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Layers of Roofing Material


It’s odd that most people don’t know what really makes up their roofs, considering that the roof of your home is what protects everything that you own and everyone you love.

The roof is made up of many important layers, yet the only one that most of us are concerned with is the outer layer – the material that determines what it looks like. We are very concerned with the outermost layer of our roofs, but it’s everything underneath that gives your roof structure and support.

It seems like it would be pretty easy to install a roof. As long as it covers your entire home, it should be fine. But any roofer who is worth his or her salt will tell you that it’s more complicated than that. Professional roofers such as Thomas Roofing’s Scottsdale branch, know that there’s a particular way to install a roof. Each layer must be properly installed before the next one can be laid down. If one layer doesn’t get installed correctly, the next one won’t be right, either.

As you can see, installing a new roof or replacing an old one takes much more precision than most people realize. Making repairs to a roof without replacing the whole thing presents a whole new set of problems, as the underlying materials must match up with the existing ones.

Here is a quick rundown of the layers of your roof, from the bottom up:

  • Framing – The trusses are what will support all the following layers.
  • Insulation –Insulation is very light, but it’s crucial to install it as you build the roof so that heated or cooled air doesn’t seep out through the attic.
  • Ventilation – A professional team will install the ventilation system as they build up the roof. Good ventilation keeps your home from accumulating moisture.
  • Roof deck – This is usually just sheets of plywood that will serve as the base for the next few layers of roofing materials.
  • Water shield – Peel and stick products are pretty popular for this purpose. As the name infers, this layer keeps rain and ice from getting into your house.
  • Underlayment – Felt or a fiberglass paper make up this layer. It is water-resistant, but not completely waterproof. It helps keep water from penetrating the under layers.
  • Shingle starter strips – This is where the roof construction starts to take shape if you plan to install shingles. These strips can either be bought ready-made, or they can be made by cutting regular shingles in half.
  • Ridge vents – These are under the roofing material, and they create a little space between the visible roof and the layers underneath where warm, moist air can escape.
  • Flashing – Flashing butts up against edges where the roofing material meets some structure, such as eaves or fireplaces.
  • Roofing material – The final step is choosing a product, color and pattern that everyone will actually see. There are literally hundreds of roofing options to choose from.

A certified, professional roofing team will install each of these layers carefully and precisely so that your roof will last for 20 years or more.

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