The Basics of Roofing

Roofing Basics

Whether doing it yourself or hiring a professional, it always helps to know the basics of roofing when your roof needs help. Roofs do not have a complex reputation; however, there is more to a roof than what common assumptions imply. Do you need to know every roofing term and the ins and outs of every layer to a roof? Probably not, but it never hurts to learn. Fundamental roofing knowledge can ease a repair for your roof or a friend’s roof. Plus, the more you know about your roof, the easier it will be to communicate with professional roofers.


First layer to last layer:

roofing basicsRoof deck– usually composed of plywood, creates the first layer of support for a roof.

Ventilation– Creates air flow, preventing heat or moisture build up. Ultimately, proper roof ventilation keeps your roof from damage, as well as helps maintain temperature inside the home and reduces energy costs.

Eave Protection– Eaves are the horizontal edges of a roof. They are usually protected by drip edge materials such as aluminum. Aluminum strips are installed between the decking and underlayment with the intention to force water run off away from the roof materials.

Flashing– meant solely to protect specific areas of a roof from water build up. These specific areas include the chimney, skylights, and air vents. Because these are essential add-ons to a roof, they require specific attention to ensure water flows away, in the same direction as the rest of the roof.

Underlayment– black paper or felt that is laid over the roof deck. The underlayment has the key responsibility to seal a roof, enabling it to withstand unwelcome weather.

Shingles– the ultimate roof protector. Moreover, the chosen shingle material covers the entire roof as the final layer. Shingles prevent moisture from reaching the underlayment. They also keep the underlayment from excessive heat and provide protection against hail.

Types of shingles

Asphalt-the most common shingle. Asphalt is the consumer’s choice due to its durability and reasonable cost. This type of shingle will help a roof last 20 to 30 years. Asphalt shingles combat heat better than most shingles and stand up well against rain. For this reason, asphalt shingles are very common throughout Texas homes.

Wood Shake-create a slightly more modern look to a roof. Wood shake shingles have a life span of 25-35 years. They are a fantastic option for sustainability as they offer outstanding insulation value. The primary drawback to wood shake shingles is easier saturation. If part or all of the roof is exposed to frequent shade, it will take moisture longer to evaporate from wood.

Slate-the most expensive shingle. Reason being, slate lasts longer than any other roofing material. Its expected lifetime is 100 years. It is extremely energy-efficient and practically impenetrable. Slate will substantially increase the resale value of a home, helping make up for the up-front cost paid by the homeowner.

Metal-the in-between shingle. Metal shingles are meant to carry a similar look to wood shake and asphalt; however, last longer. This specific type of roof material lasts around 50 years. It remains durable against all types of water. It also has a Class A fire rating, meaning it can take on heat as well as any other shingle type.

J.R. Hayden Construction

A general understanding of a roof’s composition and the primary purchasing item (shingle type) will help you understand the roofing basics for your roof and your future roofs. If you would like to talk with an expert, have your roof repaired, or have your roof replaced, contact J.R. Hayden Construction. Our staff has over 90 years of combined roofing experience. We look forward to helping you with your roof! Please visit our blog for additional helpful roofing information.

Contact us today and we'll show you how 
J.R. Hayden Construction can be of service!