iowa
As you can see, there is much more to a roof than its shingles. Selecting the right materials before installing your new roof can save you money, reducing overhead costs and increasing the life, efficiency, and performance of your roof. The experts at Hedrick Construction can advise you about the best options for your roof. Hedrick is a Platinum Preferred Contractor with Owens Corning, which allows us to offer the very best warranties in the industry. We provide roofing services for both commercial and residential properties in Ames, Ankeny, Des Moines, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about selecting the right roof for your home, download our free infographic.