What is a Roof Made Of?

graphic showing parts of a roofThe Anatomy of Your Roof

Most homeowners don’t give a lot of thought to their roof. Until there is a problem, that is. The trouble is, a problem can exist for a long time before you are aware of it, and that is because your home’s roof is made of more than just shingles. In fact, there are several layers under those shingles that play an important role in protecting your home from the elements.

What’s Under The Shingles

Every roof begins with the structure, usually wood, of your house. Most homes have an angled roof, like an upside down V shape. Plywood is laid across the top of the wood beams that define the structure of the roof. This is your first level of protection.

Next comes the Underlayment. This is a black synthetic material that goes over the plywood to seal the roof from rain, hail, etc. Usually there is a waterproof membrane or vapor barrier that goes with the underlayment, which improves the effectiveness.

The next layer is flashing. These are v-shaped metal pieces that go in the valleys of your roof to carry away water that might collect there. Flashing can be made from various kinds of metal including galvanized, stainless steel and copper.

Now The Shingles

After the flashing, the shingles are installed. Or, tile or metal roofing may be used instead of shingles. This is the part of the roof that everyone will see and it comes in many styles and colors. This is what forms the barrier against the rain, wind, hail and other things that come into contact with your roof. Shingles come in several types, including Architectural and 3-Tab, and have different advantages and price points.

Finally, the trim is added wherever there is a seam, such as the top ridge or peak of the roof.

Other parts of the roof include roof vents and skylights.

Your roof is a complex system of layers all designed to protect your valuable home from the elements. If you have more questions about your roof, call us today, or request a quote.