The average homeowner usually doesn’t know too much about their roof and the very components that brings the entire roof together. A home’s roof is very complex and will vary with each type of roof. As a homeowner, knowing the basic system and components of a roof can better help you identify problems and how to better maintain your roof. Nickerson Roofing would like to cover the basic components of the roof and how the roofing system works, to better help you maintain your home.
A home is built on a foundation, you can also say the roof’s foundation is the trusses. The trusses is the wooden framing that shapes and supports the roof. Most people will refer to the trusses as beams. However they are the roof trusses. If the trusses are compromised at all, it can be a very bad sign for the health of the roof.
Most people do not consider a chimney as a roofing component, however it is. The chimney runs through the home and up and out of the roof. The chimney isn’t just used for the fireplace, but for your furnace or heating system as well. The gas and fumes from your heating system will travel up and out of the chimney. The roof design must properly incorporate the chimney or there can be major problems such as roof leaks and ventilation hazards.
The flashing is a water proof material that helps to protect the intersecting sections of the roof. When two parts of a roof meet, the flashing is used to protect the seams from water. Flashing is also found around the chimney and vent pipes. Roof leaks are often due to old and weathered flashing that needs replacing.
Roof Vent Pipe
You will often see black pipes sticking up and out of the roof. These vent pipes are actually part of the plumbing system that brings air to the sinks, tubs and toilet drainage system. Without the vent pipes, the drainage system will be very slow. Leaks can develop around the vent pipes, again mostly due to weathered flashing.
Roof Sheathing or Decking
The sheathing, or also called a deck, is the plywood that sits and is anchored down to the trusses. The sheathing is the first layer of the actual roof. You can inspect the sheathing from inside the attic as you can normally see them from there. Damp or damaged sheathing is also a bad sign and they need to be replaced before major roof damages develop.
For an asphalt roof there is an underlayment that is set on top of the sheathing. The underlayment work is a protective layer as asphalt shingles are prone to falling off. The underlayment protects the trusses and sheathing from water damages.
The shingle are the outer layer of the roof. They are either glued or nailed both or both. The shingles are a thin asphalt like material and are the cheaper style roof. However, there are also wood, clay, and slate shingle roofs.
Roof Ridge Vent
A ridge vent is an angled shingle that covers the edges or where two points of the roof meet. The vent helps to protect the intersecting edges from moisture. However, they also help or provide air circulation to dry out any moisture that may get inside. Part of the ridge vent also has ridge cap shingles that cover the ends of the ridge vent to prevent water from entering through the ridge vents.
The fascia is the horizontal board that is nailed to the bottom of the trusses. Often you can see the fascia on the outside of the home, just underneath the roof. However, some homes may have the fascia covered with stucco. Usually you will connect the gutter system to the side of the fascia.