Most people see a roof and think, “Well, that’s what keeps me dry and safe from the bad weather and the sun” while others feel that a roof is a thing of beauty to be admired from afar. It is something to be forever enshrined as an architectural wonder that can be the source of unending conversation with neighbors, friends and relatives.
With both practicality and elegance in mind, a roof, like any other structure, does have its own anatomy, identity and major functioning parts. It’s important to understand what those parts entail. Here’s a rundown of what you should know about a roof and how its anatomy is categorized.
The first stage of a roof is its actual framework or initial structure. The structure consists of beams called rafters and trusses which give a roof its formation or shape. This framework also supports the layer called sheathing or the deck.
Elements that allow drainage are also incorporated at the framework stage. A roof’s shape, its configuration and its slope are important aspects that assist in the ability of any water accumulation to be easily released from a roof.
The deck, or sheathing, is considered the base of a roof. It consists of panels made from wood, waferboard or one-half inch plywood. Other parts of a roof are built upon the deck or sheathing.
Underlayment follows the decking and is considered the second layer. It’s a protective layer between any roofing materials used and the deck. It is also intended to provide added insulation, waterproofing and relief from accumulation of roof debris. Underlayment can be made from felt paper or synthetic materials, and it is sometimes identified as tar paper because of the way it looks. There are various forms of underlayment that are used based on the location, environment and weather conditions in a particular region or area.
Actual roof coverings can vary and are the final layers utilised on a roof. Coverings are placed over the underlayment and sheathing, and they give a roof its unique appearance. Asphalt shingles are considered standard fare with moderately priced housing today, though other materials such as shakes, tiles, slate, stone, metal or synthetic materials are other choices that are available for use in modern homes. There are also roofing materials utilized for commercial structures that include foam, single-ply roofing, built-up roofing and modified bitumen.
Fasteners are used to attach any roofing materials to the underlayment and the deck. They can be in the form of roofing nails for asphalt shingles, metal fasteners for tiles and even bonding, glue, tar or adhesive type paper which can be used to adhere certain kinds of materials to a roof.
Flashing is usually sheet metal or other sturdy material that is used to cover and protect certain protrusions of a roof. Flashing is placed and tucked around joints and angles on a roof, and it is also used around chimneys, venting, and other areas where water leaks can occur. Flashing helps direct water away from the interior of a roof and allows for the transport of water down any gutters or downspouts.
Vents are what help a roof to properly breathe. They rid a roof of any moisture producing buildup that can cause mold, mildew, rot and any other unwanted accumulations.
Gutters and Drip Edges
Gutters and drip edges are essential to any proper roof layout as they carry water away from a roof and also direct it away from the foundation of a home.
An attic is space found under the roof. This is an area that requires adequate ventilation in order to protect a roofing system. Ventilation guards against heat accumulation in warmer months while it helps regulate warm and moist air during colder months. Proper ventilation is necessary to keep a house at a reasonable and comfortable temperature any time of the year.
Understanding the basic anatomy of a roof is important as it gives you the ability to know the layout and formation of a roof, plus it allows you to see the layer by layer processes that are involved in a roof’s construction. If you want to know more about the anatomy of any roofing system, fill out the online contact form, and a roofing expert will get back to you with the answers you need to determine what roofing system is best for you and your home.