What are the Key Components of a Roofing System?
Provide your home the roof it needs… and your family the peace of mind it deserves.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners and building owners to think a new roof is just the addition of new shingles. Roofing is a system and an important part of your home, starting with these key components. Each component plays a key role. They all work together to protect your home from the harsh elements.
Roof deck and Rafters: The roofing materials are applied over the roof deck and rafters. The rafters support the roof deck or roof sheathing. It’s the foundation for the roofing materials and must be solid, dimensionally stable, nail-able, and free from wood rot and mold. If the shingles are being applied over wood that does not meet the manufacturers’ requirements, your roof/shingle warranty will be void.
Did you know many roof failures and roof and shingle blow offs are caused by an inadequate substrate (roof deck) and are not the fault of the roofing shingle?
- Roof truss: The skeleton of the roof. A framework of beams that support the roof.
- Rafters: The beams that run from the top of the roof to the bottom. Part of the roof truss.
- Decking or Sheathing: Panels that cover the rafters and to which the roofing material (shingles, metal panels, etc.) are attached.
Saddle/Cricket: A type of usually wood construction flashing usually used in conjunction with step, counter, and apron flashings on steep slope roof systems.
Underlayment -- the Sub-roof System:
These are the materials used to protect the underlying wood from rotting and keep water from backing up under the shingles, and from wind driven rains and ice-damming. (Shingles are not waterproof. They are designed to shed the water off the roof.) This material is installed under the shingles and on top of the roof deck. Did you know roofing shingles are not waterproof?
Underlayment is the breathable synthetic underlayment material that is placed on top of the decking before the shingles and roofing material are installed, to offer an additional layer of protection from moisture and from wind driven rains.
Considerable damage can be caused to the roof deck and along the eaves, when ice builds up during winter freeze/thaw cycles. Waterproofing membrane is used on the deck to protect the deck from water penetration.
Ventilation must have an equal balance of intake and exhaust for it to work properly.The intake comes from the overhang, with the other part being in the roof. Improper design like combining different types of roof exhaust vents in the same attic space or lack of ventilation is one of the biggest reasons for premature roof failure. Proper unobstructed ventilation reduces energy cost, prevents and removes moisture laden air, and protects the underlying wood from rotting and damaging insulation, the roofing materials and roof structure. Improper ventilation will void your shingle warranty.
Eaves Roof Over Hang:
Did you know that a down pipe draining out on to a roof will wear out your roofing shingles and damage the wood below?
- Fascia: trim used to cover the rafter end of the eaves and gables.
- Eavestrough/Gutters: A rain gutter also known as eavestrough or eaves channel is a channel, or trough, forming the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater shed by the roof.
- Downpipe: A conduit for carrying water from a gutter, or eavestrough scupper, drop outlet or other drainage unit from roof to ground level. Also known as a Rain Water Leader.
Soffit: a finished underside of the eaves. Covers the area between the end of the eaves and the house. The soffit provides an area for the air to flow up into the attic and through the roof vents. 50% of the attic ventilation belongs in the soffits.
Flashings and terminations:
Flashings are located at the termination points of a roof. For example, those areas where the roof meets the base of the chimney. These terminations are usually the most vulnerable part of the roof and should be waterproofed before the flashings installed. They are designed to provide expansion and contraction between two different materials, to prevent water infiltration.
Flashings are described as pieces of metal used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and the joints at vertical walls.
- Drip Edge/Roof Edge Flashing: Metal edging that is placed at the end of the roof (end of the eaves or rakes). Protects the fascia from rotting by providing efficient water shedding at the edge of the roof. Protects the underlying wood from rotting out and prevents the entry of rodents.
- Valley: internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. The intersection of a cross hip or cross gable roof.
- Step Flashing: Pieces of metal or other material that are used to flash roof projections such as chimneys, walls, dormers, curbs, etc. The pieces are installed between each course of roofing and generally have a vertical flange equal in length to that of the horizontal flange. A Base flashing directs away from the roof penetration it is adjacent to.
- Counter Flashing: Formed metal sheeting secured to walls, curbs, or other surfaces, for use in protecting the top edge of step or base flashings or from exposure to weather. This flashing is usually stepped along a vertical side wall embedded and following the mortar line of the brick.
- Wall Flashing: Formed metal sheeting secured to walls, curbs, or other surfaces, for use in protecting the top edge of step or base flashings or from exposure to weather. This flashing is usually straight along the front face of a dormer wall.
Stack Flashings: A curb or stack flashing made to be wrapped around a roof curb or pipe stack and must be welded closed and welded to the deck sheet and then terminated at the top.
Consumer Reports have rated CertainTeed as the top performing shingle, and the best value for the last three issues. CertainTeed provides you with the most comprehensive warranty when they are installed by a “Certified Roofing Contractor” like Juffs Roofing.Remember the materials and the roofing system are as only as good as having the proper specifications, along with the right people installing the work.
- Starter Shingle or Starter Strip: a pre cut shingle installed at the eaves and rake edge below the first row asphalt roofing shingle. Provides protection, seals and secures the first course of the visible roofing shingles at all the roof’s edges.
- Hip: external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Quality roofing manufacturers supply these shingles as part of their roofing system.
- Ridge: the highest point of the roof that runs the length of the roof. Quality roofing manufactures supply these shingles as part of their roofing system.