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Basic Components That Comprise the Roofing System

Owning a house requires a lot of responsibility to maintain it in good condition and part of that responsibility is having a better understanding about the basic structures in the house, so that gaining as much information may help you settle well in discussing major repairs or additional improvements in the house with the contractor.

When it comes to the roofing system, being able to get a full idea about the basic components will provide the homeowner that opportunity of choosing well the right roof materials for his home. The roof structure is made up of three basic components – underlayment, flashing, and shingles or tiles.

Once the roof structure is in-place, an underlayment is directly applied over it, which is a material that is waterproof and functions as a protector of the roof structure from the harsh weather condition. There are three types of underlayment: the asphalt-saturated felt or commonly referred to as felt paper or tar paper, which is made up of cellulose, polyester, bitumen or asphalt; synthetic underlayment, which is basically saturated in asphalt but with the addition of a fibreglass component to give an effect of tear resistance and stability to the underlayment material; and the rubberized asphalt underlayment, which consists of asphalt and rubber polymers and is designed with a special backing which provides the waterproof seal between the underlayment and the roof deck.

It is not enough to install underlayment in the roofing system since there are areas in the roof structure that can only be protected and sealed well by using roof flashing, which functions as a sealer between roof joints to prevent water leaking through the roof. There are different kinds of roof flashing materials to choose from, but the most common is the galvanized sheet metal, while aluminium and copper comes in a close second choice. Most roof flashing materials are soldered into the areas where flashing is needed most and in these areas, different ways of flashing is introduced, such as step flashing around the sides of the roof, chimney flashing, and saddle flashing around the top.

Shingles or tiles are the outermost part of the roofing system which covers the underlayment and are the ones that are subject to the different kinds of weather condition, that is why their materials range from concrete, metal, or a good kind of wood, asphalt, clay, rubber, slate. Since the main function of roof shingles is to prevent any water leaking through the roof structure, they are usually designed as either flat or curved and installed by interlocking or overlapping with each other and they also come in many forms according to cost, weight, durability, color and style.

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