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Six Important Parts of a Roof

When you think of “roof”, you probably think of shingles. There’s more to a roof, roof maintenance, and roofing repair than just shingles. Let’s take a look.

Roof Deck Protection

Roof deck protection is extremely important to the longevity of your roof.  This layer of roofing material is hidden by shingles, and except for when it’s first installed, you’ll never see it. Don’t overlook it, though! Roof deck protection provides an additional layer between your roofing shingles and the roof deck, preventing weather damage while still allowing the product to breath. This material can be made from natural or synthetic elements and will help to create a better looking, longer lasting roof. Remember, that the main purpose of roof deck protection is to keep water from penetrating under the shingles.

Starter Strip Shingles

Starter strip shingles are used as a starting point in the roofing process, and you’ll see them along the lowest edge of the roof. These shingles are a little different from regular shingles; they’re made with a special tar strip on the bottom that helps to hold down the edges of the roof, preventing shingle blow-off. Without these special starter strip shingles, your roof will not have an effective seal, and you run the risk of wind damage.

Leak Barrier

A leak barrier is a device, often reinforced by fiberglass, that is strategically placed on the areas of your roof that are most susceptible to leaking. These areas include eaves, valleys, rakes and chimney perimeters. Without leak barriers protecting the vulnerable spots of your roof, water can leak through and cause damage to the interior of your home.

Here are the proper instructions to install leak barriers to your roof.

  • Prepare the deck, remove debris, and make sure the deck is dry (if reroofing, make sure to repair any damaged sheeting).
  • In warm weather, lay leak barrier on the side with the sun up. In cold weather, lay in the sun with the white side down.
  • Cut the leak barrier into 10′-20′ foot lengths.
  • Remember to install the drip edge, before installing the leak barrier, and position the salvage edge of the leak barrier toward the upper side of the roof.
  • Position salvage edge of the leak barrier toward the interior of the roof deck.
  • Always check local building codes for specific installation instruction.
  • Align the leak barrier flush with the drip edge – fasten and unroll along roof.
  • Once in place, fold the leak barrier in place. Remove one side of film, and fold the product back in place, making sure it’s even with the edge. To eliminate bubbles, press the leak barrier from the middle out and smooth out any wrinkles.
  • Repeat the same step for the remaining half of the leak barrier.
  • Back nail 18″ along the salvage edge.
  • Adjacent sheets to the link barrier must be installed with a 6″ endlap.
  • Install at least 24″ past the warm wall (the finished wall inside of the house).
  • If an additional course of link barrier is required, it must overlap the first course by at least three inches. This area must be firmly hand rolled to ensure a watertight bond.

Quality Shingles

Ah! Here they are! Shingles are the most visible part of your roof. When most people talk about roofing materials, shingles get the most (sometimes only) thought and consideration because they contribute so much to the attractiveness of the house exterior. Along with visual appeal, shingles play an important role in roof function. Shingles come in sheets, and they are installed overlapping each other to keep out water. The most popular choice for a quality roofing shingle is asphalt, due to its waterproof properties. Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass with asphalt and ceramic granules. On average, shingles can last 20 to 30 years, depending on style, climate and weather conditions. It’s important to replace shingles at the end of their lifespan. You’ll recognize old shingles by their curled edges, and you’ll notice asphalt or ceramic granules starting to collect in your eaves.  Left unattended for too long, old shingles can lead to exposed nail heads, rotting roof materials, and moisture damage to the ceilings and the paint inside your home.

Attic Ventilation

An attic ventilation system at the peak of your roof is essential to reducing damage from heat and moisture that seeps through the ceilings in your living spaces into your attic. Proper ventilation also helps reduce the load on your AC unit, promoting energy efficiency in the summer. By keeping your attic ventilated and dry, you reduce risk of ice dam formation in the winter. If your attic is not properly ventilated, excess heat and condensation can cause severe damage to your attic framework, the attic insulation, the roof and roofing materials.

4 Tips For Improving Attic Ventilation

  1. Insert Roof Vents

Roof vents are usually setup at a roof’s peak, where an attic’s air naturally rises. Installing roof vents to your attic will ensure warm, moist air is able to release, which will prevent heat buildup and condensation. You will need to regularly check your roof vents to make sure they are debris free.

2. Adding Soffit Vents

Soffit are the planks which connect the underside of your roof’s overhang with your home’s exterior walls. They conceal the roof’s beams, however, when they’re ventilated correctly, they can play an important role in your attic’s ventilation.

With soffit vents, you can provide an opening for outside air to enter the attic from below. When coupled with roof vents, they can provide a smooth system which enables air to flow freely throughout your attic.

The two soffit vent choices are rectangular and continuous. The rectangular vent openings are normally cut out of wood beams from your home and a vent is placed in that opening. Continuous venting means that you have vented soffit all the way around the attic area.

Similarly to roof vents, soffit vents need to be checked periodically to make sure they are clear.

3. Installing Gable Vents

There are some attics where roof and soffit vents might not provide enough installation. If this is the case, gable vents can provide additional airflow. Put at the gable ends of the roof, these vents often have controllable openings made to drive air out of the attic.

If your home only has gable vents, this is probably insufficient, in which case you’ll need to add soffit or roof vents to keep your home properly ventilated.

4. Using Fans To Improve Airflow

If you live in a hot or humid climate, fans can offer supplementary ventilation to draw air out of the attic.

Ridge-Cap Shingles

Ridge-Cap shingles are specially designed to protect the attic peak ventilation areas. They also add depth, dimension and texture to your roof line and rakes. This is the final step in the roofing installation process. It may be tempting to cut regular shingles into pieces to cover the ridge cap. However, regular shingles are not designed for this, and they can crack or break eventually causing leaks and water damage to your home.

Now that you know more about the parts of your roof, you can make better informed decisions when you need to repair or replace any or all of its parts. When that time comes, call the professional roofing experts at A Custom To, LLC.



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A Custom To, LLC.

A Custom To, LLC.

1640 S 83rd Street
West Allis, WI 53214


Phone: (414) 376-5568
Toll Free: (888) 442-2837
Fax: (414) 585-9990
Email: qualitywork@actesllc.com