The Complexities of a Roofing System


If homeowners could peel away the layers of their roof, they’d be amazed at all the different components protecting their house. From the aesthetically pleasing exterior shingles to interior insulation, roofs must have all these layers for decades of reliable service. Houston Roofing & Construction professionals can guide homeowners through their roof’s anatomy to understand when service or replacement is necessary.

The normal top layer of a roof is asphalt shingles, shielding the entire structure from weathering damage. Shingles are often constructed of asphalt and Fiberglas and layered to create a strong, flexible creating a tough exterior for roof preservation. The top of the shingle is limestone or ceramic granulate which is dyed to give the shingle its color. The shingles are inspected to determine if they are missing, broken, cracked or otherwise damaged.

Beneath the shingles is underlayment. This section can include basic roofing felt and ice and water shield. Underlayment is simply another barrier against moisture infiltration. Roofs are most vulnerable to water, making rain, hail and snow detrimental to any structure. If moisture penetrates the shingles, the underlayment provides a pathway for water to move into nearby rain gutters without touching any wood surfaces. There are a growing number of synthetic underlayment products which provide extra protection in the event of shingle blow-off.

When contractors remove all roofing materials for a new installation, homeowners can finally see their deck. Roof decks are simply plywood or OSB sheets nailed to supportive beams or joists. This plywood provides the flat surface necessary to affix all upper roof layers. This plywood can deteriorate very quickly if moisture saturates its interior. Contractors may need to replace some deck sections during a new roof installation if rot and decay are discovered, especially around areas where a leak may have occurred.

A lesser known and very important component of the roof system is ventilation. Vents hidden in structural soffits, gable ends, or even eaves allow air into the attic. The air has a positive flow across the attic’s ceiling and out of exhaust vents at roof ridges. This air flow exchange helps to keep the attic cooler and prevent “blistering” which can damage shingles from the inside out.

The accessories added to a roof system include flashing which is the finishing touch to the water-tight system. Flashing is sealed using polyurethane sealant which can break down over time. Flashing around chimneys, walls, and roof penetrations needs to be inspected and maintained over the life of the roofing system. If are experiencing problems with your roofing system in the Houston Area, please call Houston Roofing & Construction at 832.237.3737 or contact us for a free estimate and consolation.

Houston Roofing Services:

  • Roof Replacements
  • Roofing Repair
  • Free Roof Inspections
  • Roof Storm Damage Repair
  • Roof Insurance Claims

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