Though the shingles, panels, and rafters are the most prominent part of any roof installation, they make up only half of the critical structures that comprise a whole roofing system.
To fully appreciate how the whole system functions to keep the inside of your home protected from the elements and why roof maintenance is so important, you must know the features concealed beneath the surface.
Roof services do much more than just lay on shingles; they maintain and repair all of these components to keep your roof strong and durable against the weather for decades!
1. Underlayment and Decking
The underlayment and decking are the two layers of materials that a roof installation of any type lays on top of.
Felt underlayment creates a barrier to prevent moisture from seeping through and soaking the decking.
Wooden decking or sheathing beneath the underlayment provides the structural support for the external materials.
The decking can be seen from the inside of the attic, though a roof service will usually cover it in layers of insulation as needed for adequate climate control.
2. Drip Edges and Flashing
Although the drip edging and flashing are technically installed on top of the roofing material, these are two critical system components that can be considered concealed, easily overlooked, and tend to become lacking in roof maintenance.
Flashing is a metal piece that covers exposed material edges in areas such as valleys and around vents and other protrusions to protect those exposed areas and prevent moisture from seeping in.
Drip edges affixed to the underside of the very edge of the shingles or panels divert water off the roof and prevent it from slipping underneath and saturating the underlayment and decking.
3. Fascia and Soffit
Fascia and soffit are two critical installed roof elements that combine to seal off the attic space under the external materials, making the whole system an enclosed unit.
Fascia is a board positioned vertically at the roofline that caps the ends of the roof, while the soffit is the horizontal board or plate that fills in the space between the fascia and top of the wall.
Within the soffit are critical air intake vents that help keep air flowing through the attic space.
4. Roofing and Attic Ventilation
In addition to the soffit vents mentioned above, every installation done by a qualified roof service includes critical attic and roof ventilation to control the temperature in the attic and home in order to prevent damage to the external materials.
These include ridge vents at the very top of the roof and on either side of the ridge as well as roof vents positioned on the sloping angles.
All of these vents work collectively with the soffit vents to create a natural airflow through the attic and under the surface of the roofing materials.
5. Gutters and Downspouts
While they may not be an actual part of the roof support structure, gutters and downspouts, which many times are concealed with attractive trim to blend with the drip edges and fascia, are yet another essential part of every roofing system.
Properly working downspouts and gutters that receive regular maintenance twice each year are very important for keeping the roof dry and preventing damage like wood rot, which can happen when wooden components like fascia, soffit, and roof edges become wet and saturated.
Lesser Visible Features Critical To Roof Health
A strong, long-lasting roof installation may start with the choice of durable and effective exterior materials, but it does not stop there.
For any roof to perform well and stay in good condition, it is the more hidden components that must also be regularly inspected and receive frequent roof maintenance.
Together, all of these parts function with the rafters and shingles or panels as one cohesive system.
Without all of these components present, your roof will be less efficient and more likely to require roof services to troubleshoot and repair any damage found.
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