Roofing 101 For New Homeowners

Roofing 101

Your roof does a lot to keep your home sheltered, dry, and safe, and it’s necessary to have a good idea of what all goes into keeping your roof in good, working condition. If you own a home, you will likely have to replace or have repairs made on your roof at some point. Knowing your options and the basics of roofing can help you be prepared for these situations.

What Makes up a Roof?

There are multiple materials that go into the creation of your roof. Knowing the different materials that go into the process can assist you in being prepared for roofing your home. Below are some of the common roofing materials with which everyone should be familiar:

  • The Trim is the part of the roof that is used to cover and shelter the seams in the roof.
  • Shingles are made from a plethora of materials, but their main purpose is to protect the underlying part of the roof from the weather. Shingles are gathered in a measurement called squares. There are 100 square feet in a square of shingles, so this can be helpful to know when you are calculating the size of your roof and how much materials you will need.
  • Sheathing, otherwise known as the deck of the roof, are the boards that are linked to the rafters of your home. The sheathing is also what lays underneath shingles.
  • Rafters are the wood or metal foundation for the roof that supports the shingles and sheathing.
  • Flashing is used on the joints of your roof to stop water damage. The flashing seals each joint of the roof to protect it from weather and other natural damage.
  • Underlayment is used over the sheathing of your roof to protect it from the elements, protecting the sheathing from air and water especially.
  • Drainage is the part of the roof that allows water to run off it. The steepness of the roof is measured to calculate how to run the drainage system will work on your roof.

What Type of Shingle Should I Use?

There are many different materials to consider when choosing what type of shingle you would like to use on your roof. The price of the material, the price of installation, and the lifetime of the material should be considered. Some of the most popular materials to use for roofing are listed below.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingle, particularly because they are also the most affordable type of shingles to install. There are three main types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass asphalt, 3-tab asphalt, and architectural style asphalt. Out of the three types of asphalt shingles, the 3-tab shingles are the most affordable option, as they can last up to 15-20 years. Architectural asphalt shingles give a home a cleaner look, and they have an extra layer of laminate, giving them a more modern design. These shingles, while costing more than a 3-tab shingle, can last 30 to 50 years on your home.

Metal Shingles

These sleek appearing shingles can be found in many different styles and colors. Due to their lightweight and easy installation, they are a great option for many homes that can’t handle a heavier shingle style. These stylish shingles can last anywhere from 75 to 100 years and vary in materials like aluminum, copper, steel, tin, and zinc.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles can be made from a variety of different types of wood. There are wood shakes and wood shingles. While a wood shingle has a perfect shape, wood shakes have a more imperfect look to them, since they are sawn and split. Wood shingling has a lifetime of anywhere from 15 to 50 years.

Slate Tile Shingles

If you’re looking for strong stone material, slate shingles are a great option, but it’s important to remember that they are quite heavy. These shingles have their own unique look to them and can have a heftier price tag, but this type of roofing has one of the longer lifetimes of all the roofing materials. These shingles can last anywhere from 60 to 150 years on your home, making them a great option if you can afford them.

What You Need to Know Before Replacing Your Roof

Now that you have the information you need to choose the correct roofing materials, what else do you need to know before deciding to replace your roof? The following outlines important questions you’ll need to ask before replacing your roof.

When Was the Roof Last Replaced?

If you don’t know when the roof was last replaced, it’s important to find out. The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof, for example, is 20-25 years, so if your asphalt roof is approaching or has surpassed that age, then you’ll need to start budgeting for a replacement. Be sure to check the material your roof is made from, so you know its lifespan.

Is the Roof Properly Ventilating?

Proper ventilation is essential for a healthy roof. If your roof has no ventilation, mold, and mildew can start to grow and wreak havoc on your home. Besides the main ventilation system in your home, there are other ways that your roof needs to have air moving through it. This can include having insulation in your attic floor, having vented spaces, and a good vapor barrier between insulation.

What Is Your Roof Pitch?

Your roof pitch is how steep your roof is, and this has a great effect on which shingle choice you should use on your home. A steeper roof will cause water and ice to roll right off, so you wouldn’t need the heavy-duty asphalt shingles. A flatter roof will have a harder time getting rid of water and could lead to leaks if not taken care of.

Are There Any Shingle Granules in Your Gutters?

Shingle granules are what give asphalt shingles their color and help to protect the shingle from UV rays. If you start seeing a lot of these in your gutters, this is an indication that your shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan and will soon need to be replaced.

Are There Any Bald Spots on Your Roof?

Bald spots are another indication that your shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan and will need to be replaced soon. These spots are caused by the asphalt wearing down and no longer providing protection from the sun’s UV rays.

Do Your Shingles Have Cracks or Curling?

If you start to notice that your shingles are curling or have cracks in them, this is also an indication that they need to be replaced. The curled shingles will no longer lay flat against your roof and could cause leaks. The cracks will also allow water to seep in and cause leaks.

Do You Have Moss or Lichen Growing On Your Roof?

Moss and lichen can cause damage to your shingles by holding moisture against the shingle. This will speed up the deterioration process and cause leaks. If you have moss or lichen, be sure to have it removed as soon as possible.

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then it’s time to start budgeting for a new roof. It’s a good idea to go through the materials you’re interested in using and talk to a roofing expert. Be sure to do your research and find a reputable roofer to install your new roof.

Now that you know all this helpful information, you are ready to make a decision on whether you need to replace your roof and which roofing materials are right for your home. Roofing can be a big investment, but it is necessary to keep your home in good condition and protect it from the elements. Be sure to do your research and work with a reputable roofer to get the best results.

Still, doing your research and budgeting accordingly is essential to ensure that your roof lasts for many years. At Horizon Roofing, we give you personalized service that ensures you will have a roof over your head that will last you many, many years. Contact Horizon Roofing today.

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